STORRS — Bob Diaco was officially introduced as the new UConn football coach at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
In his opening remarks, Athletic Director Warde Manual made clear where the Huskies’ new coach stood.
“We had a great candidate pool,” he said. “I’m going to make this clear to you, Bob was my top choice.”
Diaco, 40, comes from Notre Dame, where he was defensive coordinator and one of the most highly regarded assistant coaches in the country. He will replaced interim coach T.J. Weist, who took over when Paul Pasqualoni was fired after the fourth game.
“Kudos to T.J.,” Diaco said. “He did a fantastic job. The staff and the team showed their grit.”
UConn (3-9) finished the season with three consecutive victories.
Diaco is a native of Cedar Grove, N.J. He played at Iowa, where he was an All-Big Ten linebacker in 1994 and 1995.
After college, he began coaching at Iowa as a graduate assistant. He has coached at Virginia, Cincinnati and Notre Dame. Last year, he was a candidate for head coaching jobs at Boston College and Wisconsin. He was considered a finalist for the BC job that was eventually filled by Steve Addazio.
Diaco received a five-year contract. He will earn $1.5 million in his first season, $1.55 million in his second year, with the salary moving to $1.6 million, $1.65 million and $1.7 million.
“I’m very excited,” Diaco said. “I hope you can hear it in my voice. Go UConn and go Huskies.”
Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant