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SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
10/23/2006 01:20:00 PM

Memo to UNC: Call Butch ... Now

Butch Davis
Butch Davis has been out of coaching since being fired by the Browns in 2004.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
In a move that came as a surprise to almost no one, North Carolina announced the firing Sunday night of sixth-year coach John Bunting, whose team fell to 1-6 following a 23-0 loss to Virginia on Thursday. It may seem like UNC pulled the plug unusually early, but when a coaching change is as inevitable as this one, there's not much point in leaving either the coach or program hanging.

More importantly, however, Tar Heels AD Dick Baddour just gained a gigantic head start if he intends to partake in the Great Butch Davis Derby of 2006.

Before I continue, let me make it perfectly clear: I have no inside information as to who UNC, or anyone else, is looking to hire this offseason -- nor does anyone else. A general rule of thumb when reading stories about coaching searches: Ninety-nine percent of it is pure speculation. Athletic directors don't share their intentions with reporters, and while many of us do have "plugged-in" sources at various schools, believe me, unless they've actually seen the candidate step off the private plane with their own eyes, they're just throwing out gossip like the rest of us. A competent coaching search is conducted with only slightly less secrecy than a covert spy operation.

Presumably, however, UNC would not have fired its coach with six weeks remaining in the regular season if it didn't plan to do something productive during those six weeks. You can't be sure of anything involving Baddour, the former UNC admissions dean-turned athletic administrator who hired both a one-year head coaching veteran (Matt Doherty) and an unknown NFL assistant (Bunting) on the sole basis of their UNC diplomas and found a way to fire football coach Carl Torbush two seasons in a row. But I'm willing to give Baddour the benefit of the doubt that he's aware Davis, the former Miami and Cleveland Browns head coach, is currently available, and that due to Davis' free-agent status, he's free to start discussing/interviewing/negotiating at any time. Shoot, Carolina could hire him tomorrow if it was so inclined.

Obviously, Davis is hardly the nation's only desirable coaching candidate, and it's entirely possible Davis has no desire to coach in Chapel Hill. There's a lot of reasons, however, why this would be a good match. UNC needs to raise its recruiting profile in a hurry if it hopes to be competitive in the beefed-up ACC; Davis was a masterful recruiter at Miami. The Tar Heels' new coach is going to need the stomach to withstand an unpleasant rebuilding period; Davis endured the depths of probation at Miami and came out the other end having built a national-title contender. And if Davis indeed desires to return to college coaching, chances are he's going to have to do it at a mid-level BCS program. UNC is one of the few schools of that ilk that also happens to be rolling in money, which is good, because Davis could potentially fetch a $2 million-plus salary.

The whole situation reminds me of two years ago, when Steve Spurrier was sitting around waiting for a call. In a recent Orlando Sentinel article, South Carolina AD Mike McGee disclosed that he first offered Spurrier the Gamecocks' job halfway through the 2004 season. That same article discussed how Florida AD Jeremy Foley's controversial decision to can Ron Zook in late October of that season was instrumental in his ability to beat out Notre Dame for Urban Meyer.

There is undoubtedly a segment of Miami fans hoping the school will try to lure Davis back if and when it parts ways with Larry Coker, but that's not likely to happen. Either way, however, Baddour has an opportunity here to beat the Hurricanes to the punch. Or, he can drag his feet, wait for some of the big-name active coaches' seasons to end and hope one of them picks the UNC job over the many others expected to be open by then. It's a viable option, particularly if he's not particularly keen on Davis. It's also a good way to end up with another Bunting.
posted by Stewart Mandel | View comments |

Comments:

Posted: 1:59 PM   by Anonymous
I keep seeing the name of West Virginia's Rich Rodriguez being bandied about every time there's a lucrative new coaching opportunity. I really hope he stays at West Virginia for a long, long time.
Posted: 2:40 PM   by Anonymous
Huh. I know I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to the hiring and firing of coaches, but I never considered that Ron Zook's early firing allowed Florida to grab Urban Meyer before Notre Dame got him. I just assumed it was due to the overzealousness of Gator Boosters.
Posted: 3:46 PM   by J.D. Bolick
If they can bring themselves to wait until the end of the season, Gene Chizik would be the best choice. Also, as a Carolina fan I want to thank Bunting for the way he ran the program. The wins and losses didn't work out the way that anyone wanted, but he displayed class and determination throughout his tenure. I wish him the best.
Posted: 4:11 PM   by CupCrazy
The only thing attractive about that job is that it's in a BCS Conference. Not sure even Vince Lombardi could turn things around there quickly as it's a mess. I'd say they have a plan but given the AD's track record at hiring NC "family" the future looks bleak. Take Duke and the points in late November for the Bunting fare-well...
Posted: 4:15 PM   by Anonymous
Hopefully Al Groh is not far behind.
Posted: 4:21 PM   by Anonymous
Butch Davis isn't going to a basketball school. He'll either go back to Miami or wait for Parcells to retire and coach the Cowboys.
Posted: 4:28 PM   by Anonymous
I think they need to get a name coach that can bring in the recruits needed to do the job. I think there are great lower name coachs out there but, I do not think that is what UNC needs at this time.
Posted: 4:36 PM   by Anonymous
The weather's nicer in Miami.

