Mora, who last coached at UCLA from 2012-17, will join the Huskies (1-8) as an assistant coach for the final three games of this season before beginning his tenure as UConn’s 32nd head coach on Nov. 28.
He succeeds Randy Edsall, who stepped down on Sept. 6 after an 0-2 start. Defensive coordinator Lou Spanos has been the interim head coach since.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to become the head football coach at the University of Connecticut,” Mora said in a statement. “UConn possesses a nationally recognized academic and athletics brand and I am thrilled to become a member of the community that makes up UConn Nation. This program is loaded with potential, and I look forward to getting to know the student-athletes on the team and am eager to get to work!”
Mora, who turns 60 on Nov. 19, agreed to a five-year contract through the 2026 season and will earn $1.5 million in his first year. The deal announced Thursday includes an additional $200,000 in annual performance incentives.
“Getting to know Jim Mora over the last several days has been a terrific experience,” athletic director David Benedict said in a news release. “Jim is a proven winner, a man of integrity, and he possesses the experience and the energy to lead our football program back to success. Jim is excited and undaunted by this challenge, and we both know that this program has great potential. I’m certain that, under Coach Mora’s leadership, UConn football will once again realize that potential.”
Mora has 31 years of coaching experience in the NFL and NCAA. He led the Falcons to a 26-22 record from 2004-06 and was 5-11 during his lone season with the Seahawks in 2009. The Bruins went 46-30 under his direction from 2012-17, including four consecutive bowl appearances.
Mora has also worked as an analyst for NFL Network, Fox Sports and ESPN.
He takes over a UConn program that is 10-47 since the start of the 2016 season. The Huskies, who compete in FBS as an independent, did not play in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. UConn has not been to a bowl game since 2015 and has not finished with a winning record since 2010.
Connecticut has been outscored 324-146 this season, including shutout losses to Fresno State (45-0) and Purdue (49-0). The team has been idle since a 4-13 loss to Middle Tennessee on Oct. 22.
The Huskies’ next game is Saturday at Clemson, followed by a road game at UCF on Nov. 20 and a home date with Houston on Nov. 27.
–Field Level Media