For those who say you can’t go home again, Mack Brown is the latest to disprove that theory.
Seemingly out of the Tar Heel blue, reports surfaced over the weekend and on into Monday that Mack Brown was in talks to return to Chapel Hill as North Carolina’s head football coach. Tuesday morning, UNC confirmed that the 67-year-old Brown has indeed returned to lead the Tar Heel football program.
Brown was the head coach at UNC from 1988-97, leading the Tar Heels to three 10-win seasons, six consecutive bowl games and two top-10 Associated Press finishes. After going 69-46-1 in his 10 seasons, Brown left to take over at Texas following the 1997 regular season.
At Texas from 1998-2013, Brown, who spent the past several years as a college football analyst at ESPN, guided the Longhorns to six division titles, two Big 12 championships and, of course, the 2005 national championship. Brown resigned as the Longhorns’ head coach in December of 2013.
“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,” said athletic director Bubba Cunningham 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.”
“Sally and I love North Carolina, we love this University and we are thrilled to be back,’’ Brown said in his 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 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, who will be formally introduced at a noon press conference Tuesday, replaces Larry Fedora, who was fired over the weekend after seven seasons with the football program.