And Davis wouldn't be second fiddle to Roy Williams.
Posted: 4:38 PM   by Anonymous
The "RIch Rodgriguez" pitch is case in point regarding the fact that nobody knows anything. Rod is a WVU grad, who is just getting a BCS program to annual dominance. Why would he leave to go to UNC, which always sucks and he has no relationship with.

For the record, Butch David would have to be an idiot to go to this program either. He will walk into a much better set up team elsewhere.
Posted: 4:40 PM   by Anonymous
Last I checked, this is still the same AD who picked Bunting over then FSU O-Coord Mark Richt. Good choice. Better luck this time.
Posted: 4:41 PM   by Anonymous
I am thinking Lawrence Taylor. He is part of the UNC family, plenty of NFL experience,he would be a great recruiter and could advise young men on the evils of drugs, sex and rock n roll.
G. Opack '84
Posted: 4:46 PM   by BDC
I definitely think that the firing of John Bunting at North Carolina, was long overdue. But, let's not forget all the milestones that he achieved while a head coach for his alma mater. Over the last 5 seasons ('07 included), on average, he has brought in the 27th ranked recruiting class in the country. That feat in itself, is pretty amazing for teams that went 4-7 from 2001-2005. And although his 25-42 record does him little to no justice, he helped turn around a program that hadn't seen much success since the days of Mack Brown. It should be noted that he was only the third coach to hand Florida State an in-conference loss in 2001, since they joined the ACC in 1992. He also beat a very good Miami team (9-3) in 2004, in which his alma mater hadn't had a victory over since 1963. Bunting came into a lose-lose situation with the recruiting mess and lackluster talent that was "given" to him by Carl Torbush. He is a good coach with an even better heart, who should be given a shot elsewhere (pros or collegiate ranks) sometime in the near future.

If UNC is smart, it will get on the phones right now to begin conducting interview screening for Bunting's successor. Butch Davis is definitely a viable option, but since Miami was brought up, a hard look should be given to 2001 recepient of the Frank Broytes Award, given to the Nation's Top Assistant Coach, Randy Shannon. His defensive units have been ranked consistently amongst the top 10 in several categories since he took over as Defensive Coordinator in 2001. With the Endowment of UNC in 2004 raking in a little over $1.4 billion, the school should also take a run at Norm Chow. Chow is probably one of the greatest offensive minds of all time, who has yet to have a stint as a head coach on the collegiate or professional level (he was a high school head coach for 3 seasons in the 70's). It's evident that he knows success and brings it with him wherever he goes (i.e, BYU, NC State, USC). 8 of the NCAA's top 30 career passing efficiency leaders were coached on Chow teams.

Whomever UNC picks this time around, given enough time, should be able to turn a once top 15 program around. But that remains to be seen and that's why they play the game.
Posted: 4:48 PM   by Anonymous
If I was North Carolina, I would go after the coach at Wake Forest. He's one of the most underrated coaches in the country. He has done more with less. If he can make Wake a contender with players with less talent, imagine what he could do at a major university like UNC.
Posted: 5:02 PM   by Anonymous
as an FSU fan i'm praying butch just stays home or goes to another conference.. UNC is believe it or not ina recruiting hotbed and smack in the middle of ACC territory... my guess however is back to miami.. they are iwlling to pay a fortune and he can win there maybe sooner
Posted: 5:21 PM   by Anonymous
I hope Frank Beamer gets canned at Virginia Tech
Posted: 5:28 PM   by Anonymous
No need to fire Bunting now unless you've got somebody in mind who's out of coaching right now. No way Rodriguez, Schiano at Rutgers, or anybody else jockeying for BCS position is going to screw that up by talking to Baddour before the end of the regular season. Davis is the logical conclusion - did he run a clean program at Miami or just not get caught cheating at Miami?
Posted: 5:29 PM   by Anonymous
Hopefully Bobby Bowden is not far behind.

Yeah, I said it.

Psst... FSU... go get Rich Rodriguez, Bobby Petrino, or Butch Davis!
Posted: 5:50 PM   by Dr.Zullo
Tom O'Brien, Boston College, would be a good addition to Chapel Hill where similar academic standards but greater resources would be in place.
Posted: 6:03 PM   by Anonymous
I am disappointed to see Bunting go. He presided over some of the most exciting wins in recent UNC football history. By beating FSU and Miami, his teams won more big games than Mack Brown did in Chapel Hill.

