Tag:Butch Davis fired
Posted on: December 21, 2011 1:23 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2011 1:53 pm
 

Everett Withers: 'I'm headed to Ohio State'

Posted by Chip Patterson

After ongoing speculation regarding both Everett Withers' future and the makeup of Urban Meyer's new staff at Ohio State, North Carolina's interim head coach confirmed he will be in Columbus for the 2012 season.

Withers was a guest on The David Glenn Show (listen to audio here) on Wednesday, and confirmed that being a head coach was a goal of his for "at least seven or eight years." But Withers appeared to have no trouble putting that goal on hold for the moment considering the opportunities in Columbus.

"At this present time I'm headed to Ohio State to be the assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator," Withers confirmed. "For obvious reasons, to have the opportunity to work on a staff with Coach [Urban] Meyer and to learn and grow with him and what he's starting at Ohio State. It's a great opportunity, a great challenge for me, and I'm looking forward to it."

Withers took over in Chapel Hill after Butch Davis was dismissed just days before the opening of 2011 training camp, and led the Tar Heels to a 7-5 regular season record. As the interim head coach, Withers was a candidate for the full-time head coaching position. Athletic director Bubba Cunningham interviewed the Tar Heels' former defensive coordinator, but eventually hired Southern Miss head coach Larry Fedora as the next head coach.

Withers will coach the Tar Heels in the Independence Bowl against Missouri on Dec. 26. As interim head coach, Withers stressed the importance of this team's fourth-straight postseason trip and the opportunity for the school's second-straight bowl victory. The Tar Heels have not won back-to-back bowl games since the 1997-1998 seasons, during the transition from Mack Brown to Carl Torbush.

Withers' is expected to share the defensive coordinator duties with Ohio State's current interim head coach, Luke Fickell. Fickell was given the opportunity to stay on staff by Urban Meyer, though he has interviewed for the open head coaching position at Pittsburgh. Withers has had numerous stops as a defensive assistant before arriving in Chapel Hill, notably including stints with Texas and the Tennessee Titans of the NFL.

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Posted on: December 9, 2011 2:21 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 2:46 pm
 

Larry Fedora introduced at North Carolina

Posted by Chip Patterson


While the news has been official for a few days now, North Carolina was proud to tie up their loose ends and announce former Southern Miss head coach Larry Fedora as their next football coach.

On Friday morning the Board of Trustees approved a seven-year deal with Fedora earning more than $1.7 million annually, with more bonuses for division or conference championships as well as high graduation rates. With the specifics settled, Fedora was officially introduced to the media in a press conference on Friday afternoon.

"Today is the first day in a new era of UNC football," Fedora said as he took the podium for the first time. "It's going to be exciting. You better buckle your seat belts and hold on, because it's going to be a wild ride"

The last two seasons have already been a wild ride for North Carolina football, under the cloud of an NCAA investigation into the football program that began in the Summer of 2010.

Fedora steps into the position with a two-year probation and scholarship reductions already self-imposed by the school, and possibly more sanctions coming from the NCAA in the coming weeks. The scandal, especially the dismissal of head coach Butch Davis just days before the opening of training camp for the 2011 season, has divided the North Carolina football fan base over the last few months. The idea of unifying the North Carolina fans was mentioned by Chancellor Holden Thorp, new athletic director Bubba Cunningham, and driven home by Fedora himself. He described the "UNC brand" as being recognized nationwide, and needed the support of "everyone who bleeds Carolina blue" to build a successful program.

Fedora was fiery and energetic throughout his first meeting with the North Carolina media. While he has no experience recruiting in the area, he pointed to his wife as an example of what kind of recruiter he is - even using the expression "I out-kicked my coverage" The off-field troubles and discontent within the fan base resulted in some disappointing attendance during the 2011 season, and Fedora offered a message for the fans.

"We need our students and fans to make game day an unbelievable experience in Chapel Hill," Fedora exclaimed. "We need you to pack Kenan Stadium, we need to be here early, and we need you to stay late. You need to understand, if you get up to get a drink - you just missed a Tar Heel touchdown."

Fedora's arrival brings arguably the most dramatic on-field change to North Carolina football in more than a decade. The former Oklahoma State offensive coordinator plans to make North Carolina's offense a no-huddle, single back spread. He said he plans to sit in on every offensive meeting, and joked that the plays that work will be the ones that he had called. Defensively, he plans to use multiple looks as well as disguised blitzes and coverages. Fedora promised the fans a unit that will be known for "flying to the ball" and "knocking the tar out of people."

He acknowledged the adversity the team has overcome already, and credited interim head coach Everett Withers for leading North Carolina to their fourth consecutive bowl appearance. No decisions have been made regarding Fedora's staff, but he indicated that both members of his staff at Southern Miss and currently in Chapel Hill will be considered.

