Ex-North Carolina coach Mack Brown to be tapped to lead Tar Heels again |
U.S./World Sports

Ex-North Carolina coach Mack Brown to be tapped to lead Tar Heels again

North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Mack Brown hoists the Carquest trophy in the air as he’s surrounded by players Eric Thomas (38) and Marcus Wall (14) after they defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks 20-10 in the Carquest Bowl Saturday, Dec. 30, 1995.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina has hired Mack Brown to lead its football program.


Brown will be announced as UNC’s new football coach as early as Monday, said a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

Efforts to reach Brown, his agent and UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham were unsuccessful Monday morning.

Brown, 67, coached 10 seasons at UNC from 1988 to 1997. During that span, he amassed a 69-46-1 record. And from 1992, until his final year there in 1997, Brown helped lead the Tar Heels to five consecutive bowl games. In his final year, the Tar Heels climbed to as high as No. 4 in the AP Top 25 poll, and finished No. 6 overall.

Brown is revered among UNC fans, and is often credited with helping to change the perception of its football program — that held that football did not matter to the school.

He left UNC after the 1997 season for Texas, where he won a national championship in 2005 and finished undefeated.

In 2009, Brown helped lead Texas to a 13-1 record. Texas’ only loss that year came in the BCS National Championship game to Alabama. However, in the four seasons after his last national championship appearance, Brown finished with a 30-21 record.

He resigned after the 2013 season, which was also the last time he has been a head coach of a college football team. Brown is currently a college football commentator for ESPN.

In January 2018, Brown was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Brown has also been a head coach at Tulane and Appalachian State. He is 244-122-1 in his career as a head coach and 13-8 in bowl games.

Brown, who will be 68 when the new season starts, replaces former UNC coach Larry Fedora. Fedora was fired on Sunday after seven seasons as head coach. Fedora took over the program while it was be investigated by the NCAA in 2012. The school eventually received a post-season ban and a reduction in scholarships for its violations, but Fedora led the program to four winning seasons.

His last two seasons had been his worst, though. Fedora’s teams finished 3-9 in 2017, and 2-9 in 2018 before he was fired. This past season, UNC lost seven games by 10 points or less. While his teams did not give up, it was not enough to keep his job.

Fedora had a 45-43 overall record, and was 28-28 in ACC play with UNC.

The university is on the hook for Fedora’s salary until January 2023. It will owe him about $3 million each year for the next four years. The money will be paid for by the university’s Department of Athletics.

The details of Brown’s contract were not immediately available. At Texas, he was paid an annual salary of roughly $5 million, which, according to the Austin American-Statesman, was criticized by faculty at the school in 2012.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.