Bunting was in a difficult position, and it will be even tougher for any coach that follows. It is a basic reality that no true big name coaches or recruits want to play second fiddle to Roy Williams and the basketball juggernaut. UNC, like Kentucky and Indiana, is defined by basketball. We can ask for little more than someone like Bunting, who loves the university, wins a few big games, and is a class act on and off the field. Good luck Coach Bunting.
Posted: 6:05 PM   by Anonymous
actually NC is not a recruiting hotbed. This state is somehow not that talent rich compared to states more south. Additionally you have 4 schools in the state recruiting - unc, ncsu, Wake and Ecu. Plus competition from Tenn, Clemson, South carolina, Vatech and UVA.
Posted: 6:37 PM   by Anonymous
To those touting some of Bunting's big wins, examine his 25-42 record a little more closely. It includes two wins over 1-AA teams, a win over SMU, four wins over Duke (and a loss to Duke), and two wins over Wake (as well as two losses to Wake). Subtract those wins, which should be a given for UNC, and he's down to 16 wins since 2001.
Posted: 6:44 PM   by AnthonyG
UNC is one of the nicest schools in the country, with great facilities, a huge student base, and is a huge name, the same cant be said about rutgers or west virinia for that matter. The program has been bad with bunting at the helm becuase he could not recruit the top level players, he accumulated mostly 3 star players to create the team and has not been able to coach players up to achieve any level of success in the NCAA. Not to mention the success of UNC players who were not used here that are curently superstars in the NFL- namely Fast Willy Parker. It was time for a change lets bring in Butch Davis, pay him what ever he wants and make UNC a winner.
Posted: 6:55 PM   by Anonymous
With coaching Hot seats coming up in lot of places, Butch Davis name keeps appearing. Iowa State's program is currently spinning out of control, Davis keeps appearing on Blog and websites in Cyclone land too. Looks like Butch is a hot commodity.
Posted: 7:05 PM   by Anonymous
UNC is not always awful. People are obviously forgetting the two straight top 10 finishes in Mack's last two years. We are a very attractive job due to a beautiful campus, great academics, fantastic facilities, one of the best college towns in the country, HUGE NAME, and a great record of putting players in the league. Anyone who doesn't see this is a fool.
Posted: 7:16 PM   by BDC
"actually NC is not a recruiting hotbed. This state is somehow not that talent rich compared to states more south."

I have NO idea where you get your information, but you might want to check it again. First off, there is no way in the world that anyone in their right mind would even begin to compare the state of North Carolina to that of Georgia, or even Florida, when it comes to high school football, because it would be suicide. But to say that the state isn't good for recruits, you have to be crazy.

Some of the highest profile kids in the state (who are also high profile in national terms as well) don't even stay in North Carolina, because coaches from bigger schools and conferences come to the state for it's talent. All of these rankings are National Rankings by the way: 2006 - Carl Johnson #6 OL, (Florida), Brandon Spikes #6 LB(Florida), Raeshon McNeil #9 CB (Notre Dame), Crezdon Butler #24 CB(Clemson); 2005 - Jonathan Crompton #3 QB (Tenn), Jonathan Hannah #5 TE (S.Carolina), Derek Nicholson #8 LB (FSU), Mohamed Massaquoi #14 WR (Tenn), Joe Cox # 22 QB (Georgia); 2004 - Jamaal Edwards #3 RB (FSU), George Bell #6 RB (VT), Marque Hall #10 DT (S.Carolina). I won't even get into the most sought after recruit in the country (more than 70 scholarship offers all from Div. I Programs) in Greg Little, from Durham, NC or anyone else in the class of 2007 from NC.

My point with all of this, is simple...this is why Bunting couldn't win. If you can't nab the best talent in your state, then it's going to make it a problem to compete, especially in the ACC. Look at the rosters for teams like USC, Florida State, Miami, Texas and the like. All of them have one thing in common, the majority of their players are from their "own" state. And while you are at it, check and see how many schools have kids on their team from NC. The number might surprise you.
Posted: 7:52 PM   by Anonymous
UNC should not look too far for their next coach. Former ECU coach Steve Logan has been sitting and waiting for an opportunity like this to come around. He did more with much less talent in his years at ECU.
Posted: 8:05 PM   by Anonymous
UNC paid Bunting less than 300K a year. That is absurd. If they aren't willing to fork over more than 700K they are not going to get Butch Davis. Rich Rodriguez has quite possibly the most comfortable job in America right now: Steve Slaton and Pat White, sophomores mind you, in the BIG FREAKING LEAST!! UNC = Duke = Oh well....
Posted: 8:08 PM   by Anonymous
Knowing Baddour, he'll probably recruit the coach at Duke. What's his name?
Posted: 8:56 PM   by Anonymous
Here is a name that would interest me. Jim Donnan....he is from N.C. and has had proven succes as a head coach. Not sure if he'd want to leave the cush of a studio but he'd be a good one to look at.
Posted: 9:19 PM   by Anonymous
Please allow Al Groh to follow....
Posted: 9:24 PM   by Anonymous
forget football...at least another national championship will be coming to chapel hill this basketball season.
Posted: 9:31 PM   by Anonymous
Al Groh should be next...beating UNC should not make up for his record of underachieving.
Posted: 10:09 PM   by Tyle
you have said unc has a large student base, and great facilities, and a big name. Now tell me how wvu doesn't have that when they have more students and nicer facilities. And yes i know for sure, i attended many wvu games a year as a kid and now go to unc. the only advantage of unc is easier recruiting but that will not be enough.
Posted: 10:20 PM   by Torry Holt
Most of this is beyond ridiculous!

