Bob Diaco

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Bob Diaco
Sport(s) American football
Current position
Title Defensive coordinator
Team Nebraska
Conference Big Ten
Biographical details
Born (1973-02-19) February 19, 1973 (age 44)
Cedar Grove, New Jersey
Alma mater Iowa
Playing career
1992–1995 Iowa
Position(s) Linebacker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1996–1997 Iowa (GA)
1999–2000 Western Illinois (RB/ST)
2001 Eastern Michigan (RB/ST)
2002 Eastern Michigan (LB/ST)
2003 Eastern Michigan (OLB/ST)
2004 Western Michigan (LB/ST)
2005 Central Michigan (co-DC/LB)
2006–2008 Virginia (LB/ST)
2009 Cincinnati (DC/ILB)
2010 Notre Dame (DC/ILB)
2011 Notre Dame (DC/LB)
2012–2013 Notre Dame (AHC/DC/LB)
2014–2016 Connecticut
2017–present Nebraska (DC)
Head coaching record
Overall 11–26
Bowls 0–1
Accomplishments and honors
Broyles Award (2012)

Robert Albert Diaco (born February 19, 1973) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the defensive coordinator at Nebraska. He previously was the head coach of the Connecticut Huskies football team. Prior to coaching at Connecticut, he has been a coach at Western Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Virginia, Cincinnati, and Notre Dame. He played college football at Iowa.

Playing career[edit]

Diaco played college football at the University of Iowa, under head coach Hayden Fry, who described Diaco as "extremely tough, very intelligent".[1] He was a two-time All-Big Ten selection as a linebacker and was named the team’s co-MVP in 1995, starting in all 23 games over his junior and senior seasons. Diaco was teammates with Mike Devlin, Scott Slutzker, Danan Hughes, and Mike Wells.

Coaching career[edit]

Diaco began his coaching career in 1996 as a graduate assistant at Iowa. From 2001 to 2004, Diaco was an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan, coaching running backs, linebackers, and special teams. He became the linebackers and special teams coach at Virginia in 2006, coaching under Al Groh.

University of Cincinnati[edit]

Diaco served as the defensive coordinator for the University of Cincinnati in 2009 under Brian Kelly. UC finished the year 44th in the NCAA's Division I-A in points allowed per game (23.1) and 23rd in sacks (37.0).

University of Notre Dame[edit]

Diaco followed Brian Kelly to Notre Dame in 2010, taking the same position as defensive coordinator.[2] In 2012, Notre Dame finished the year ranked 2nd in points per game (12.8) and appeared in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game. He was awarded the Broyles Award, which recognizes the top assistant coach in college football.[3]

University of Connecticut[edit]

In December 2013, Diaco agreed to become the head coach at the University of Connecticut, and was replaced at Notre Dame by Brian VanGorder.[citation needed]

While at Connecticut, Diaco coined the term "Civil Conflict" to describe games between Connecticut and the University of Central Florida. This one-way declaration of a "rivalry" was first derided and then ignored by UCF.[4][5]

Connecticut fired Diaco on December 26, 2016, effective January 2, 2017. His buyout, renegotiated after the 2015 season, was $3.4 million. Media reports indicated that Diaco's refusal to consider former Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill for the position of offensive coordinator may have led to his termination.[6] Connecticut hired former head coach Randy Edsall to replace Diaco.[7]

University of Nebraska-Lincoln[edit]

In 2017, head coach Mike Riley hired Diaco to serve as the defensive coordinator for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.[8]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Connecticut Huskies (American Athletic Conference) (2014–2016)
2014 Connecticut 2–10 1–7 T–10th
2015 Connecticut 6–7 4–4 T–3rd (East) L St. Petersburg
2016 Connecticut 3–9 1–7 T–4th (East)
Connecticut: 11–26 6–18
Total: 11–26


  1. ^ Diaco was Fry's bell cow at Iowa Archived March 17, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Kaipust, Rich (January 15, 2017). "Coach who worked with Bob Diaco gives him high marks". Terry Kroeger. 
  3. ^ Bob Diaco Captures Broyles Award As Nation's Top Assistant Coach
  4. ^ Sherman, Rodger (June 1, 2015). "UConn-UCF's new 'Civil Conflict' rivalry trophy is already the country's worst". Vox Media. 
  5. ^ Fuller, Jim (October 22, 2016). "UConn coach Bob Diaco says loss to UCF ‘sickening’". The Middletown Press. 
  6. ^ Jacobs, Jeff (December 28, 2016). "Jeff Jacobs: UConn AD Benedict Reverses Field, Decides Diaco Has To Go". Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on December 28, 2016. 
  7. ^ Anthony, Mike (December 28, 2016). "Randy Edsall Back At UConn: Coach Says He Should Have Done Things Differently When He Left". Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on December 28, 2016. 
  8. ^ Kaipust, Rich (January 15, 2017). "Coach who worked with Bob Diaco gives him high marks". Terry Kroeger. 

External links[edit]