Blog Entry

Who replaces Butch Davis at UNC?

Posted on: July 27, 2011 6:43 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 7:03 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli

With the surprising news that North Carolina fired head coach Butch Davis on Wednesday, we can now all start wondering who will be taking his place in Chapel Hill. Of course, seeing as how the season is only a few weeks away from starting, it's unlikely that North Carolina will have a full-time replacement in place before then, so the school will likely slap the interim tag on an assistant for now. It could be assistant head coach Sam Pittman, offensive coordinator John Shoop or defensive coordinator Everett Withers.

But where will the school's eyes turn for the future? Let's take a look at some possible candidates.

Coaches Who Will Be Mentioned By Fans But Will Not Be North Carolina's Next Head Coach

Jim Tressel - The former Ohio State head coach currently has nothing else to do, but if you honestly think that a school that just fired a head coach amidst an NCAA investigation is going to hire somebody who was just fired by another school for his role in an NCAA investigation, well, you probably weren't able to read this sentence anyway.

Urban Meyer - There won't be a head coaching job available for the next nine months at a BCS program in which Meyer's name isn't tossed out as a replacement. The problem here is that Meyer really does seem content with his television gig, and if he does return, Ohio State seems to be the apple of his eye.

Mike Leach - I know I want Mike Leach to be a head coach again because he makes the sport that much fun and is a very good coach, but as long as he has that lawsuit against Texas Tech, no school is going to touch him.

Realistic Possibilities

Randy Shannon - Shannon is taking the year off to work in television, but he wants to get back into coaching. He has experience in the ACC and is very familiar with recruiting in the state of Florida thanks to his time at Miami. Of course, Butch Davis used to be a head coach at Miami too, and that didn't work out very well.

Terry Bowden - Bowden not only comes from a pretty good family blood line, but he has plenty of head coaching experience as well. He's at North Alabama this season, but North Alabama doesn't exactly strike me as the kind of place a coach plans on making his final stop. He's a name that could come up in Chapel Hill.

Tommy Bowden - Terry's brother has the same bloodline and also has head coaching experience in the ACC where he was at Clemson from 1999 to 2008. He also has six years of experience as an assistant in the conference at Florida State and Duke.

Bud Foster - Foster has been Virginia Tech's defensive coordinator since 1995, and has put together not only some of the best defenses in the ACC, but in the entire country during that time. He's expressed interest in head coaching jobs at West Virginia (2007) and Clemson (2008) but hasn't come up in the last few years. Could he get the itch to run his own program again this winter?

Gus Malzahn - Malzahn's star may never shine brighter than it did at Auburn in 2010, but if he's able to put together another strong offense in 2011 without Cam Newton, his name will once again be mentioned for a lot of job openings.

Rich Rodriguez - He's had his own run-ins with the NCAA before, but nothing on the level of what's happening at UNC. Plus, the man still knows how to put together a fantastic offense. As long as he doesn't bring Greg Robinson with him, it could work.

Just For The LOLs

John Blake - I hear Butch Davis trusted him quite a bit.

Randy Edsall - He's always said that Maryland was his "dream job" but that North Carolina is his "fantasy job."

Since: May 13, 2010
Posted on: July 28, 2011 7:26 pm

Who replaces Butch Davis at UNC?

Why not just ahead and try to get Mike Leach?  Sure, he would not be able to do what he wants recruiting wise for a few years, but his system is simple enough to run effectively with a little practice.  He could come in now and with the talent UNC still has, because Butch believed this team was going to be better this year than last year, Mike could probably do well.  

Since: Oct 21, 2010
Posted on: July 28, 2011 3:45 pm

Bill Cowher?

I can't believe Bill Cowher's name has not come up already.

Yes, he went to NC State but I would imagine that if he came back to coaching and decided on coaching in the college ranks, UNC would be a major consideration.

Since: Oct 21, 2010
Posted on: July 28, 2011 3:33 pm

Who replaces Butch Davis at UNC?

I don't know what the fight is (UNC is a great university and a prime opportunity for a coach to land into). I haven't read all the quotes - but in defense of my new conference in 2012, Big East vs. ACC is more even then you think. Both conferences have been punished by parity within their own conferences while other conferences, besides the SEC, are top heavy. 

If you look at the record since each team played each other since around the 1990s (ACC vs. Big East), yes, the overall record is 64-82-1, however if you look closer to more current years like from 2006 (the years without Miami, VT, and BC)- Big East is 21 Wins over the ACC's 19.  

