He’s enthusiastic and articulate, committed to his cause, and has movie star looks. Sounds like a perfect candidate for office, right? This Sunday on Face the State we are not joined by a politician, but rather someone who might just become one of the most popular people in our state.
We are talking about the new football coach of the UConn Huskies, Bob Diaco. I invited Diaco on Face the State to talk about the huge role the state’s flagship university plays in Connecticut life and culture. The 41 year old Diaco has big plans to beef up the football program and put it on the same excitement level as dare I say it, basketball?
Diaco is already something of a celebrity in our state, and even though he is a happily married family man, it didn’t stop some women in the newsroom from giggling like school girls when he walked into WFSB. Denise D’Ascenzo chatted up our Italian heritage with her fellow paisano, who shared his secret for making the perfect marinara sauce. Even the Channel 3 guys came out of control rooms and editing suites to shake hands with the coach, and admitted to having a man crush on the New Jersey native, who gladly posed for pictures with all who sought them. It’s safe to say if the football team is successful, Diaco will join Geno Auriemma and the retired Jim Calhoun in the ranks of celebrity coaches.
Also during our taping, Diaco talked about UConn ticket sales, the fascinating process by which he was hired, and what to expect as he takes UConn to new levels. Learn more about how to get UConn tickets right here: http://www.uconnhuskies.com/sports/m-footbl/conn-m-footbl-body.html
Diaco came to Storrs from South Bend, Indiana, where he worked for Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, the focus of Sunday’s Face the State flashback. In 1991, while working as a sportscaster in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I interviewed the brand new coach of Grand Valley State University. That guy was the same Brian Kelly, who graduated two years before me from Assumption College. You’ll see that ancient clip this weekend. Off camera, Diaco and I discovered that we both once lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan where he was coach at Western Michigan University.
Tune in this Sunday at 11AM for Face the State on WFSB Channel 3. Also on the program is Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, who also wanted a picture with Diaco. I photobombed it.
Update: watch part 1 of Diaco interview here: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9921876