Paul Pasqualoni

American football player and coach

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Paul Pasqualoni
refer to caption
Pasqualoni visits the Connecticut State Capitol in 2011.
Personal information
Born: (1949-08-16) August 16, 1949 (age 73)
Cheshire, Connecticut
Career information
High school:Cheshire High School
College:Penn State
Career history
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
  • ECAC Coach of the Year, Div. I-A (1992, 1995)
  • ECAC/Vince Lombardi Foundation Coach of the Year (1996)
Head coaching record
Regular season:NCAA: 151–93–1 (.618)
Postseason:NCAA D-III: 0–1 (.000)
Career:NCAA: 151–94–1 (.616)
Coaching stats at PFR

Paul Lucian Pasqualoni (/ˌpæskəˈlni/; born August 16, 1949) is an American football coach. He most recently was the defensive line coach for the Carolina Panthers.

Pasqualoni has served as the defensive coordinator of the NFL's Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions, and as the defensive line coach and interim defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys. He was the head coach of the Syracuse University football team from 1991 to 2004.[1][2]

Early life

A native of Cheshire, Connecticut, Pasqualoni attended Cheshire High School, where he lettered in football and basketball.[2] Following graduation, he continued to Bordentown Military Institute, also lettering on the football squad, and graduating in 1968. Pasqualoni then enrolled at Penn State, where he was a walk-on and subsequent letterman, as a linebacker under head coach Joe Paterno. In 1972, he received a B.S in health and physical education, then finished his education at Southern Connecticut State, receiving a M.S. in physical education and human performance.

Pasqualoni began his coaching career in 1972, while a graduate student at Southern Connecticut, as an assistant at his alma mater, Cheshire High School, where he remained for four seasons. After completing his master's degree, he was hired in 1976 as an assistant at Southern Connecticut by then-head coach, George DeLeone, who also served as a future assistant at Syracuse with Pasqualoni under Dick MacPherson. Pasqualoni was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1980, a position which he held for two seasons.[3]

In 1982, Pasqualoni was hired away from Southern by in-state school Western Connecticut, as its head coach and athletic director. In five seasons with the Colonials, he amassed a 34–17 record, and coached the team to a 1985 New England Football Conference championship and appearance in the NCAA Division III playoffs.[3]

Coaching career


Syracuse University

Pasqualoni was an assistant at Syracuse from 1987 until 1991, when he was promoted to head coach after the position was vacated by Dick MacPherson, who left for the NFL to coach the New England Patriots. The Orange (then known as the Orangemen) enjoyed a number of successful years with Pasqualoni at the helm. The team won the Fiesta Bowl over Colorado in 1992 and defeated Clemson 41–0 in the Gator Bowl in 1995, Donovan McNabb's freshman year. The team had a 6–3 record in bowl games under Pasqualoni. Pasqualoni's 14-year record with Syracuse was 107–59–1. His only losing season was in 2002 with a 4–8 record. Most seasons of his tenure saw Syracuse competing in the Top 25 in the country.

While coach of the Orangemen, Pasqualoni's roots in Connecticut led him to recruit many star players from Connecticut high schools, including Bloomfield's Dwight Freeney, New Britain's Tebucky Jones and the McIntosh brothers from Cheshire High School.

At the conclusion of the 2004 season the team lost the Champs Sports Bowl 51–14. New athletic director Daryl Gross fired Pasqualoni on December 29, 2004, despite Syracuse's president, Nancy Cantor, publicly stating that Pasqualoni would be on the sideline the next season.[4] He was replaced by Greg Robinson, who had been serving as the defensive coordinator at the University of Texas. During the 2005 season, the first season in 14 years without Pasqualoni leading the team and the first in 17 years without him on the staff, the Orange posted a record of 1–10, the worst on-field record in the 117-year history of Syracuse football.

In 2015, Syracuse vacated all of its wins from 2004 due to ineligible players. As a result, Pasqualoni's final season is officially the first winless season in school history.

University of Connecticut

On January 13, 2011, Pasqualoni was hired to lead the University of Connecticut football program, by soon to be dismissed AD Jeff Hathaway, two weeks after former coach Randy Edsall left for the University of Maryland. His two full seasons saw identical records of 5–7 — only his second and third losing seasons as a Division I-A/FBS head coach. He was fired as coach of the Huskies on September 30, 2013 in the midst of his 3rd season after starting 0–4.[5]

Florida Gators

Pasqualoni was hired by former Florida head Coach Dan Mullen before the 2020 season. He was retained by Billy Napier on December 29, 2021, with a new off field scout role. He left in 2022, after being hired by NFL's Carolina Panthers.[6]

National Football League

Dallas Cowboys

Before becoming linebackers coach in 2005, Pasqualoni served as the Cowboys' coach of tight ends for the 2005 season, where he is credited for the continued development of Jason Witten leading to his second consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl. In 2006, Pasqualoni became the coach of the linebackers, being influential in DeMarcus Ware's success in that position. On November 8, 2010, Pasqualoni was promoted to interim defensive coordinator resulting from the firing of Wade Phillips, as Phillips served as both head coach and defensive coordinator for the Cowboys.[7]

Miami Dolphins
Pasqualoni (right) with Miami Dolphins linebacker Jason Taylor in 2009.

