Tag:Everett Withers Promoted
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.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com