North Carolina brings back Brown as football coach

Mack Brown during Media day at Dallas Convention Center.Photo: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Sports Xchange

It will be the second stint as the Tar Heels’ head coach for the 67-year-old Brown, who walked the sideline with North Carolina from 1988 to 1997 and had a 69-46-1 record in his 10 seasons at the school.

The North Carolina head coaching job became available when Larry Fedora was dismissed over the weekend following a 2-9 season that ended with Saturday’s 34-28 loss to North Carolina State.

“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,” athletic director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement. “He knows how to win championships, and he expects his student-athletes to win in the classroom and community, as well. We are excited about his plans for our football program, and I am thrilled to welcome Coach Brown and wife Sally back to Chapel Hill.”

Brown has not been a head coach since he was forced out at Texas in 2013. He has served as an ESPN college football analyst for the past five years.

“Sally and I love North Carolina, we love this University and we are thrilled to be back,” Brown said in the statement. “The best part of coaching is the players — building relationships, building confidence, and ultimately seeing them build success on and off the field. We can’t to wait to meet our current student-athletes and reconnect with friends, alumni and fellow Tar Heel coaches. We thank UNC’s Board of Trustees, Chancellor Folt and Bubba Cunningham for supporting our return to the Carolina family.”

Brown is a College Football Hall of Fame head coach, and he won a BCS national championship at Texas in the 2005 season. He finished with a 158-48 record in 16 years at Texas.

He was named ACC Coach of the Year in 1996 when UNC went 10-2 and finished ranked No. 10. The Tar Heels went 10-1 and wound up ranked No. 6 in 1997, which was Mack’s final season at North Carolina.

UNC has finished in the AP top 25 just once since Brown left North Carolina for Texas after the 1997 season.

The Tar Heels had four top-25 finishes under Brown.