I grew up 20 miles from Chapel Hill, and have lived in the state for almost 30 years. I'm not a Carolina fan, but can tell you that they have all the advantages that any major program would need to be successful (except gameday atmosphere because of the wine and cheese crowd, as well as lack of tailgating). They certainly can and do get their fair share of recruits, even when competing against other schools for the same players. It is definitely not that they are lacking for facilities and resources to field a winning program.

It is unrealistic to think they are ever going to join the Michigan, Texas, etc. level of the college football world year in and year out, but having a 8-9 win season, finishing in the top half of the conference, and challenging for the conference title every 4-5 years should be reasonable expectations.

Carolina had everything in place to be a consistent top 25 program under Mack Brown, but wasn't willing to give the man a 10 year, $10 million contract that he wanted at the time. Given today's $2 million per year salaries, that would have been a huge bargain. Mack Brown wanted long-term security and a commitment from the administration to enjoy the facilities and recruits that he helped to bring about.

By not agreeing to pay a football coach on par with the basketball coaches at Carolina, Baddour basically has shown that football isn't the focus in Chapel Hill. The rest was history, as Brown walked away to a suitor (Texas) that was willing to pay for a coach who could recruit, and establish for them what Carolina took for granted. This set the expectation that no accomplished candidate would be paid the market rate.

Baddour went the cheap route and hired Torbush (he also went cheap with Bunting), who was Mack Brown's defensive coordinator. Torbush may have been a fine coordinator, but he was over his head as a head coach. Losing to Furman at home proved that point.

For someone to say that Bunting inherited no talent... I guess they think that Julius Peppers, Alge Crumpler, Ryan Simms, Ronald Curry, David Thornton and Morlon Greenwood all were walk ons from the local YMCA. Those players were all Torbush recruits that were inherited by Bunting. For him to win a game vs FSU and make it to a bowl with those players is not remarkable. All of them ended up in the NFL. What is remarkable, is that he couldn't build upon that year and develop the recruits that came in the door.

Bunting did an extremely poor job of developing talent that he had on the team. He also drove an accomplished assistant away (John Tenuta) and had his starting quarterback attempt to transfer (Darian Durant)! For Willie Parker to never see the field is beyond ridiculous. Adarius Bowman was dismissed from the team, and is now a monster at Oklahoma State!

What is remarkable, is that the Bunting apologists continue to say that he established class and standards by losing. It should not be acceptable to finish in the bottom half of the conference consistently. If you are an enthusiastic and classy person, but consistently cannot get your job done, would you still have a job 6 years later?

Given the facilities and the resources at his disposal, it should not be the case that he didn't end up with more W's than L's 6 years later.

Carolina had a shot to be a top 25 once, but let it go. Baddour tried to unsuccessfully recruit Frank Beamer away from Virginia Tech once, and ended up with Bunting as a consolation prize. Keep in mind that Baddour wouldn't even grant Marc Richt an interview when the job was open. That worked out well for Georgia I guess...

If the school doesn't fire Baddour for his past failures, they are doomed to repeat them. Instead of hiring someone accomplished like Norm Chow and paying him the market rate, Carolina will try to get another coach on the cheap. There is no way that Carolina will pay a football coach like Butch Davis the $2 million a year he would want. Especially if the basketball coach is making anywhere near that.

Butch will probably end up back at Miami, Arizona State or somewhere that will pay him.

I'm guessing that Baddour's actual coaching short-list looks like this (not in any sort of order):

Dennis Green,
Jim Fassel,
Jim Donnan,
Mike O'Cain,
Steve Logan,
Al Borges,
Bob Toledo,
Rick Neuheisel,
Terry Bowden
Posted: 10:23 PM   by blogsmog
I hope UNC saves their money and dig a little deeper than hiring some of the mentioned coaches here. I would rather UNC continue to be mediocre than to hire a coach for 1.5 million a year that will insist on loading up on 26 year old JC rejects and assorted other pseudo academically eligible players like Urban Meyer did with Utah and Bobby Petrino with UL. And if you really know the numbers/history on college football save your comments like "UNC Sucks".
In Comparision to some teams mentioned here....