Pasqualoni was hired as the defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins on January 22, 2008.

Pasqualoni was fired by the Dolphins on January 11, 2010.[8]

Return to Dallas

He was subsequently hired as the defensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys.

Chicago Bears

On January 16, 2014, Pasqualoni was hired as the Chicago Bears defensive line coach.[7]

Houston Texans

On January 25, 2015 Pasqualoni was hired as the Houston Texans new defensive line coach. On January 20, 2016, Pasqualoni resigned.

Detroit Lions

On February 7, 2018, Pasqualoni was hired as the defensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions.[9] On January 2, 2020, Pasqualoni decided to step away from football, leaving his position in Detroit.[10]

Carolina Panthers

Pasqualoni was hired by Matt Rhule in summer 2022 as a defensive line coach. After head coach change, new interim head coach Steve Wilkes fired Pasqualoni along with cornerbacks coach Evan Cooper on November 7, 2022.[6]

Personal life

Pasqualoni is married to the former Jill Fleischman, whom he met while coaching at Syracuse University. Together, they have two sons, Dante Paul and Tito Lucian, and a daughter, Cami Mae.[2] He is also the author, with Jim McLaughlin, of the book Coaching Youth Football, ISBN 0-07-137219-9.[11]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Western Connecticut State Colonials (New England Football Conference) (1982–1985)
1982 Western Connecticut State 2–7 2–7 T–8th
1983 Western Connecticut State 7–3 6–3 4th
1984 Western Connecticut State 9–1 8–1 2nd
1985 Western Connecticut State 10–2 8–1 T–1st L NCAA Division III First Round
Western Connecticut State Colonials (NCAA Division III independent) (1986)
1986 Western Connecticut State 6–4
Western Connecticut State: 34–17 24–12
Syracuse Orangemen/Orange (Big East Conference) (1991–2004)
1991 Syracuse 10–2 5–0 W Hall of Fame 11 11
1992 Syracuse 10–2 6–1 W Fiesta 7 6
1993 Syracuse 6–4–1 3–4 5th
1994 Syracuse 7–4 4–3 T–3rd
1995 Syracuse 9–3 5–2 3rd W Gator 16 19
1996 Syracuse 9–3 6–1 T–1st W Liberty 19 21
1997 Syracuse 9–4 6–1 1st L Fiesta 20 21
1998 Syracuse 8–4 6–1 1st L Orange 24 25
1999 Syracuse 7–5 3–4 T–3rd W Music City
2000 Syracuse 6–5 4–3 T–3rd
2001 Syracuse 10–3 6–1 2nd W 14 14
2002 Syracuse 4–8 2–5 T–6th
2003 Syracuse 6–6 2–5 T–6th
2004 Syracuse 6–6 4–2 T–1st L Champs Sports
Syracuse: 107–59–1[6] 73–34 ‡ The Big East did not begin full round–robin play until 1993
Connecticut Huskies (Big East Conference) (2011–2012)
2011 Connecticut 5–7 3–4 6th
2012 Connecticut 5–7 2–5 T–6th
Connecticut Huskies (American Athletic Conference) (2013)
2013 Connecticut 0–4
Connecticut: 10–18 5–9
Total: 151–94–1[12][dead link]
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


  1. ^ "Big East experience tie-breaker for Pasqualoni". Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Paul Pasqualoni Named UConn Head Football Coach". January 13, 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Paul Pasqualoni". Syracuse University Athletics. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  4. ^ "Syracuse gives Pasqualoni the thumbs up". ESPN. December 7, 2004. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  5. ^ Hinnen, Jerry (September 30, 2013). "UConn fires head coach Paul Pasqualoni". CBS Sports.
  6. ^ a b c Axe, Brent (November 7, 2022). "Former SU head coach Paul Pasqualoni fired by Carolina Panthers". Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  7. ^ a b Wright, Michael C. (January 22, 2014). "Chicago Bears fill coaching vacancies". ESPN. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 15, 2010. Retrieved January 11, 2010.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Lions coaching staff update". Detroit Lions (Press release). February 7, 2018. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  10. ^ "Lions announce departures of Paul Pasqualoni, Jeff Davidson". January 2, 2020.
  11. ^ Pasqualoni, Paul; McLaughlin, Jim (2002). The Baffled Parent's Guide to Coaching Youth Football. McGraw Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-137219-0. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  12. ^ "Welcome -". Retrieved November 7, 2022.

External links

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