Trustees make Fedora next UNC football coach
CHAPEL HILL (WTVD) -- Larry Fedora is UNC's new head football coach.
The schools board of trustees made it official Friday morning in a unanimous vote giving the coach a seven-year contract that pays him over $1.7 million annually.
The deal includes several bonuses, including for winning a division or conference championship, reaching a BCS bowl and high graduation rates. The deal also includes annual retention bonuses ranging from $100,000 to $350,000 beginning in 2015.
At a news conference later Friday, Fedora said he plans on building a successful football program in Chapel Hill. He told reporters he respects the school's long history of success in basketball, and wants to emulate it on the gridiron.
"As a coach we are judged by wins and losses," said Fedora. But he also stressed academics and producing athletes that are "capable of success on and off the field."
He said players can and should earn their degrees.
UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham said he settled on Fedora after a long and careful search.
"We identified and spoke to a number of highly qualified coaches and the person whom we believe is the best to lead the Carolina football program forward is Larry Fedora," said Cunningham in a statement Thursday. "We share great expectations for the potential of Carolina football and we are excited that he has agreed to be our next head coach.
Chancellor Holden Thorp also said he felt fedora was a good choice to uphold UNC's standards off the field, especially pertaining to academics.
"His students have done well at the places where he's been and like I said, I did my work and checked with the places where he's been, and everything checked out well," Thorp said. "When I had a chance to talk to my counterparts all over the country who've worked with Coach Fedora they all had great things to say about him, so I think we have a great choice here and we feel really good."
Fedora comes to UNC from Southern Miss, where he finished the 2011 season with an 11-2 record and a Conference USA championship. According to his current players on Twitter, Fedora will also lead the Golden Eagles to a Hawaii Bowl matchup against Nevada on Dec. 24.
"Larry has a strong record both as the head coach at Southern Miss and for 18 years as a college assistant coach. Throughout his career his teams have been known for their exciting and highly productive offenses and aggressive defenses," Cunningham said.
UNC's interim head coach Everett Withers will remain on the job as the Tar Heels take on Missouri at the Independence Bowl Dec. 26. in Shreveport, La.
unc football, sports, mark armstrong
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