Paul Lucian Pasqualoni (; born August 16, 1949) is an American football
coach. He was previously the defensive line coach at Boston College
. He is a former head coach
for the Syracuse University football team
[Paul Pasqualoni Named UConn Head Football Coach ](_blank)
UConnHuskies.com. Published January 13, 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-13.
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.
A native of Cheshire, Connecticut
, Pasqualoni attended Cheshire High School
, where he lettered in football and basketball.
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
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.
[Syracuse University Athletics – Paul Pasqualoni](_blank)
SUAthletics.com. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
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
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. 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 dismissed as coach of the Huskies on September 30, 2013 in the midst of his 3rd season after starting 0–4.
National Football League
Before becoming linebackers coach in 2005, Pasqualoni served as the Cowboys' coach of tight end
s 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.
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.
Return to Dallas
He was subsequently hired as the defensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys
On January 16, 2014, Pasqualoni was hired as the Chicago Bears
defensive line coach.
On January 25, 2015 Pasqualoni was hired as the Houston Texans
new defensive line coach. On January 20, 2016, Pasqualoni resigned.
On February 7, 2018, Pasqualoni was hired as the defensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions
. On January 2, 2020, Pasqualoni decided to step away from football, leaving his position in Detroit.
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.
He is also the author, with Jim McLaughlin, of the book ''Coaching Youth Football'', .Coaching Youth Football (Baffled Parent's Guides) [Paperback]
Amazon.com. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
Head coaching record
‡ The Big East did not begin full round–robin play until 1993
Detroit Lions bio
Category:American football linebackers
Category:Bordentown Military Institute alumni
Category:UConn Huskies football coaches
Category:Dallas Cowboys coaches
Category:Detroit Lions coaches
Category:High school football coaches in Connecticut
Category:Houston Texans coaches
Category:Miami Dolphins coaches
Category:National Football League defensive coordinators
Category:People from Cheshire, Connecticut
Category:Penn State Nittany Lions football players
Category:Players of American football from Connecticut
Category:Syracuse Orange football coaches
Category:Western Connecticut State Colonials football coaches