Huskies coach quashes speculation

Updated: January 8, 2005, 1:00 AM ET news services

STORRS, Conn.-- Randy Edsall, football coach at Connecticut, on Friday rejected speculation that he will take the same job at Syracuse.

"I want to make it perfectly clear that I am the head football coach at the University of Connecticut and have no desire to be involved in any way with the ongoing search for a new head coach at Syracuse University," he said in a statement.

Paul Pasqualoni's firing last month at Syracuse refueled speculation that the Orange would court Edsall, a 1980 alumnus.

"My name continues to circulate in reports about the Syracuse position and I don't want it to be a distraction to what we are trying to accomplish at UConn," he said.

Edsall said he has "great respect" for Syracuse and its football program, but is happy at Connecticut.

"I am focused on recruiting and preparing for UConn's 2005 football season," Edsall said. "My family and I enjoy living in the state of Connecticut and I am looking forward to continuing to enhance the UConn football program."

Edsall guided UConn from Division I-AA to Division I-A over the past six years. The Huskies completed the best three-year run in program history with a 23-13 record and will graduate a number of NFL prospects, including record-setting quarterback Dan Orlovsky. The Huskies finished 8-4 overall and 3-3 in their first Big East campaign.

The school backed up its confidence in Edsall, a former Syracuse quarterback, with a six-year $5.3 million contract extension in September.

Pasqualoni, who had one year left on his contract, was fired last month after 14 years at Syracuse. He departs with a 107-59-1 record and a 6-3 mark in bowl games, the second-winningest coach in school history.

The New York Times reported Giants defensive coordinator Tim Lewis will interview for the job today.

The Times also reported Daryl Gross, the new Syracuse athletic director, interviewed Texas defensive coordinator Greg Robinson on Friday.

Syracuse has also contacted the representative of Donnie Henderson, the Jets' defensive coordinator, but it is unclear if a meeting is imminent.