Anyone else exhausted? Tar Heel Blue has full audio of the press conference which is worth a listen.
Larry Fedora was officially introduced as UNC next head football coach on Friday afternoon bringing closure to the Butch Davis Era and giving Tar Heel fans a glimpse into what to expect in the future. Needless to say, Fedora is high energy and very direct. He brings an intense persona to a football program that has been operating for the past five years under the more even keel approach of Butch Davis. I won't bore you with the standard fare most coaches trot out for these things. He talked about winning, championships, recruiting, the importance of academic, etc, etc, etc. All of that was what you expect to hear.
The meat of Fedora's press conference came in his discussion of his philosophy. He believes in attacking on both sides of the ball and special teams should be changing the game. He is disposed to the offense and is involved in all the offensive game planning even though he does not generally call the plays during the game. His offensive focus means Fedora needs to hire a strong defensive coordinator, something he mentioned during the press conference. Despite the offensive focus, Fedora wants a defense that attacks with blitzes, sows confusion and stops the run. He wants defensive players flying around the field. On offense it will be multiple tempos, no huddle and since it is a spread the ball will be in the air. As for how the players will acclimate to the new system, Fedora said there will be no learning curve. In other words he expects them to do the work to get up to speed.
Other quick points:
- Fedora did consult with Mack Brown about taking the UNC job with Brown praising the folks in Chapel Hill
- The question about rivalries came up. Fedora dodged it, sort of joking that he needed to be careful then stressing that rivalries are important without naming who UNC's rivals were.
- Believes in recruiting players to his system but understand there will be some adaptation to the current personnel he will inherit.
- At the time of the press conference he had not reviewed the roster but was due to meet with them following the press conference.
- Talked extensively about fan involvement. He wants fans at the Old Well Walk and filling up Kenan Stadium. He encouraged the fans to be loud and go wild.
- Fedora will coach USM in the Hawaii Bowl and afterwards begin the process of filling out the staff so they can hit the ground running once the recruiting dead period ends in January.
- Says he has short term and long term plans to handle the transition.
- He expressed little or no concern for the NCAA issues.
- Fedora says the name "Bubba" like he has experience with that name.
The media likes to talk about "winning" the press conference. Fedora did that in fairly impressive fashion. By no means does it guarantee Fedora will succeed, however it is a nice start. His charisma and attitude should be a great change in the tenor of the program. If he brings that kind of personality to the recruits, he should do well. With any hire there are risk and when you are hiring a coach from a mid-major to a major school there is a different element of risk. Can his philosophies translate against better competition? Can he recruit at this level? What kind of staff will he assemble? All of these questions are legitimate and their answers will reveal how Fedora's tenure in Chapel Hill will unfold. Over the next 90 days two important things will happen. Fedora will hire his staff and national signing day will happen. This will require a heavy work load for the new coach to get the right foundation established before turning his attention to spring practice.
Based on the first impression, Fedora looks like he can handle the task. I like his personality and I think he should do well if he can get the right pieces in place. He is off to an excellent start and hopefully UNC football will take off from here.