There has been a lot of rumblings the past few days about who will be joining Larry Fedora's staff in Chapel Hill. Per Inside Carolina, some names have begun to emerge.
The UNC Compliance Office has received permission from the NCAA for four coaches, in addition to Fedora, to be able to recruit for UNC during this transition process. They include three of Fedora's assistants from Southern Miss --- defensive line coach Deke Adams, defensive coordinator (and DB coach) Dan Disch and offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic -- plus Illinois defensive coordinator Vic Koenning.
Also in the mix, according to the IC report, is former UNC assistant Gunter Brewer who has been working as wide receivers coach at Ole Miss. Brewer previously worked at UNC under Carl Torbush and John Bunting but also spent three years under Fedora at Oklahoma St.
The big hire in all of this is Vic Koenning who is considered one of the best defensive coordinators in the nation. During his two year stint as the Illinois DC, Koenning took a defense that was 92nd in total defense prior to his arrival and improved them to 36th in 2010 and 7th overall this past season. Koenning also worked as DC at Clemson and Kansas St with the defenses at both schools excelling under him. This is a huge move since the burning question everyone had when Fedora was hired concerned the defense. Scoring points was not going to be an issue, especially with the offensive weapons Fedora inherited. Now UNC has a solid defensive staff to go with the high octane offense.
The rest of the staff makeup could be determined by who replaces Fedora at Southern Miss. There are reports this morning that South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson would be named head coach in Hattiesburg. Fedora had recommended his offensive coordinator Blake Anderson for the job but it appears the administration is going in a different direction. That decision means Anderson and other assistants under him will probably come to Chapel Hill with Fedora. IC also noted that among the current UNC staff, only two coaches were possible retentions under Fedora. Recruiting coordinator Allen Mogrdige is still waiting to see if Fedora will keep him and longtime UNC assistant Ken Browning has been offered an administrative role.
Obviously the pieces are still falling into place but with a solid defensive coordinator on staff and Fedora's penchant for offense, I would place this staff(in terms of coaching chops) ahead of the one Butch Davis brought in. The only uncertainty is whether they recruit enough talent to really give UNC a chance to be a ACC contender. Davis could recruit but the coaching was suspect. Now it appears UNC has solid coaching the question now is whether Fedora can recruit? On the surface, UNC has always been able to bring in solid recruiting classes. Even with the NCAA penalties and interim coaching staff, UNC was ranked in the mid-30s for the class of 2012. That far outpaces anything Fedora brought in to Southern Miss. Now that a permanent staff is in place and the NCAA penalties being known in the next few weeks, there is no reason to think recruiting won't pick up.