Fedora also plans to coach the Golden Eagles in the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24, his final game with the Conference USA Champions.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: November 15, 2011 4:45 pm
 

VIDEO: Butch Davis on his dismissal from UNC

Posted by Chip Patterson

Former North Carolina head coach Butch Davis was not named in any of the nine allegations from the NCAA against the Tar Heels' football program. But his potential role in several aspects of the investigation, particularly his relationship with John Blake and tutor Jennifer Wiley, have been a hot topic of discussion for those following the story. Davis has maintained that he did not do anything wrong, but has not taken many opportunities to elaborate on his side of the story.

Until now.

The former Tar Heels head coach took to YouTube to issue his first lengthy explanation of the events leading to his dismissal in Chapel Hill. The video runs nearly ten minutes, and it looks as though Davis has chosen each of his words very carefully. He addresses Blake, Wiley, the hot-button Blue Zone, and his opinion that the firing just days before training camp was the decision of Chancellor Holden Thorp.

You can check out the video below, and leave your comments on Davis' prepared statement. The comment section was not shockingly disabled from the YouTube page, so you might as well drop them here.



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Posted on: July 29, 2011 4:26 pm
 

Everett Withers introduced as UNC interim coach

Posted by Chip Patterson

On Friday afternoon, Everett Withers was announced as the interim head coach of the North Carolina football program. Withers takes over just days after the abrupt dismissal of Butch Davis and less than a week before players report back to campus for training camp.

The way in which Davis was dismissed, and the timing in particular, has divided the North Carolina fan base and left many Tar Heels (players included) searching for answers. The administration made it clear they believed the best move was to promote from within immediately, and on Friday they officially introduced Withers to the media.

"We believe that he has the leadership, skills, and ability to take on this very difficult task," said athletic director Dick Baddour in his introductory comments. "We firmly believe he has the talent to stabilize this team and rally the players around each other."

Withers has served as North Carolina's defensive coordinator and secondary coach the last three seasons. He is a native of Charlotte, NC and spoke about watching Tar Heel greats like Amos Lawrence growing up, wishing one day he could play for North Carolina. Withers joked that he wasn't fast enough to play for the Tar Heels, but it was at Appalachian State where he played for then-coach Mack Brown. Withers said he has stayed in touch with Brown over the years, and credits the Texas head coach for helping start him down the coaching career path.

Taking over for Butch Davis amid NCAA allegations and possible sanctions is no easy task, particularly this close to the season. Withers explained his first task is to get the players and staff on the same page, ensuring everyone that they can get through these turbulent times together.

"We won't flinch as a football staff or a football team," Withers said. "What I mean by that is that we've been through a lot already, nothing that comes at us will bother us."

Still, Withers was unable to avoid questions regarding contact with Coach Davis (with whom he still texts) and if he had any knowledge of the wrongdoing while on staff at North Carolina. The former defensive coordinator explained that while previously he was consumed with the X's and O's of the defense, his primary job now is to hold the players accountable for their actions, and ensure the program is moving in the right direction towards success.

Withers, who is clearly not at a loss for adages, explained is simply: "It's not how heavy the load but how you carry it."

North Carolina reports to camp on Aug. 4 and begins practicing the following day.
Posted on: July 29, 2011 9:13 am
 

UNC's opponents see opportunity in Davis' exit

Posted by Chip Patterson

With Everett Withers officially named the interim coach at North Carolina, we can begin to take a look at how Butch Davis' dismissal will resonate across the ACC.

The initial reactions from other teams across the league seem to be that this fallout in Chapel Hill could mean opportunity for other teams. CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Travis Sawchik writes that Clemson could reclaim a recruiting hot-spot they once commanded.

"[North Carolina] was a fertile recruiting ground during [Clemson's] golden age during the 1980's," said Sawchik. "A weakened Tar Heel program could help Clemson recruit the bordering state, which it pluched five-star LB Stephone Anthony, who is from the Charlotte area, this spring."

But the advantage won't just be to other in-state schools and neighboring states. Steve Gorten, of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, said that while Davis was in Chapel Hill, Miami had "one big headache to deal with every season." Davis had a 3-1 record against his former team, often knocking off the Hurricanes as an underdog until Miami notched a 33-10 win against the Tar Heels in 2010. Just like he had at Miami, Davis was bringing in NFL-caliber talent to North Carolina and will no longer be a threat to the Hurricanes on the recruiting trail.

