UNC has officially fired head coach Larry Fedora after seven seasons. Credit where credit is due, the program was not in great shape in the wake of the sanctions levied as Butch Davis exited the job. The team tied for first in the Coastal (cough) in his first year in 2012. He then performed a notable turnaround when the team went undefeated in the ACC regular season in 2015 (cough, Coastal, cough). Although his teams appeared in four consecutive bowl games, they only won the first. Since that peak, all trends were pointing in the wrong direction. In 2017 you could point to the team being ravaged with injuries as the reason for going 3-9, 1-7 in the ACC. Sure they had injuries in 2018 as well, but they wildly underperformed again to finish 2-10, again 1-7 in the ACC.
Attendance was down, punctuated by red being the predominant color in the stands in yesterday’s matchup with NC State. Recruiting is down, with their 2019 class looking to rank in the 60’s nationally.
All that being said, NC State did what it could to save Fedora’s job yesterday. If ever he was going to be able to make the case to stay on, it would be that his team hung close with one that will (hopefully) finish with 9 regular season wins. Rather than being upset about playing to the level of the competition, I am telling myself they really wanted to keep The Hat employed, maybe they know the job market isn’t that strong for a coach with back to back seasons with three or less wins; and I’ll bet they felt bad that UNC has to shell out $12 million for his buyout. Sure, let’s go with that.
Current targets for the UNC job include: Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott and defensive coordinator Brent Venables, Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, and none other than former head coach Mack Brown. The topic of why it’s not shocking to the world that UNC would attract big name coach candidates but NC State shouldn’t expect to is for another day.