Bowls records since 1979:
UNC: 10-5
West Virginia: 5-12
Virginia Tech: 7-9
NC State: 7-7
( UNC beat WVA & VT head to head in the Gator Bowl in the 1996-1997 seasons and has a 18-9 record against NC State in this time period..plus bowl wins over Texas x 2, arkansas x 2, auburn, michigan)

AP TopTen Final Rankings Since 1979:
UNC: 4
West Virginia: 3
Virginia Tech: 5
NC State: 0

National Championships:
UNC: 0
West Virginia: 0
Virginia Tech: 0
NC State: 0

You could make a case for firing most of the ACC coaches this year and this is for a variety of reasons.
The next to go Chuck Amato...he is 3-5 in ACC play the past two years and headed toward another losing season. plus he has been weak recruiting in 2006 and so for in 2007. if not for P. Rivers he would be gone already.
Posted: 10:28 PM   by London Calling
Maybe if Bunting could have found room on the field for Willie Parker in his line-up, he might have won a few more games. I mean, it's hard to fathom how somebody could bury a guy on the bench in college who is that explosive in the pros. Perhaps, he's just not a good evaluator of talent.
Posted: 10:49 PM   by Anonymous
The only reason UNC isn't a consistent top 20 program is b/c the University hasn't dedicated itself to being a strong football school. Pony up UNC, you have the national footprint/recognition, you have the $$, and Mack Brown showed you can even be a top 10 program with the right person running the program.
Posted: 11:14 PM   by Michael
I will miss Coach Bunting. Lets remember he did put together a great recruitment class that some one else will get credit for if they do turn things around next year. I wish they gave him another year afterall UNC schedule is very brutal. I think of this being like the firing of Coach D who gave us talent that someone else turned into a championship.
Posted: 11:39 PM   by Anonymous
top tier university with top tier facilities -- i think we could def find a damn good coach. im for ty willingham--a kinston, nc native
Posted: 11:44 PM   by Anonymous
I've heard speculation around Northwest Arkansas about Houston Nutt possibly leaving (which I don't beleive) and Frank Broyles turning to Davis. He has a house in Fayetteville, went to Arkansas and nearby Springdale High (which current players are from including starters Mitchell Mustain and Damian Williams and where OC Gus Malzahn was hired from). I know this is pure speculation but what do you think are the chances of that.
Posted: 11:56 PM   by Frotuss
Bootch is an awesome college coach but he'll need to bring down at least 1.5MM to make the move because Bunting's salary is hardly enough for Bootch to even afford his future NFLers Cannabis habit-- just kidding- Browns Fan--Gerard Warren flashback---. Honestly, I like Bootch and would love for nothing else than to see him reap the recruits right out of tobacco road. They're there and he has ties to Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and all points FL as well as access to QBs in CA.
Posted: 12:13 AM   by Anonymous
I'm wondering if UNC is considering promoting Frank Cignetti to Head Coach. We know Baddour isn't afraid of an internal appointment, or at least he wasn't. I thought, or perhaps I was hoping, that there might have been significant interest for the head coaching job on Cignetti's part when he left a solid Fresno State program to be offensive coordinator here. As of yet, however, I haven't seen the idea tossed around, and I'm not sure why not.
Posted: 12:36 AM   by Anonymous
Fire Dick Baddour
Posted: 12:39 AM   by Anonymous
Bunting out! Groh out! Beamer out! Coker out! Amato out! Jeff Bowden out!
The ACC has become a debacle this year. What in the name of high school football is going on? Git-r-done for some quality football...
Posted: 12:41 AM   by Anonymous
Here's an idea - pull the plug on the football program. There is only one kind of ball in North Carolina, and that is basketball. Why waste the money?
Posted: 1:08 AM   by Anonymous
Rodriguez leaving for NC would be more of a lateral move instead of a move up so why leave a good program with an okay history for a bad program with an okay history, if miami opens up rodriguez could go there because it's easier to recruit to south beach than appalacia
Posted: 3:27 AM   by Anonymous
The fact is, UNC can be sold to top shelf high school talent. Mack Brown did it, John Bunting did it. The facilities, Chapel Hill, current and past NFL alumni...even the basketball program can sell UNC football. So, for that matter, if a high school kid can get sold so can a big name coach. PAY THE COACH! If you pay them they will come. Moreoever, a good coach can motivate two and three star players past their potential.
Posted: 4:01 AM   by Anonymous
How much to get Terry Bowden?
No to Butch Davis. The school has a reputation to uphold. Rich Rodriguez would not leave WVU. I would hope that UNC would make a true run at Norm Chow or Greg Schiano.
I also agree with a previous post. Thanks to Jon Bunting for running a good clean program. As mentioned, he brought in a great deal of money to the football program at a basketball-dominant school. Not an easy feat. He upgraded the football facilities to second to none in the country.
Posted: 4:43 AM   by Anonymous
What about Skip Holtz? A good candidate or even Brian VanGorder from Georgia Southern. Others who should be looked at are Mike Stoops, Pat Hill from Fresno State, Bobby Johnson from Vanderbilt, Norm Chow, Bobby Petrino, or even Terry Bowden
Posted: 7:01 AM   by Anonymous
Who really cares???? it is not an SEC team so it really doesnt matter.
Posted: 7:22 AM   by Anonymous
Please, UNC is at the bottom of the NCAA barrel as far as college football goes. Pitiful.
Posted: 8:00 AM   by Anonymous
we need butch at alabama
Posted: 8:26 AM   by Anonymous
UNC has no excuses for not getting a top shelf replacement for John Bunting. And, Butch Davis is the bigges name available. He's been through this before at Miami. So, they'd have a coach who knew what is coming, and how to deal with it.

