Gopher Co-DC Joe Harasymiak Named as Possible Head Coaching Candidate at UConn

Photo: Dan Owen – 247Sports

PJ Fleck hired Joe Harasymiak in December of 2018, fresh off an FCS semifinal appearance as head coach of the Maine Black Bears. He was looking for the next move, on his path to an FBS head job. It was clear from the start of Harasymiak’s tenure in Dinkytown that he isn’t here to be a lifetime assistant under PJ Fleck.

He’s using Minnesota as a stepping stone for his career and there’s nothing wrong with that. While here, he’s helped Rossi build a secondary that, even when the rest of the defense has struggled, has mostly held its own and helped launch the careers of Antoine Winfield Jr and Benjamin St-Juste into the NFL.

Next stop UConn?

Joe Harasymiak has already gotten serious looks as an FBS head coach and was one of two finalists for the University of Buffalo job last offseason. He eventually lost out to the other finalist, Maurice Linguist. A New Jersey native, Harasymiak will get extra attention from the smaller or struggling east coast schools. Like the University of Connecticut, better known as “UConn”.

Current coach, Randy Edsall, announced his resignation this afternoon. The Athletic has already named Joe Harasymiak as an obvious candidate for the Huskies to look at.

Joe Harasymiak: Minnesota co-defensive coordinator Joe Harasymiak, another Jersey native, produced some excellent defenses at Maine before becoming the head coach there. He went 10-4 and led the Black Bears to the FCS semifinals. He was in the mix for the Buffalo head coaching search earlier this year.

Bruce Feldman – The Athletic

Dumpster Fire

The University of Connecticut football program is a complete dumpster fire right now and the talk of social media. Not in a good way. The rock bottom condition the program is in could be what lands or deters Harasymiak from landing or taking the job.

In The Athletic’s article, Feldman mentions the desperate state of the team as something that could keep some of the top candidates from considering the position. Remember, they opted out of last season and hadn’t played football for over 600 days, leading up to their opener on August 28. Harasymiak is the 8th candidate listed, meaning he might not be their top option.

Joe is known as a coach full of fire and someone who fits into exactly what PJ Fleck wants in his staff members. Energy and commitment to excellence. I have zero doubt he’d be able to turn that desperate UConn program into something that resembles FBS again. We’ll keep an eye on what happens next.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan