UConn head coach Randy Edsall waits with his team for the start of the 2011 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl between UConn and Oklahoma in Glendale, AZ., Saturday evening.

I try and go enjoy the sights out here in Arizona and I come home to complete chaos for the UConn Huskies football program.

Earlier on Sunday afternoon, ESPN reported that Huskies head coach Randy Edsall was leaving to become the new head coach for the Maryland Terrapins. It was later confirmed in a press release from Maryland with a press conference scheduled for Monday afternoon in College Park, MD.

But from everything I can gather at this point, Edsall didn’t exactly handle this all too well.

One unidentified freshman emailed Desmond Conner of the Hartford Courant to let him know his feelings. And let’s just say that they weren’t good ones.

“We were on hold for a half-hour, with the operations manager telling us Edsall would be coming on in a few minutes. When Edsall came on he was like, “I just wanted to tell you that I’m sorry I can’t do this in person, but due to circumstances … I just want to let you know that it’s not because of you guys. But it’s an opportunity for my family. … I can move on feeling like I’ve accomplished things here and I’m leaving the program in a good way.”

“A couple of coaches said that was BS. … They didn’t know about it. He hadn’t told any of us.”

“It really pisses me off because he made Jordan (Todman) address the team last night to say he was leaving. And he isn’t man enough to do it face to face to us?”

Conner adds in that email that Edsall had apparently begun negotiations with Maryland last week.

Wide receiver Kashif Moore also talked with Conner about Edsall leaving.

“First of all, finding out on the plane and hearing it from people as I’m landing and stuff was kind of disappointing,” said receiver Kashif Moore, who was allowed to wear No.6, the jersey number of slain teammate Jasper Howard, his close friend.

“For being like a leader on this team, I’ve been here awhile, it’s disappointing but at the same time, Coach Edsall has done so much for the program. I love him as a person and what he did for us after Jazz [Howard] was killed. I respect him for that but at the end of the day, and I learned this when I was getting recruited, this is a business. We can’t ever forget that.”

“To all the UConn fans and people who have been out there supporting us, with or without Coach Edsall, we’re trying to come back to the BCS. I’m going to step up and be a leader, be more vocal. We just want the fans to continue to support us. We’re still going to play our hearts out for them.”

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I don’t know to whom or where I said it but I remember saying that Edsall would probably leave UConn after this season because it would have been Jasper Howard’s final season at UConn. Edsall did a great job of handling that situation and probably wanted to see everything through. But now that Howard would have played his last game in the Fiesta Bowl, Edsall doesn’t have that holding him down.

I’ve seen a few different reasons for Edsall leaving, stricter admission guidelines at UConn, his assistants being some of the lowest paid in all of college football. Well whatever the reason is, we may never know.

I think we were all kidding ourselves if Edsall was going to stay here forever. He has to do what’s right for him and his family.

There’s probably not more he could do at UConn anyways. They are still light years from actually winning a national championship but he built a solid program from the ground up and got them to a BCS bowl faster than any other school who moved up divisions.

The Huskies have some of the finest facilities in the Big East but Edsall was never able to get the playmakers he needed to take it to the next level. Sure getting to a BCS game will help but you won’t see the benefits for a few years.

And now you have a program that’s in flux.

There will be transfers from the team, there will be guys that who have given a verbal commitment back out of said commitment and of course there’s the whole matter of who will coach the Huskies.

And what happens when the new coach comes in?

What kind of offense does he run? What kind of defense does he play?  He’ll have 3-4 more years of guys Edsall recruited mixed in with some of his own recruits.

Athletic director Jeff Hathaway now has a big job to do. And that’s get a coach to Storrs who can continue the success of Edsall and bring the UConn football program to whole nother level that Edsall couldn’t reach.

Interesting times now for the Huskies.

Photo credit: John Woike – Hartford Courant (No. 2)