Make that move. Carolina. Hire Butch Davis, and get your football program back to the top of the ACC.

HuskerHeel
Posted: 8:32 AM   by Anonymous
Butch is waiting to see if Bama is going to can Shula. Shula is not performing and if he loses to Auburn he may be outof T-town.
Posted: 8:56 AM   by Anonymous
Yeah, Florida had their eyes on Meyer that entire year. Bernie Machen, Florida's new president, had just come from the University of Utah, where he had hired Urban Meyer. It seems clear that he wanted Meyer with him at Florida from the get go.

Why would anyone be interested in the UNC job? Is that really the best Butch Davis can do? Rich Rodriguez is in a much much better position in West Va. Matt Doherty was the only coach that could ever turn UNC into a football school, and he is gone.
Posted: 9:56 AM   by Anonymous
Seriously, anybody who thinks Rich Rodriguez would leave home (that's right, he's a north-central WV native and WVU letterman) for pretty much any job, let alone one as middling as UNC, is on crack. Is the media everywhere, The Charlotte Observer in this case, seriously so clueless about this as to only think, "Ha, West Virginia. He'll go ANYWHERE to get away from there." Much bigger named schools than UNC have come calling and gotten rejected.
Posted: 10:05 AM   by Anonymous
I'm glad Beamer isn't included in the speculation at this time. The last time UNC was on the hunt for a new head coach, Vick had just bolted early for the pros and Beamer was spotted hanging around Chapel Hill.
Posted: 10:23 AM   by Anonymous
Who was the moron randomly asking for Beamer to get canned? Apparently he's missed out on the fact Beamer's one of the top coaches in the country in addition to being the main reason behind the growth of both the University and the football program. I wish more people were educated...
Posted: 10:56 AM   by Anonymous
MEMO to UNC:
Call LARRY COKER...NOW!!!
Posted: 11:22 AM   by Anonymous
If Butch Davis takes the job, the program will be under NCAA sanctions in less than 5 years. Davis runs a dirty program.
Posted: 11:41 AM   by Wild Bill
UNC is a done deal - the Def. Coord. from Texas is in. Butch Davis will get the Michigan State job at season's end. The UNC A.D. called Mack Brown yesterday - Chizek is 100% going to UNC after the Big XII Champioship game.
Posted: 11:47 AM   by Anonymous
The first 2 or 3 years Bunting was at UNC he did not have any talent to work with from the Torbush era. His first year was his best mainly because he was playing Mack Browns last recruiting class and his record was 8-5 with a win over Auburn in the peach bowl. It took him a while to learn the college recruiting process. So now he has finally got a great staff and the 2006 recruiting class was the best he has had at UNC and the 2007 class looks even better. So what UNC has done basically was hire an inexperienced college coach and keep him long enough for him to finally get a handle on the whole college game and recruiting and then fire him just when he is starting to get the kind of recruits needed to win at a high level because you have an AD and overzealous fans that can see the forest for the trees. I believe Bunting was on the right track and could have gotten UNC to be a consistent top 20 program but I guess we will never know.
Posted: 11:49 AM   by Anonymous
We want BUTCH at Alabama!!
Posted: 11:52 AM   by Anonymous
Is anyone going to hire Al Borges so Auburn can go back to being mediocre?
Posted: 11:55 AM   by Ozzy
I think N.C. ahould take a chance and contact Jeff Bowden. I think it's about time we had another Bowden as a head coach in the ACC. He has put in years of "grunt work" under his "papa". Maybe Terry will come out of retirement and contact Duke about ressurecting their program.

