North Carolina announced early Sunday that it has fired Larry Fedora after the coach led the Tar Heels to a 2-9 record in his seventh season with the program. UNC said athletic director Bubba Cunningham met with the university's chancellor and its board of trustees before reaching out to Fedora.
"We appreciate all that Larry Fedora has done for us over the last seven years -- coming to Carolina in the midst of an NCAA case and bringing stability to our football program when we most needed it," Cunningham said in a release. "Despite injuries, despite setbacks and hardships, Larry never made excuses. He focused his teams on overcoming adversity, and I deeply respect the way he persevered and led our program each day with integrity through some tough times. This was not an easy decision because of the deep affinity I have for Larry. It simply is time to take our football program in a new direction."
Fedora started with North Carolina in 2012, taking over a program marred by a NCAA investigation in the Butch Davis era. Fedora, coming from Southern Miss where he won a Conference USA title, had immediate success in Chapel Hill. He led the Tar Heels to a pair of winning record in each of his first two seasons. After a dip to 6-7 in 2014, UNC rebounded with an 11-3 record with an appearance in the ACC Championship Game and finished the season ranked No. 15 in the postseason AP Top 25. It was all downhill after that, however, and UNC has gone a combined 5-18 in its last two seasons, including a pair of 1-7 marks in ACC play. Overall, Fedora finished with a 45-43 record at UNC.
"The last two seasons have been challenging and heartbreaking. The results are not what we wanted and it has been frustrating for everyone involved -- coaches, athletes, fans and supporters alike," Fedora said in a statement. "The results did not reflect the commitment and hard work put in by our players and staff. The players never quit -- ever. That speaks to the character of this team and this great University."
With four years and $12 million remaining on his contract, Fedora will be paid out $3 million per year, according to the athletic department. Cunningham said in a statement that there will be no public comment on the coaching search.