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ND's Diaco takes UConn job

By Ned Griffen

Publication: The Day

Published December 12. 2013 4:00AM   Updated December 12. 2013 5:22AM
Joe Raymond/AP p\Photo
Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco conducts a drill before a game against Navy on Nov. 2 at South Bend, Ind.
Defensive coordinator lands a five-year deal, reportedly

Bob Diaco, Notre Dame's assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, will be UConn's new head football coach, according to sources close to the program.

Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com was the first to report the story. Feldman reported that Diaco accepted a five-year deal that starts at $1.5 million a year.

The Huskies finished 3-9 this season. It fired Paul Pasqualoni after they started 0-4.

Diaco, 40, was the 2012 Broyles Award winner as the nation's top assistant coach. The Fighting Irish ranked second in scoring defense last season (12.77). They ranked 32nd in that category this season (22.9) and 45th in total defense (377 yards per game).

"I think he's the finest defensive coordinator in the country," Kelly told the Chicago Tribune last December.

Diaco is a native of Cedar Grove, N.J., a major recruiting base in the Northeast.

He was hired by Kelly in 2010. Diaco served as Kelly's co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in 2005 when the latter was the head coach at Central Michigan. He's also been an assistant at Cincinnati, Virginia and Western Michigan.

Diaco was allegedly one of the top candidates to take the head coaching job at Boston College, according to ESPN.com. The Eagles hired Steve Addazio for the position.

Earlier Wednesday, Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi declined UConn's head coaching offer.

"I was honored to be considered by Warde Manuel and the University of Connecticut for its head coaching position," Narduzzi said via a statement on Michigan State's Twitter account Wednesday night.

"After consideration, I have withdrawn from the search, and I'm devoting my full attention to our players and team in preparation for our Rose Bowl game."

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