Remember "Vote Jeff Bowden" for head football coach...North Carolina!
Posted: 12:09 PM   by Anonymous
UNC is a nice school with nuce facilities etc, sure. Does it have a huge name? Yes--- in basketball. In football is it as big a name as Arkansas or WVU? Not even close.
Posted: 12:40 PM   by Anonymous
If they're smart, they'll at least talk to their former DC Jon Tenuta. I can't believe I never hear this guy's name mentioned when jobs open up.
Posted: 1:59 PM   by Anonymous
David Cutcliffe, Terry Bowden, Skip Holtz. The top 3 other than Butch Davis.
Posted: 2:59 PM   by Anonymous
Please, UNC, take Butch and spare the 'Canes from having to deal with that hillsnake.
Posted: 4:08 PM   by Anonymous
Everyone here in Arkansas knows when AR loses to Tennessee and LSU this season Houston Nutt is gone and local boy Butch Davis takes over the Hogs. He's living in Springdale (10 miles from campus) waiting in the wings.
Posted: 4:11 PM   by Anonymous
UNC is in a unique situation: It already has everything in place within its football program except a top-notch coach. It's also perhaps the only traditional basketball power who truly is in a position to have the same (sustained top ten annual rankings) kind of success in football. With its high academic standards, great recruiting potential, stunning campus beauty, first-class facilites, and deep pockets, Chapel Hill is a place that should be first on more than a few lists of great coaches who want to have it all and enjoy the process at the same time. Some lucky guy is going to look below (and beyond) the immediate surface, scratching his head in disbelief as he eyes his dream job and wonders why it's just sitting there, seemingly waiting just for him.
Posted: 4:51 PM   by Anonymous
UNC is not going to steal an ACC coach like O'Brien or Grobe. The UNC football coach search is like the UVa bball coach search of a year and half ago. Once a good program fell on hard times but has the name, money, fan base, and facilities to climb back into contention with a good coach. That being the case, UVa chased after the names like Montgomery, Tubby Smith, and even former assistant Dave Odom. Instead we eneded up with an under-rated up-and-comer in Dave Leitao. UNC will end up doing the same in football, maybe not a young up-and-comer but a not a heavyweight. Maybe Chris Petersen of Boise State (maybe the third one from that school's the charm seeing as how Koetter and Hawkins are struggling in their new gigs) or Tulsa's Steve Kragthorpe or a forgotten star like Dennis Erickson (now at Idaho) or Mike Price (now at UTEP). UNC needs a coach who knows how to recruit underrated players, not one who competes with Miami and FSU for non-academic athletes.
Posted: 5:35 PM   by BDC
"actually NC is not a recruiting hotbed. This state is somehow not that talent rich compared to states more south."

I have NO idea where you get your information, but you might want to check it again. First off, there is no way in the world that anyone in their right mind would even begin to compare the state of North Carolina to that of Georgia, or even Florida, when it comes to high school football, because it would be suicide. But to say that the state isn't good for recruits, you have to be crazy.

Some of the highest profile kids in the state (who are also high profile in national terms as well) don't even stay in North Carolina, because coaches from bigger schools and conferences come to the state for it's talent. All of these rankings are National Rankings by the way: 2006 - Carl Johnson #6 OL, (Florida), Brandon Spikes #6 LB(Florida), Raeshon McNeil #9 CB (Notre Dame), Crezdon Butler #24 CB(Clemson); 2005 - Jonathan Crompton #3 QB (Tenn), Jonathan Hannah #5 TE (S.Carolina), Derek Nicholson #8 LB (FSU), Mohamed Massaquoi #14 WR (Tenn), Joe Cox # 22 QB (Georgia); 2004 - Jamaal Edwards #3 RB (FSU), George Bell #6 RB (VT), Marque Hall #10 DT (S.Carolina). I won't even get into the most sought after recruit in the country (more than 70 scholarship offers all from Div. I Programs) in Greg Little, from Durham, NC or anyone else in the class of 2007 from NC. My point with all of this, is simple...this is why Bunting couldn't win. If you can't nab the best talent in your state, then it's going to make it a problem to compete, especially in the ACC. Look at the rosters for teams like USC, Florida State, Miami, Texas and the like. All of them have one thing in common, the majority of their players are from their "own" state. And while you are at it, check and see how many schools have kids on their team from NC. The number might surprise you.
Posted: 8:29 PM   by Anonymous
I can see Rich Rodriquez leaving WVU for a better opportunity. What he has done at WVU is nothing short of phenomenal. But annual dominance? Come on now. Enjoy the good times while you can Rich and get out when more money and opportunities come your way!
Posted: 8:56 PM   by Anonymous
Bunting did fine with recruiting. In fact, for a school with Carolina's football pedigree he did really well. That is the exact reason it's time for him to go. Personally I love the guy and can't imagine another coach with more passion for the school, but it's clear that something's just missing. With the talent level this year you have to expect a bowl game, or at least contention for one. The cop out that no good football coach will go to Carolina is also bogus. By that false logic Florida and Texas would never have gotten Billy Donovan and Rick Barnes. Why would you leave the nation's best basketball conference (until they watered it down for football money) to go coach basketball at Texas? There are a lot of reasons. And there are a lot of reasons Carolina is fully capable of getting a good football coach... if only they'd fire Dick Baddour.
Posted: 11:58 PM   by Anonymous
Anonymous said...
4:36 PM, October 23, 2006

Hopefully Bobby Bowden is not far behind.

