Northern Iowa tight ends and offensive line coach Frank Verducci has been hired as Connecticut’s offensive coordinator and will also oversee running backs, according to a source.
The move, as first reported by SI.com, reunites Verducci and Huskies coach Bob Diaco. Diaco played linebacker for Iowa from 1992-95 and then spent two seasons with the program as a graduate assistant, all while Verducci was the Hawkeyes’ offensive line coach.
Besides significant major college experience, the 57-year-old Verducci also spent nearly a decade coaching in the NFL. He succeeds Mike Cummings, who has been moved to UConn’s offensive line coach after being offensive coordinator this past season.
Verducci also picks up running backs duties from David Corley, who will now coach receivers and be special teams coordinator.
Verducci’s hiring was officially announced later Monday. Prior to Verducci’s lone campaign at Northern Iowa this past year, he was offensive line coach for the CFL’s Montreal Allouettes in 2013.
He also coached offensive line at Florida in 2011, was an advance scout for the St. Louis Rams in 2010 and was Notre Dame’s offensive run game coordinator and offensive line coach in 2009. He was an offensive assistant for the Cleveland Browns from 2007-08.
Verducci was the Buffalo Bills’ offensive line coach in 2005 after being the team’s assistant offensive line and tight ends coach the previous season. He coached the offensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys in 2002.
That was after Verducci’s three seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals as tight ends coach that included also being assistant offensive line coach his last year. He was an assistant at Iowa from 1989-98, first as assistant offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.
He was promoted to offensive line coach after three seasons and also added run game coordinator duties his last four seasons. He coached wide receivers at Northwestern from 1987-88 and was a graduate assistant the two previous seasons at Iowa.
This past season, Connecticut was among the FBS’ worst offensively in the defensive-minded Diaco’s first season rebuilding the Huskies. His youthful team had a 2-10 record, but showed flashes defensively, finishing 49th in the FBS in total defense (378.6 yards per game).
UConn returns 17 starters next season, including rising sophomore running back Ron Johnson.