Tag:Mark Whipple
Posted on: January 13, 2011 6:33 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2011 10:51 pm
 

UConn hires Paul Pasqualoni over Mark Whipple

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Earlier, we reported that there were strong indications that Connecticut was looking to hire ex-Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple as its new head coach. And while Whipple did end up being one of the finalists for the job vacated by Randy Edsall two weeks ago, the Boston Globe reported today that UConn has hired former Syracuse head coach Paul Pasqualoni instead.

Pasqualoni, 61, compiled a 107-59-1 record at Syracuse from 1991 to his firing in 2004, and while those numbers are fine -- winning 100 games at the I-A level is no trivial feat -- TNIAAM rightly notes that the program diminished in quality under him; two of Pasqualoni's 10-win seasons came in his first two seasons with the team, and his only three non-winning seasons were his last three. Since his firing, Pasqualoni has been an assistant in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys , then the Miami Dolphins , then the Cowboys again (briefly) this season.

What this means for Whipple is unclear, other than that he won't be on the sidelines at Connecticut this season; he was not retained by new Miami coach Al Golden after Randy Shannon was fired, so it's not as if Whipple's still got a job to come home to. Whipple was a successful head coach at Massachusetts and other smaller programs, and he has assistant experience both at Miami and in the NFL. His skill set is still impressive, and at 53, he's got plenty of miles left on him. It's just up to him to convince a new team that his Hurricanes' offensive struggles were aberrations and not indications of larger strategic shortcomings in Whipple's game-planning.

Posted on: January 11, 2011 3:08 pm
 

Report: Mark Whipple to be next UConn coach

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Hey, did you know that there are other coaching searches going on right now besides the one at Michigan?  I'm serious, there are!  UConn still needs to find a head coach since Randy Edsall decided to leave following the Fiesta Bowl and take over for Ralph Friedgen at Maryland.  Though it's starting to look as though the job vacancy in Storrs has been filled.

Reports out of Florida say that former Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, now out of a job following the firing of Randy Shannon and hiring of Al Golden, will be named the new head coach at UConn.

If the reports turn out to be correct, and the 53-year old Whipple lands the UConn gig, it will be his first head coaching job on the FBS level, and his first head coaching job anywhere since he left UMass in 2004.  While at UMass he won a Division-IAA national championship in 1998.  Whipple has spent the last two seasons as Miami's offensive coordinator, assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach.  After a nice 2009 season that saw the Hurricanes score the most points they had in a season since 2002, things took a big step backwards in 2010.  Of course, that could be the fault of Jacory Harris throwing interceptions like they were going out of style more than it was Whipple's offensive system.

Either way, to lose a job as an offensive coordinator only to find yourself getting a job as head coach at another BCS program is a pretty nice turn of events for anybody.
Posted on: January 4, 2011 10:50 am
 

Hank Hughes named interim coach at UConn

Posted by Tom Fornelli

UConn finds itself in unfamiliar territory at the moment, because for the first time in the school's FBS history, it has a coaching search to conduct.  The problem is, with signing day not even a month away, somebody needs to take the program over now to keep things running as smoothly as possible while the school begins its search.

And that person is going to be assistant head coach Hank Hughes.

"Hank Hughes is the perfect choice to fill the role as interim head coach for our football program," said UConn AD Jeffrey Hathaway in a statement. "He has been a long-time member of our coaching staff and is extremely loyal to our university and our Division of Athletics. Hank will provide outstanding leadership to our football student-athletes and support staff during this time of transition."

Hughes will also be a candidate to take over the job full time, but he won't be alone in that department.  While the school hasn't made any official announcement about who they'll be looking at, names that keep coming up as possibilities are Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, former Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, and Iowa offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe.

Ironically, another name being mentioned is the man who was supposed to be getting the Maryland job Randy Edsall left for, Mike Leach.  In a way, Mike Leach has become the new Randy Edsall since his name comes up for every coaching job, but he never gets the job.  Another possibility would be Rich Rodriguez should he be relieved of his duties at Michigan.
Posted on: December 22, 2010 1:44 pm
 

Jacory Harris still fighting for one more chance

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While Miami will play its final game of the season against Notre Dame in the Sun Bowl on New Year's Eve, you can be sure that Jacory Harris is looking forward to New Year's Day more than anything.  That's when he'll finally be able to put an awful 2010 behind him and try to right things in 2011.  Of course, having one more chance to redeem himself and the 2010 season in the Sun Bowl would be nice, but interim head coach Jeff Stoutland isn't making any promises that Harris will get another shot this season.

Stoutland has said that there's an open competition between Harris and Stephen Morris to see who the team's starting quarterback will be, and he doesn't plan on making any decision before the team arrives in El Paso.

"Every day, somebody emerges, then the other guy comes back," said Stoutland. "I keep waiting to say to myself, 'OK, it looks like [Morris or Harris] is taking over.' It's great for the competition. It makes the position better."

It's been a long season for Harris, who started the year with his name being mentioned as a Heisman candidate and then saw his skills being questioned by the Miami fan base, received racist tweets and, to top it all off, suffered a concussion.  Of course, even if Harris earns the start in the Sun Bowl, that doesn't mean things will be any easier in 2011.

He'll have to prove himself to a new coach in Al Golden who holds no allegiance to any of the players on the Miami roster, and should Golden decide not to retain offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, Harris will have to break in his third offensive coordinator and system in four years at the school.
Posted on: November 20, 2010 5:10 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2010 5:11 pm
 

Harris dressed, but Morris starts for Miami

Posted by Chip Patterson

Jacory Harris was listed as questionable on the Miami injury report coming into Saturday's matchup with Virginia Tech, still recovering from the concussion suffered against Virginia .  At gametime, Harris is in pads on the sideline, but freshman quarterback Stephen Morris has continued to be the man under center.  Harris has been active on the sideline, constantly communicating with Morris and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple.  He has been cleared to play by team doctors, but there has been little indication that he will see the field against the Hokies.

Jorge Milian of the Palm Beach Post is guessing that Morris will also be the starter for the Hurricanes season finale against USF, with Harris returning for the bowl game.  Morris' performance in the first half against the Hokies has been decent, completing 12 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown - though he has fumbled one snap.  With the score knotted at 10, the Hurricanes are keeping their ACC Championship Game chances alive...barely.
Posted on: November 2, 2010 12:52 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2010 12:58 pm
 

Shannon: Morris taking first-team snaps

Posted by Chip Patterson

When Miami quarterback Jacory Harris left Saturday's matchup with Virginia with a concussion due to a MONSTROUS hit from Cavalier defensive tackle John-Kevin Dolce, the Hurricanes began spinning the quarterback carousel.  First came second string quarterback Spencer Whipple, son of offensive coordinator Mark Whipple.  After throwing two interceptions in his first six attempts, Whipple found a spot right back on the sideline next to his father.  Next in for the Hurricanes was fourth-string freshman Stephen Morris.  After three scoreless quarters, Morris was able to lead Miami to 19 fourth quarter points and nearly overcame the 24-0 deficit in the losing effort for the Hurricanes.  Morris connected on 9 of 22 passes for 162 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while and picking up a 9 yard touchdown run of his own.

With Harris' status for Saturday's game against Maryland up in the air, Hurricanes head coach Randy Shannon already has Morris taking snaps with the first-team offense in practice this week.  Shannon has yet to name a starter, as doctors continue to monitor Harris' condition after the concussion.  Shannon said that Jacory wants to play, but the fourth-year head coach said the decision will be made based on what's best for Harris' well being.  Morris did show flashes of big-play potential in the fourth quarter of the Virginia game, but he also threw two interceptions.  Some Hurricanes fans were surprised to see Morris come off the bench ahead of A.J. Highsmith (son of famous Miami running back Alonzo Highsmith), but Shannon revealed to WQAM on Tuesday that he would "probably be redshirted" due to a wrist injury.  Highsmith is also expected to switch to defensive back in the spring.
 
 
 
 
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