SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- One potential reason for Connecticut's rapid rise from I-AA to BCS bowl team is coaching continuity. Head coach Randy Edsall has been atop the program for 12 seasons and four assistants have been with him for at least 10 years. Two others have been with the Huskies for five years.
"Any time you can keep people around, it's very helpful," Edsall said. "They know how I act. I know how they act. We know what we're teaching. We know the system that we are in. Continuity is huge."
The "old timers" remember life before UConn upgraded its facilities to a point where they are as good as any in the Big East. They remember the duct tape before things went high tech.
"It's totally different," said Hank Hughes, the assistant head coach for defense, who's been with the program 10 years. "It's changed dramatically. Our facilities have gone from probably among the very bottom to some of the better quality facilities in the country."
Here's a look at the Huskies staff.
Hughes, who's been coaching 32 years, started with UConn in 2001 as defensive line coach. The Huskies have ranked among the defensive leaders in the Big East since joining the conference in 2004.
Joe Moorhead (offensive coordinator/QBs): Moorhead is in his second season with the Huskies. In 2009, UConn ranked second in the Big East in scoring. He ran a no-huddle, spread attack at Akron, but has adapted his schemes to better fit the Huskies personnel.
Todd Orlando (defensive coordinator/inside linebackers): Orlando is one of Edsall's original hires; he's been with the program 12 years. He was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2005. He's a former linebacker at Wisconsin.
Matt Cersosimo (receivers, recruiting coordinator): He was a graduate assistant with the program in 2002 and returned to the staff for a full-time job in 2006. He played defensive back at Springfield College.
Mike Foley (offensive line): Foley is in his fifth season with the Huskies. A former player and coach at Colgate, Foley is highly regarded for his work with the Huskies offensive line, which might be the best in the Big East.
Lydon Johnson (outside linebackers, special teams): Johnson, a former UConn player, is in his 12th season with the program. Two of the Huskies areas of strength? Linebackers and special teams.
Darrell Perkins (defensive backs): Perkins is one of two members of the staff who is new this year. He spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons at Louisiana-Monroe. The Huskies had19 interceptions this year, which ranked fifth in the country. The Huskies also ranked 16th in the nation in pass-efficiency defense.
Terry Richardson (running backs): He's in his 12th season with the Huskies. In 2008, Donald Brown was the Big East Offensive Player of the Year and became the Huskies first NFL first-round draft pick. In 2009, two Huskies RBs eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark. In 2010, Jordan Todman earned All-American honors.
Jon Wholley (tight ends): Wholley joins Perkins as a staff rookie, but he played for Edsall from 2001-04.