 Conference bowl records (since 2005):
Big East   21-10 (.677)
SEC   32-19 (.627)
Pac 10   19-13 (.594)
Big 12   24-23 (.510) 
ACC   22-28 (.440) 
Big 10   16-28 (.363)

Big East can hold its own. It is rebuilding its football image no doubt since Miami, VT, and BC left but most of its teams are in major market areas and BE has huge potential with teams that have committed to excellence towards its football programs. What other conferences have over the BE is rivalries and team history together, but that doesn't mean BE play will suffer just means that rivalries need to form and as its programs grow fan bases expands, BE just needs to win as many non-conference games
as possible and no matter what hate comes you can't argue with Ws. Respect will be earned back for the BE, you can quote me on that.

And...Go Frogs!

Since: Jul 28, 2011
Posted on: July 28, 2011 12:15 pm

Who replaces Butch Davis at UNC?

Perfect quick fix-- Houston Nutt, on hot seat at Ole Miss, has always done extremely well with other coaches players! NC plays LSU at Dallas to start season, he has a great record aganist LSU and good record in Dallas,  Hire him today, he leads NC in opener, upsets LSU and wins a share of Confrence Title.  You can fire him in 5 years when he goes 3-8. 

Since: Nov 25, 2009
Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:51 am

Who replaces Butch Davis at UNC?

I used to live in VT's back yard, now I live near the 757 (their major recruiting zone) so I used to hear all about VT, all the time.  Having said that, I think I remember hearing that UNC was at least interested in prying Bud Foster away from his comfy spot with the Hokies.  That was before UNC hired Butch Davis.  That was before UNC got into some NCAA problems.  That was before (and I apologize if I'm wrong, but I try and ignore the saturation of Hokies news I used to endure) Frank Beamer brought in his son and pushed Bud Foster down the totem pole.

I don't know how hard Carolina persued Bud Foster before, but I don't see him coming now.  Same with Mike Leach (despite his alleged concussion issue with Craig James' boy), who would be my second pick.

Since: Aug 6, 2008
Posted on: July 28, 2011 10:43 am

Who replaces Butch Davis at UNC?

john bunting

Since: Sep 8, 2010
Posted on: July 28, 2011 10:34 am

Who replaces Butch Davis at UNC?

drb107 - big time football? - "big east style"  you mean that 23-7 wvu loss to NC STATE?
Hope you got to hear about it from your neighbors in high point!

Since: Sep 8, 2010
Posted on: July 28, 2011 10:30 am

Who replaces Butch Davis at UNC?

Hey drb107 - choke on this!

Big East is (64-82-1) against ACC

Look it up -I did!

Since: Jul 28, 2011
Posted on: July 28, 2011 3:52 am

High Speed University

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Since: Jul 27, 2011
Posted on: July 27, 2011 11:39 pm

Who replaces Butch Davis at UNC?

Bud Foster makes a whole lot of sense to me.  Chapel Hill is almost twice as close to talent-rich Hampton Roads, VA as Virginia Tech is, and Foster has quite a reputation there (possibly better than Beamer's).  He has been considered at WVU, Clemson, Pittsburgh, UGA (as DC), and has turned down the Vanderbilt gig in recent years.  His defenses are pretty much always among the best in the country, and this year will be no exception.  If the interim coach hasn't locked up the gig by November, look for Foster to make a very strong audition for the job during UNC's Thursday night trip to Lane Stadium.  Maybe most importantly, he isn't damaged goods, like Tressel, Leach, Rodriguez, and maybe to some extent, Malzahn, which is a trait you'd think UNC would put a pretty high value on at this point.  Randy Shannon under-performed with his talent (while Foster over-achieves), and the Bowden boys aren't too splashy of picks in my opinion (doubt UNC cares about making a splash though).  Ever-loyal Frank Beamer finally took playcalling duties away from his guy Stinespring and gave them to O'Cain this year, in an attempt to get the Tech offense to another level.  Foster has expressed interest in the past about using an innovative offense like the spread, so it isn't as if UNC fans should necessarily expect to experience any of VT's well-documented offensive struggles (at least in big games) if they hired him.  Foster loves Virginia Tech, though, and with reports of a stud QB (Logan Thomas) taking over the offense, it's conceivable that he'll want to stay in Blacksburg for a few more years to finally grab that ever-elusive National Championship.  Either way, there is a lot of talent at UNC, and if they can get a coach in place who can take advantage of it, they might not see a huge hiccup recruiting-wise (see USC - and yes, I'm aware that it's not quite the same).  It'll be interesting to see where they go from here.

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