North Carolina brings back Mack Brown as football coach

Mack Brown is North Carolina’s new football coach in a second stint with the Tar Heels.

The school officially announced the move in a news release Tuesday morning. Financial and contract terms were not immediately available, though the school has scheduled a news conference for later Tuesday with Brown, athletic director Bubba Cunningham and Chancellor Carol Folt.

Brown replaces Larry Fedora, who was fired Sunday after seven seasons.

The 67-year-old Brown coached the Tar Heels from 1988-97, with his last two teams finishing in the top 10 nationally. He went on to spend 16 seasons at Texas, where he won the national championship in 2005.


Brown left Texas in 2013 and has been working in broadcasting in recent years.

As with his first stint in Chapel Hill, Brown faces significant hurdles as he takes the job.

The Tar Heels are in the midst of a deep two-year downturn. Fedora matched a program record with 11 wins and won an Atlantic Coast Conference division championship in 2015, but the Tar Heels have lost 21 of 27 games — including 16 of 18 in the ACC — since November 2016.

Recruiting has also slid along with fan attendance at Kenan Stadium. The Tar Heels rank 66th nationally and 13th in the 14-team ACC with their commitments for the 2019 recruiting class, according to 247sports. UNC hadn’t ranked worse than 32nd nationally or fifth in the ACC from 2013-18.


While Brown would inherit a UNC program in desperate need of a turnaround, there is at least one bit of good news for him: The school has been finishing construction on a new indoor football practice facility with adjoining outdoor fields — a complex that was supposed to open this season but hit delays — as part of a $115-million athletics facility project.

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