CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Mack Brown is officially the new UNC football coach.
- Officials held a press conference to officially announce Mack Brown as the new UNC football coach.
- Brown coached at UNC from 1988 to 1997.
- UNC recently decided not to retain Coach Larry Fedora after two dismal seasons.
On Tuesday, Brown and other university officials spoke at a press conference in Chapel Hill.
“This is a big day for Carolina and our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. We are welcoming back a coach who built a winning program that reflected the values, culture, and commitment to excellence," said Chancellor Carol Folt.
The university's athletics program decided to hire Brown, formerly the coach at UNC from 1988 to 1997, after the announcement that they would not retain Larry Fedora.
On why he decided to return, Brown said, “You really miss the players. You miss the relationships with the players. You miss having a piece of their lives and being so proud of them. This team has a void. They lost their coach. Sally and I have a void. We haven’t had a team in a number of years.”
He also spoke about his tenure at ESPN, where he was an analyst after coaching at the University Texas from 1998-2013.
“ESPN was so good to me. It was a good transition from coaching and it helped me because I learned so much about the media...and now, I can handle relationships better with the media. It is a lot more difficult that coaches think," he said.
He also talked about wanting to increase the amount of recruitment of high school students in North Carolina, noting that when he was coach before, the team was comprised of 90 percent in-state students.
He said, "You want to go to school where your high school coach, family, and friends see you play. You want to get a job in an area where you are popular and where you made a name for yourself on the football career. If they want to build a life in this state, go to the University of North Carolina. Get a degree from one of the best academic institutions in the country. People know it is hard when you get that degree. Fix a struggling [football] program and get this thing back on track."
On the departure of Coach Larry Fedora, Brown said: “I will promise Larry [Fedora] and his wonderful family that we will take care of his players and help them grow and move forward. We also make sure that there will be not one negative word said about Larry Fedora and his staff. I want to make sure everyone understands the great respect we have, and changing coaches is very difficult.”
Brown will meet with the players Tuesday afternoon.