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Pasqualoni High-Fives High School Coaches

Local high school coaches are all winners in the eyes of Paul Pasqualoni, who recently took over as head football coach at the University of Connecticut.

"They are the type of people I would want my son playing for,” said the Cheshire native, the featured speaker at Thursday's fourth annual Fairfield County Sports Commission Celebrity Breakfast.

“I was a Connecticut high school coach [at Cheshire],]” Pasqualoni continued, “and I know the tremendous commitment these guys give to football and to their communities."

One of them was present at the breakfast, Staples coach Marce Petroccio, who was Pasqualoni's assistant at Southern Connecticut State University.

"Coach Pasqualoni has been a role model for me and I had flashbacks to when I coached with him when he started speaking," Petroccio said. "With him, UConn football is on the rise."

The appointment at UConn has been a homecoming for Pasqualoni, who began his coaching career in the ’70s at Cheshire High School. He was at the helm for Southern Connecticut and then Western Connecticut State University in the ’80s. More recently, he was an assistant coach and staff member for the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins.

Pasqauloni said Connecticut high school football coaches will be welcome at UConn to use him as a resource. Several teams have already worked out at Rentschler Field, getting advice from Pasqualoni.

Pasqualoni gave a "state of UConn football" to the local sports personalities and dignitaries attending the breakfast at the Continental Manor in Norwalk. SiriusXM Satellite Radio personality Chris "Mad Dog" Russo was the emcee. Also present was Norwalk mayor Richard Moccia and former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine of Stamford.

How do you think UConn football will fare in 2011 under Pasqualoni? Start the discussion below!

Follow Eric Gendron on Twitter for the latest MSC sports coverage. Like The Daily Norwalk on Facebook .

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