Withers, who has served as the Tar Heels' defensive coordinator, will be introduced as the interim coach during a press conference Friday afternoon. For now, it seems the "interim" tag is firm and the plan is for the next athletic director to hire the new head coach in time to sign the 2012 recruiting class. Until that next coach is named, expect the rest of the ACC to make up as much ground as possible on the recruiting trail.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:23 am
 

Dick Baddour stepping down as UNC AD

Posted by Chip Patterson

The firing of Butch Davis is not the only leadership change that will occur in the North Carolina athletic department in the coming months. When Chancellor Holden Thorp and athletic director Dick Baddour addressed the media to explain the dismissal of Davis, Baddour also announced that he plans to step aside as AD.

Baddour's contract is set to run through June 2012, and he informed the media that he has told Thorp to begin the search for his replacement "as soon as possible." Thorp elaborated that Baddour would join the school in representing the program in Indianapolis before the NCAA Committee on Infractions. Once the school selects a replacement, Baddour will step aside from day-to-day duties but he will remain under contract until it expires in June.

Baddour, who has served as North Carolina's athletic director for 14 years, was visibly shaken as he announced the conclusion of his tenure to the gathered media in Chapel Hill. Thorp took multiple questions on the timing of the dismissal, and thanked the current playes in his opening statement "for putting on a North Carolina uniform."

Thorp also announced that he would be interviewing the interim candidates Thursday afternoon, and all of the interim candidates are current coaches on the North Carolina staff. The announcement of the interim coach is expected in the next few days.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:23 am
 

Dick Baddour stepping down as UNC AD

Posted by Chip Patterson

The firing of Butch Davis is not the only leadership change that will occur in the North Carolina athletic department in the coming months. When Chancellor Holden Thorp and athletic director Dick Baddour addressed the media to explain the dismissal of Davis, Baddour also announced that he plans to step aside as AD.

Baddour's contract is set to run through June 2012, and he informed the media that he has told Thorp to begin the search for his replacement "as soon as possible." Thorp elaborated that Baddour would join the school in representing the program in Indianapolis before the NCAA Committee on Infractions. Once the school selects a replacement, Baddour will step aside from day-to-day duties but he will remain under contract until it expires in June.

Baddour, who has served as North Carolina's athletic director for 14 years, was visibly shaken as he announced the conclusion of his tenure to the gathered media in Chapel Hill. Thorp took multiple questions on the timing of the dismissal, and thanked the current playes in his opening statement "for putting on a North Carolina uniform."

Thorp also announced that he would be interviewing the interim candidates Thursday afternoon, and all of the interim candidates are current coaches on the North Carolina staff. The announcement of the interim coach is expected in the next few days.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 9:21 am
Edited on: July 28, 2011 9:39 am
 

Davis: 'Personally did nothing wrong' at UNC

Posted by Chip Patterson

North Carolina head coach Butch Davis issued a statement Wednesday night in response to his abrupt dismissal. Davis wishes the best to the current team and coaches, and maintains that he "personally did nothing wrong" during his time as the head of the program

"My family and I were surprised and saddened to learn that I have been relieved of my duties as head football coach at Carolina. I am not naïve enough to have ever considered this situation anything less than a serious matter and a significant priority. I have worked as hard as possible to address all aspects of the program that have been questioned. I fully believe we were on our way to getting past these issues and moving ahead in a positive direction.

"My family and I have been able to endure this difficult period in our lives for several reasons: First and foremost, as a family we have known all along that I personally did nothing wrong. That is the truth. Second, we have also had remarkable support from friends, family, the players, our coaching staff and so many others within the Tar Heel community. That these players and coaches were able to achieve the success they did last season, under such circumstances, makes me enormously proud.

"Moving forward, I wish only the best for the current team and coaches. For the players in particular, I wish them nothing but success on the field and in the classroom. The coaches already know how I feel about them. I couldn't be more proud of their hard work and dedication. In fact, during the past year or so, my respect and love for our players, the coaching staff and the football administrative staff has grown enormously. It's a wonderful group of people and I will miss them all.


Davis went on to elaborate that he would not be doing any interviews or discuss his future. He explained he did not want to be any further distraction to the current players and staff as they prepare to begin camp.

Davis' dismissal has seen some significant blowback from certain members of the North Carolina community. Many of the fans are upset with the timing, but the most concerning distaste has been on the current roster. As CBSSports.com's Brett Friedlander reported last night, some players have even begun to discuss the option of leaving the program.

"Some guys have been calling each other and have said they might want to leave," junior wide receiver Jheranie Boyd told the Gaston Gazette. "He’s a big reason a lot of the players came to UNC."

The sting of losing your head coach is still very real for these players, and I would probably chalk that comment up to emotion. But it is an immediate concern for North Carolina to make sure that the recruits in the 2012 class are still interested in the program. Davis has been referred to over and over again as a "players coach," and whoever takes the seat for the interim will need to put in work immediately to reaffirm recruits' commitment to the university.
 
 
 
 
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