By Jodi Leese Glusco, WRAL.com director of content
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Mack Brown, who coached the Tar Heels to a 69-46 record from 1988 to 1997, will return as the head football coach, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced Tuesday.
Brown replaces Larry Fedora, whose buyout amounts to about $12 million over the next four years.
The coaching change happened quickly. UNC lost in overtime to rival NC State on Saturday afternoon, Fedora was dismissed on Sunday morning and reports that Brown would take over began to surface by Monday morning.
On Tuesday, the UNC Board of Trustees met in closed session for less than 30 minutes before the announcement of Brown’s hire was made. A press conference to (re-)introduce the coach is planned for noon.
Live at noon on WRAL
UNC (re-)introduces Mack Brown as head football coach and Jeff Gravley is there.
Details of Brown’s contract – the length, amount and any bonus opportunities – were not immediately available.
“This is a big day for Carolina,” says Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “We are welcoming back a coach who built a winning football program during his first tenure in Chapel Hill – one that reflected the values, culture, and commitment to the excellence we aspire to in everything we do at this university.”
Brown made UNC part of national college football conversation
Brown came to UNC after three seasons (11-21) at Tulane and with a 6-5 season as the head coach at Appalachian State on his resume.
After two 1-win seasons, he turned the Tar Heels around, leading them to eight winning seasons, including three with 10 wins and six straight bowl games.
Brown also had a winning record in the games most important to Triangle college football fans.
His Tar Heels beat Duke eight times in 10 games. They were even with North Carolina State at 5-5.
He left North Carolina for the University of Texas, where he led the Longhorns to 15 bowl games in 16 years and the 2005 national championship.
He has most recently worked for ESPN as an analyst.
“Mack Brown has a proven record of building great teams, and he doesn’t just develop football players – he also develops people of strong character,” says Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham.
In a statement, Brown expressed his enthusiasm for a return to the sidelines.
“The best part of coaching is the players – building relationships, building confidence, and ultimately seeing them build success on and off the field,” he said. “We can’t to wait to meet our current student-athletes and reconnect with friends, alumni and fellow Tar Heel coaches.”