HARTFORD — Connecticut athletic director Warde Manuel said he’s looking for football coach who can bring more excitement, passion, and above all wins to UConn.
Manuel fired coach Paul Pasqualoni Monday, with his team 0-4 and coming off a 41-12 loss at Buffalo.
Pasqualoni, in his third season at UConn, finishes with a 10-18 record. Associate head coach George DeLeone, who coached the offensive line, also was let go.
‘‘I'm changing now because we have to have different leadership to get different results,’’ Manuel said. ‘‘I'm not comfortable with losing.’’
The school said it will pay Pasqualoni $750,000 to buy out his contract.
The Huskies are off this week before hosting South Florida Oct. 12.
Offensive coordinator T.J. Weist, whose energetic style is a contrast to the more reserved Pasqualoni, will take over as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
The 48-year-old Weist, who played at Alabama, came to Connecticut in the offseason from Cincinnati, where he coached wide receivers.
At UConn, he’s overseen an offense that ranks last in the bowl subdivision in rushing, and 119th out of 123 teams in total offense.
Weist said the team is taking the approach that it is starting at 0-0 entering conference play.
Weist also said he was open to the idea of taking the red shirt off highly touted freshman quarterback Tim Boyle, but no final decisions have been made.
Pasqualoni, the 64-year-old Connecticut native, was to make $1.6 million this year. He took over the football team at its height. UConn had appeared in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, losing, 48-20, to Oklahoma. But the Huskies finished 5-7 in consecutive years, and calls for Pasqualoni’s job started mounting after the team opened the season with a loss to Towson.
UConn then fell to Maryland and Randy Edsall, the coach whom Pasqualoni replaced. The team was competitive in a 24-21 home loss to Michigan, in front of a record-setting crowd at Rentschler Field, before being blown out at Buffalo.
‘‘I would have loved the opportunity to get over the hump,’’ Pasqualoni said Monday night. ‘‘We were going to make a few changes and get this thing back on the road.’’