Published January 24. 2013 4:00AM
Storrs - The UConn football program filled its second coaching position in as many days Wednesday when Kermit Buggs was named running backs/special teams coach.
The announcement comes a day after former Cincinnati assistant T.J. Weist was hired as the Huskies' new offensive coordinator.
Buggs, a 1995 Norfolk State graduate, was an assistant at Penn State from 2003-11. He wasn't retained when Tom O'Brien replaced Joe Paterno last season, but spent the 2012 season as the defensive coordinator at Division II Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania.
He replaces Clayton White, who left to coach at his alma mater, North Carolina State.
"It's a great deal to have a chance to work with coach (Paul) Pasqualoni and work with a great group of guys that have been here for a while," Buggs said during a Wednesday afternoon conference call. "It's definitely a great chance to work with T.J., who I've heard a lot about."
Ironically, Buggs spent the majority of his coaching career at Penn State on the defensive side of the football, working with the safeties from 2007-10 and the entire secondary in 2011.
"Actually, when I was (a graduate assistant) at Penn State I coached the running backs," Buggs said, "and then I played quarterback at Norfolk State and I've coached offense pretty much all my life ... It's coming back home for me. It's another opportunity to get back to offense, but also an opportunity to work with special teams, which I did at Penn State also."
Lyle McCombs, the Huskies' top rusher the past two seasons, returns along with Max DeLorenzo, Joe Williams and Martin Hyppolite. Buggs recruited DeLorenzo, a former all-state tailback at Berlin, when he was at Penn State.
"(The running backs) have to be one of the most versatile athletes on the field," Buggs said. "They have to be able to block, they've got to be able to catch and they've got to be able to run. ... Basically, my style is making sure we have the most well-rounded backs."
UConn also returns place-kicker Chad Christen and punter Cole Wagner, but must replace Nick Williams, one of the Big East's most dangerous return specialists.