COACHES
Paul Pasqualoni
Defensive Coordinator

Biography

A 46-year coaching veteran, Paul Pasqualoni enters the 2018 season as the Lions defensive coordinator. Pasqualoni’s leadership and defensive expertise is well-documented across the professional and college ranks as his career is highlighted by multiple stints as a head coach, coordinator and assistant on multiple levels of the game. He joins the Lions after spending two seasons (2016-17) as the defensive line coach at Boston College.

A 46-year coaching veteran, Paul Pasqualoni enters the 2018 season as the Lions defensive coordinator. Pasqualoni’s leadership and defensive expertise is well-documented across the professional and college ranks as his career is highlighted by multiple stints as a head coach, coordinator and assistant on multiple levels of the game. He joins the Lions after spending two seasons (2016-17) as the defensive line coach at Boston College.

At BC, his position group touted the nation’s sack leader, Harold Landry, in 2016 and one of the top overall defenses in the country. Under Pasqualoni’s tutelage, Boston College tied a single-season school record with 47 sacks in 2016, equaling the mark set in 1994. In his first season with BC, the defense finished ninth in total defense (314.2 yards/game), second in sacks (3.62/game) and 10th in turnovers gained (27).

His collegiate coaching experience began in 1976 when he joined Southern Connecticut State as an assistant coach. He spent four seasons (1976-79) in that role before being named the team’s defensive coordinator in 1980. After working at Southern Connecticut State, he earned his first stint as a head coach at Western Connecticut State in 1982. In five seasons (1982-86) at the helm, he helped guide the program to a 28-13 record and a NCAA Division III playoff appearance in 1985.

Pasqualoni went on to coach at Syracuse for 18 seasons (1987-2004), as he helped the Orange sustain long-term success. In his first four seasons (1987-90) with the Orange, he was responsible for overseeing the team’s linebackers corps. He was named the team’s head coach entering the 1991 season and held the position for 14 years. During that time, Pasqualoni led Syracuse to four Big East Conference titles and nine bowl games, including two Fiesta Bowl appearances and an appearance in the Orange Bowl during the first season of the Bowl Championship Series.

His success leading Syracuse led to Pasqualoni being named the Eastern Athletic Conference’s Coach of the Year for Division 1-A in 1992 and 1995. He then earned the Vince Lombardi Foundation Coach of the Year award, in addition to the same award from the ECAC in 1996. Under his leadership, the Syracuse program received the American Football Coaches Association Academic Achievement award in 1999 for posting a 100 percent graduation rate for the class that enrolled in 1994. In 2003, Pasqualoni was honored by the Nassau Coaches Association with the 2003 Ralph Luisi “Don’t Quit” Memorial Award, given to an outstanding educator and coach who loves football and teaching. Pasqualoni’s 14-year head-coaching tenure at Syracuse ended with him as the school’s second-winningest coach with 107 victories.

Pasqualoni entered the NFL in 2005 when he was named the tight ends coach for the Dallas Cowboys. From 2006-07 he worked with the Cowboys linebackers before joining the Miami Dolphins as the defensive coordinator from 2008-09. He helped the Dolphins win the AFC East title in his first season, while the team’s defense finished ninth in the NFL in points per game (19.8) and eighth in sacks (40).

Pasqualoni later returned to the college sidelines as the head coach at the University of Connecticut for three seasons (2011-13). In his first season at Connecticut, he had nine players earn All-Big East honors. In 2011, Pasqualoni became the Big East leader in career coaching wins (117) and conference coaching wins (67). He helped the Huskies defense become one of the best in the country in 2012, finishing ninth in the nation in defense and first in the Big East in total defense.

Between his time at Syracuse and Connecticut, Pasqualoni has helped coach over 30 NFL Draft selections, including Dwight Freeney, Marvin Harrison, Donovan McNabb and Will Allen. His college head coaching background includes a 151-94-1 record, 15 winnings seasons, five conference titles and a 6-3 record in bowl games.

The Cheshire, Conn., native earned his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Penn State in 1972, as well as a master’s degree in physical education from Southern Connecticut State. He and his wife, Jill, have three children - Dante, Tito and Cami.

 

PASQUALONI’S COACHING BACKGROUND

Detroit Lions................................................................................................. 2018-

      Defensive Coordinator...................................................................... 2018-

Boston College............................................................................................ 2016-17

      Defensive Line...................................................................................... 2016-17

Houston Texans........................................................................................... 2015

      Defensive Line...................................................................................... 2015

Chicago Bears.............................................................................................. 2014

      Defensive Line...................................................................................... 2014

Connecticut................................................................................................... 2011-13

      Head Coach............................................................................................ 2011-13

Dallas Cowboys.......................................................................................... 2010

      Defensive Coordinator...................................................................... 2010

Miami Dolphins........................................................................................... 2008-09

      Defensive Coordinator...................................................................... 2008-09

Dallas Cowboys.......................................................................................... 2005-07

      Linebackers........................................................................................... 2006-07

      Tight Ends.............................................................................................. 2005

Syracuse......................................................................................................... 1987-2004

      Head Coach............................................................................................ 1991-2004

      Linebackers........................................................................................... 1987-90

Western Connecticut State................................................................. 1982-86

      Head Coach............................................................................................ 1982-86

Southern Connecticut State................................................................ 1976-81

      Defensive Coordinator...................................................................... 1980-81

      Assistant Coach.................................................................................. 1976-79

Cheshire High School............................................................................... 1972-75

      Assistant Coach.................................................................................. 1972-75

Recent Videos

Photos