There will be a new offensive coordinator at UConn.
George DeLeone, who held the job for the past two seasons, is changing positions. Former Cincinnati wide receivers coach T.J. Weist is the leading candidate to replace DeLeone.
DeLeone, under fire for a struggling offense, will continue as offensive line coach and also will be associate head coach. DeLeone, 64, was an associate head coach under Paul Pasqualoni at Syracuse in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
"I continue to be excited about the direction of our offense and I look forward to continue to work with the offensive line — a position group that I have been passionate about my entire coaching career," DeLeone said in a statement Tuesday. "The new role of associate head coach is a new part of my job that I am eager to take on."
Weist has been on campus and is believed to have had at least two interviews. Weist is a 24-year veteran who has coached 14 college players who went on to become NFL wide receivers. He was an offensive coordinator at Western Kentucky from 2003-06. His hiring could become official within a week, according to a source.
Weist, 47, also is expected to coach the wide receivers. In 2010, Weist coached two All-Big East receivers in Armon Binns and D.J. Woods. Both had more than 1,000 yards receiving that year. Matt Cersosimo, the UConn recruiting coordinator, currently is the wide receivers coach.
A native of Bay City, Mich., Weist was a wide receiver at Alabama from 1984-87 and played in three bowl games. He earned a bachelor's degree in health and physical education in 1988 and added a master's degree in exercise physiology one year later.
The Huskies lost defensive coordinator Don Brown (Boston College) and running backs/special teams coach Clayton White (N.C. State). Safeties coach Darrell Perkins has interviewed for the head coach position at Charleston Southern, where he was a defensive coordinator in 2007.
UConn has posted two football jobs on its website: assistant football coach/offensive coordinator/wide receivers and assistant football coach/running backs coach or defensive backs coach.
Pasqualoni was unavailable for comment, but the coach and athletic director Warde Manuel had hinted at changes after the second consecutive 5-7 season ended in a loss to Cincinnati.
UConn was ranked 110th in the nation in total offense with 318 yards a game. The Huskies were ranked 117th of 120 schools in rushing (87.9 yards a game). They were better in the passing game, ranked 65th at 230.4 yards a game, but that was offset by the 18 interceptions that UConn threw.
"I would hope that our fans would continue to support the team the way they have and that they will see adjustments and changes made by this team to produce success," Manuel told The Courant on Dec. 4. "I hear our fans and I understand their disappointment, but we're going to make the adjustments to have better performance on the field than we had this year ."
Cincinnati finished 10-3. Its passing offense ranked 54th, and the Bearcats were 36th in passing efficiency. They threw for 238.8 yards a game.
When Weist was offensive coordinator at Western Kentucky, he was calling plays for one of the most prolific offenses in school history. In 2006, the Hilltoppers ranked 23rd in the country in total offense and finished 17th in pass efficiency while posting more than 4,000 total yards for the fifth consecutive season.