Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday echoed the sentiment of the UConn athletic department, which on Monday reached an agreement toward Randy Edsall\u2019s immediate departure as football coach. \u201cLook if you don\u2019t want to coach for the rest of the season, it\u2019s probably time to leave,\u201d Lamont said at an event in Milford. \u201c[Players] need somebody who believes in them and they believe in that coach, and they\u2019re ready to fight their hearts out for the rest of the season.\u201d Edsall, 63, had announced Sunday afternoon that he would retire at the end of the 2021 season. The university announced Monday that Edsall would instead depart the program immediately. In an e-mail sent Monday at 6:09 p.m., obtained via a Freedom of Information request, Benedict wrote to Edsall, accepting his resignation. Benedict added, \u201cTo provide for an orderly transition following your announcement of your retirement and to provide stability to the program, you are relieved of your football head coaching duties effective immediately; however, it is expected that you will serve as a consultant\/advisor to me as needed to transition the program through your final employment date. ... We will honor all terms of your employment contract, including compensation and benefits, through the effective date of your resignation.\u201d Edsall\u2019s last day will be Dec. 1. Given that departure date, he will collect $1.15 million of his $1.256 million salary. Benedict and Lou Spanos, named interim coach, addressed the team to inform players of Edsall\u2019s immediate departure just before the email was sent. The Huskies, who opted out of last season due to COVID-19 complications, started the season with consecutive embarrassing losses. Their first game in 21 months was a 45-0 loss Aug. 28 at Fresno State. On Saturday in the home opener at Rentschler Field, the Huskies lost 38-28 to Holy Cross of the lower level Football Championship Subdivision. Lamont was asked Tuesday whether UConn should drop to a lower division. UConn has been struggling in the decade since appearing in the New Year\u2019s Day Fiesta Bowl and attendance at Rentschler Field has been steadily declining. \u201cI sure hope not,\u201d Lamont said. \u201cI think having a great football team is a hallmark of a great state and a great state university.\u201d UConn has given no indication that dropping to FCS \u2014 or dropping the sport, period \u2014 is under consideration. Instead, athletic director David Benedict and Board of Trustees chair Dan Toscano have said many times, and reiterated last week, that the university continues to see value, financially and otherwise, in the Huskies staying in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). UConn hasn\u2019t had a winning season since 2010, when Edsall guided the team to the Fiesta Bowl before bolting in the darkness of night to become coach at Maryland, which fired him in 2015 after four-plus seasons. Edsall returned to UConn before the 2017 season, taking over for the fired Bob Diaco. The program continued its free fall, going 3-9 in 2017, 1-11 in 2018 and 2-10 in 2019. Just three of the six victories came against FBS schools. UConn left the American Athletic Conference in July 2020, motivated by being able to have its basketball programs rejoin the Big East. Edsall finished his second stint with a 6-32 record. Overall, he was 80-102 at the school in 15-plus seasons. He transitioned UConn from the FCS level (then Division I-AA) to FBS (then Division I-A) in the early 2000s and led the Huskies to five bowl games (2004, 2007-10). He was 22-34 at Maryland, reaching bowl games in 2013 and 2014. Spanos, 50, has been UConn\u2019s defensive coordinator since 2019. UConn will conduct a national search for its next full-time coach. The Huskies host Purdue Saturday at Rentschler Field.