Huskies Hire QB Coach

The Connecticut football team has a new quarterbacks coach. Shane Day comes to Storrs by way of Chicago, where he spent the past two years as the quarterback coach for the NFL Chicago Bears.

Day has been in the coaching profession 11 years, with experience at the pro, college and high school levels. He replaces Joe Moorhead, who left UConn on Dec. 15 to become head coach at his alma mater, Fordham.

On the staff of the Bears, Day was considered the right-hand man to offensive coordinator and former NFL head coach Mike Martz. In 2010 the Bears posted an 11-5 record, won the NFC North Division championship and advanced to the NFC Championship before losing to Green Bay.

Day became available on Jan. 3 when the Bears did some housecleaning after a disappointing season. One day after general manager Jerry Angelo was dismissed, Martz and Day announced their resignations.

After a 7-3 start, the Bears lost five consecutive games, keeping Chicago out of the playoffs for the fourth time in five years. Starting quarterback Jay Cutler broke his right thumb trying to help make a tackle following an interception during a victory over San Diego on Nov. 20. Then the Bears didn't win again until the season-finale at Minnesota.

Backup quarterback Caleb Hanie was 0-4 filling in for Cutler before the Bears turned to Josh McCown. The Bears claimed Kyle Orton off waivers but Kansas City had priority and Orton went to the Chiefs.

The Bears averaged 21.5 points during the two seasons with Martz and Day. They ran for 2,015 yards in 2011, just the second time in 21 years the Bears had surpassed the 2,000-yard mark. But Bears coach Lovie Smith announced it was time to move in a different direction.

"I appreciate the job [Martz] and Shane did for us over the last two years," Smith said in a statement.

Day was caught in the middle of a controversy between Cutler and Martz in October. Cameras caught Cutler "shaking his head late in the first half after taking a play call through his headset" during a 39-10 win over the Vikings. Later, a microphone caught Cutler telling Day to relay a message to Martz. The Associated Press reported that the message wasn't "exactly rated PG."

At UConn, Day will have the challenge of picking the right quarterback for the Huskies. They go into spring practice with five candidates in what should be a wide-open race for the starting job.

Here's the remainder of Day's biography, as provided by UConn:

Day joined the Chicago staff after spending the 2007-09 seasons as a quality control coach for the San Francisco 49ers under head coach as he worked with the offensive coaching staff in game planning and practice preparation. He worked with the quarterbacks in 2007, the running backs in 2008 and the offensive line 2009. He was part of the coaching staff for the 2008 Senior Bowl along with Martz.

Day was an offensive quality control coach for the University of Michigan in 2006 working with the quarterbacks. Among his duties in Ann Arbor were the evaluation of quarterback recruits and the development of the QBs already in the program. The Wolverines played in the 2007 Rose Bowl (a 32-18 loss to USC) while Day was part of the staff.

Day began his coaching career at Auburn (Wash.) Riverside High School, where he spent one season coaching the wide receivers (2001) and three overseeing the quarterbacks (2002-04), adding the duties of offensive coordinator during his final two years.

Day played collegiate football as a wide receiver at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., where he also lettered in baseball. He graduated from Kansas State in 1999 with a degree in English.

Day and his wife Christie are the parents of a newborn daughter, Vivienne.

Moorhead had been at UConn since 2009 and remained on Paul Pasqualoni's staff when Randy Edsall left for Maryland a year ago.


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