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UConn's Jones leaving football staff

Feb. 18, 2014 at 2:56 PM

STORRS, Conn., Feb. 18 (UPI) -- The University of Connecticut football coach who said "Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle" has resigned, school officials said.

The school contends the resignation of running backs coach Ernest T. Jones, who was also in charge of "player engagement," is leaving due to personal family matters and it has nothing to do with criticism levied after the Jesus remarks surfaced in a Hartford Courant story in January.

University President Susan Herbst said in a letter to the Courant employees at the public school should honor all students' beliefs equally and said Jones and the coaching staff had been reminded religious beliefs should be held separate from football decisions.

"[It] should go without saying that our employees cannot appear to endorse or advocate for a particular religion or spiritual philosophy as part of their work at the university, or in their interactions with our students," Herbst said at the time. "This applies to work-related activity anywhere on or off campus, including on the football field."

Huskies head coach Bob Diaco said Jones' decision to resign had nothing to do with the Jesus-in-the-huddle remark.

"Ernest has resigned his position effective immediately here at the university after deep introspection and reflection," Diaco said Monday. "And it is entirely family and personally related."

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