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Thoughts, news and notes from the sports staff of The Saratogian newspaper, located in historic Saratoga Springs, New York. The gang in the corner office on Lake Avenue give you the post-game wrap-ups, news and notes from the games we cover and opinions about the sports we read about every day.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Farewell to Randy Edsall

Losing Randy Edsall was a shocking blow to many UConn football fans, who had heard repeatedly that their beloved coach wanted to stand on no home sidelines but the one on Rentschler Field.

Many non-fans felt he should stay and see the program he built from a Division I-AA (as it was called then) nobody to a top BCS program. Some of those opposed to Edsall’s decision, myself included, were eased to find that the reason UConn’s supposed football savior left was for his “dream job” at the University of Maryland.

The excuse that a coach has left this program and the students that he sold it to for his “dream job” has been used before. (Brian Kelly being a recent example, when he left Cincinnati for Notre Dame.) In the case of Kelly, he left for Notre Dame, one of the highest profile coaching gigs on the planet. While it may have been his “dream job,” it is hard to say that the position itself had nothing to do with it.

In the case of Edsall, he left to coach what some would say is a lower-profile gig than the one he left in Storrs. Maryland won the Military Bowl on Dec. 29, a far less significant bowl than the Fiesta Bowl Uconn played in three days later. Also, the position he took had also been occupied for the last 10 seasons by Ralph Friedge.

Edsall was coaching at UConn for the last 12 seasons, and this is the first time that both the position was open and he was the most qualified person to fill it. Edsall also claims that the first college football game he went to see as a boy was at Maryland’s Byrd Stadium.

The signs all point to Maryland being the unlikely dream job of one of the most sought-after football coaches in the NCAA. The UConn fans I have spoken to have felt a mixture of hurt because Edsall will no longer be calling the plays on Saturdays, and joy in that someone who did so much for Connecticut football could go and feel as if he were signaling his quarterback from cloud 9.

He has done so much for UConn football, that it is a small task to be happy for him as he leaves.

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