Feb. 13, 2014
Over the next few weeks, UConnHuskies.com will take an in-depth look at the new football coaching staff head coach Bob Diaco has assembled. The series will include feature stories along with special edition episodes of "The Blitz" for each coach. Next up, in our final installment, Co-Special Teams Coordinator and Cornerbacks Coach Josh Reardon.
By Steve Lewis
STORRS, Conn. -- In his relatively short coaching career, UConn’s new co-special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Josh Reardon has already been part of a staff in a BCS National Championship game and has made his presence felt in the game by building relationships with Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and new UConn coach Bob Diaco.
For the past two seasons, Reardon was a graduate assistant at Notre Dame under Kelly and assisted Diaco, who was the defensive coordinator for the Irish, while working with inside and outside linebackers. Reardon was on the Irish staff when they played Alabama in the BCS Title game in January 2013.
His roots with Kelly and Diaco run deeper than Notre Dame the past two seasons. Reardon first met the two head coaches at Central Michigan during the 2004 and ’05 seasons.
“It started in 2004, which was my senior year at school in Central Michigan. It was Coach Kelly’s first season as head coach there and I had the opportunity to play for him,” said Reardon “He was then gracious enough to let me stay on in 2005, which is when I met Coach Diaco.”
“I served as a student assistant reporting directly to Coach Diaco, so that’s when our relationship started and it just continued to grow,” said the first-year Husky staff member.
Reardon was reunited with Kelly and Diaco at Notre Dame in 2012 and believes his relationship with them to be the most important in his career.
“Those two are without question the most influential people in my career. They are both great men and I owe them a lot,” said Reardon.
Though there was a six-year gap between coaching with Diaco at Central Michigan and Notre Dame, Reardon maintained the same style of thinking as Diaco, making them compatible for Notre Dame and now UConn.
“Having reported to Coach Diaco directly and working side-by-side with him for three years, a lot of the ideals and beliefs that he has thought, I obviously believe in and will continue to teach,” said the eighth-year college coach.
Reardon left Central Michigan after the 2007 season and came to Connecticut to join the Sacred Heart staff as a defensive coach, first becoming familiar with the Northeast region. He eventually worked his way up to defensive coordinator in 2010. In 2011, he was the outside linebackers coach at Holy Cross before departing for South Bend.
“I think our footprint, as Coach Diaco has talked about, is going to be primarily in the Northeast, not that we’re not going other places to find talent,” said Reardon of the Husky recruiting situation.
“I can’t speak to other regions, but the experiences that I’ve had in the Northeast is that these guys love to play football, they’re tough kids, they’re coachable, and they’ve been coached hard in high school which leads to success when they get to college. It’s an easier transition,” said Reardon.
Throughout his four previous years of coaching in New England, Reardon became very familiar with the tradition surrounding UConn football and appreciates the program’s significance and expectation of winning.
“I fully understand the importance that UConn football has to the state of Connecticut, to the Northeast in general and the fact that it has the potential to win on a national stage,” said Reardon. “I’ve always had the utmost respect for UConn football and I’m very fortunate to be here.”
UConn football may not have the long history of Notre Dame football, but Reardon believes the two institutions to be one in the same. He thinks his previous employment with the Fighting Irish has properly prepared him for a career at UConn.
“I think there’s a lot of alignment when you look at the two institutions, UConn and Notre Dame. They have both been high academic institutions and there’s a high level of athletics being played,” said Reardon.
“It aligns with my previous work environment and I think that prepares you to come into this environment.”
A 2006 graduate of Central Michigan, Reardon earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education with a minor in history. His family still lives in Michigan, which is where most of them are originally from.
As far as passing the time that isn’t consumed with football, Reardon thinks of his favorite leisure activity to be typical of a football coach. “I like to play golf when I have a couple days off, typical football coach hobbies. I enjoy teaching, I enjoy coaching and I enjoy playing some golf when I get the chance.”
Reardon’s youth, big-time coaching experience and energetic attitude to get things rolling for UConn football is sure to make him an asset in Storrs for a long time to come.