I don't understand this at all. The only reason we speak of FSU today is because of Bobby Bowden. You think you're bad now? Imagine if Bobby Bowden never came on the scene. Instead of trying to crucify him, I'd be thankful that he's spent the last 30 thirty years making FSU into the juggernaut that it has been over the years.
Posted: 2:38 AM   by Anonymous
I think UNC can get a decent coach, if the AD is committed. Tenuta would be a great match, as would Butch Davis if he's interested. I'm a bit biased here as a Horn fan, so no offense, but as much as Gene Chizek respects Mack Brown and likes coaching the Texas Longhorns, I really think he holds out for an offer from Miami, or until Bobby Bowden/Joe Paterno retire, or something in that tier before he leaves Austin.

Contrary to what a lot of posters recall, Butch Davis did not run a dirty program at Miami. His post/predecessors at Miami did, Larry Coker, as good of a guy as he seems to be, just does not have control of his program. Butch Davis did have control of Miami when he was there, and it was a clean program. He would make a great fit for the UNC football program.

Texas committed to building new facilities for the basketball team and, other than Duke, have the best facilities for any basketball team in the country. Thats how they lured Rick Barnes from Clemson & the ACC. Thats also what's helped Rick Barnes recruit so well out of state also.
Posted: 12:03 PM   by Anonymous
I think Bunting would have made a good A.D., and that he should apply for Baddour's job when the latter gets canned. You can't have a wuss like Baddour in that position. He was really, really lucky Roy bailed him out or he'd be long gone by now.

Regardless of who gets hired, UNC can't wait until the end of the season or they'll screw up recruiting and lose another year to "rebuilding." They're better off decisively hiring Logan or Paul Johnson than repeatedly getting dissed by Rodriguez, Schiano, Nutt, Davis, et al. and allowing the Bowdens and Fulmer to demonstrate to recruits that UNC will never be a football school. This could very easily turn into the NC State Sendek replacement fiasco with Baddour running things.
Posted: 1:19 PM   by Anonymous
Re: Jim Donnan

Donnan had success at Marshall and some at UGA (I am a grad of UGA), but at UGA his record against the big 3 (Tech, TN, FL) was very bad (think John Cooper against UM).

Also, Donnan did not mesh well with the alumni/boosters. His call in radio show was a train wreck each week. People would call and ask questions (sometimes not positive things) and his response was not diplomatic. He needs to learn that the fan base and alumni pay good money to support a team and the coach, whether he likes it or not, cannot publicly be ripping or dismissing them.

If UNC goes with Donnan it will only be because they would not fork over the money to get someone else or everyone else turned them down.
Posted: 2:11 PM   by Anonymous
This may be a surprise to some, but Carolina used to be a football school. For those that think the new coach will play second fiddle to Williams, that only applies as long as the football team keeps forgetting how to play defense. The older alums (aka those with the serious re$ource$) want Carolina to be a football school again.
Posted: 7:58 PM   by Anonymous
As someone has already said, Bunting's problem has not been recruiting. While his classes hav enot been spectacular, they have been solid. The problem is his coaching: they are basically the most undisciplined team I have ever seen. They get penalized way too much and the LBs do not play in position, abandoning their gaps constantly--this is why their rush defense is so bad all the time. It is suprising that a coach who does not tolerate nonsense and runs a tight ship off the field, runs such a sloppy team onto the field. As a fan, i'm glad he finally got fired, but I do wish him the best in whatever he moves onto. I think Butch Davis would be an alright candidate for the job because he is a recruitingguru, but I am fearful that he would not be honorable and run a clean program. I think we just need a caoch who is on par with Bunting as a recruiter, but can get much more from that talent that he would bring in, so I agree with the person who suggested Gene Chizik.
Posted: 5:15 PM   by Anonymous
Mandel says Virginia is god-awful. Not saying it is a good season or that UVa is great, but they are getting better and doing it with classy players who represent the university well.

All grow is playing 2006 with 2007's team. This fan is pleased. Commentary without solid knowledge is what is god-awful.
Posted: 11:52 PM   by Anonymous
Nice upset pick, but not good enough, Stew. As for McCoy, are his numbers and leadership not worthy of Heisman mention? If not, why not? They're easily better than Brady Quinn's just to name a few.
Posted: 12:10 AM   by Anonymous
Keep up the smack talk against Auburn . . . it only fires them up more.
Posted: 12:10 AM   by bakerman
Colt McCoy is the real deal. Hoping for an Ohio State Texas rematch!
Posted: 12:18 AM   by Anonymous
Stewart - How far does Auburn or Texas fall in the polls this year? Auburn continues to stuggle against terrible teams on the road and who exactly has Texas beat this year (Olkahoma PLEASE). I'm tired of this anit-ND Backlash.
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