Larry Fedora announced his coaching staff for 2012 at a press conference on Tuesday, and for the most part has kept the Southern Mississippi band together.
Of the eight coaches introduced, six were on Fedora's staff at USM and the seventh has worked with Fedora before. The six coaches named Tuesday who are coming with Fedora from Hattiesburg are:
- defensive coordinator Dan Disch;
- defensive assistant and special teams coordinator David Duggan;
- defensive line coach Deke Adams;
- offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Blake Anderson;
- tight ends coach Walt Bell; and
- offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic.
The other two coaches are:
- Vic Koenning, who will be the assistant head coach for defense. He comes to UNC from Illinois, where he was defensive coordinator and interim head coach for the Illini's bowl game. He previously was the defensive coordinator at Clemson and is the only coach to have not worked with Fedora previously; and
- Gunter Brewer, who was the offensive coordinator at Mississippi, will coach wide receivers and be the passing game coordinator. Brewer previously coached at UNC in the early 2000s and worked with Fedora at Oklahoma State.
Fedora still needs to hire a running backs coach, which he said he expects to have nailed down in the next couple of weeks. Internet speculation has focused on a pair of Tar Heel alumni for this spot: Chad Scott, running backs coach at Texas Tech, and Randy Jordan, who was most recently RB coach at Texas A&M.
Although the staff is now officially on board, Fedora and a handful of assistants have been working the phones and recruiting trails since mid-December. With the coaching transition and possible NCAA sanctions on the horizon, recruiting may be more challenging than normal but this should be a one-time issue for this staff.
There are a couple of interesting things about the new staff. One is that Koenning is "assistant head coach for defense" while Disch retains the title of "defensive coordinator". This is probably a question of semantics as I imagine Koenning will have complete control of the defense, given the strength of the defenses he built at Clemson and Illinois. At the presser, Fedora noted that the defensive hierarchy had not been worked out but that Koenning and Disch have worked together before.
The other thing that jumps out is that there is no one from the current staff retained. This is not really surprising, given that A) Fedora is an established head coach with an extensive network of coaching contacts, and B) it is probably best for all involved that all vestiges of the Butch Davis era are steam-cleaned from the Kenan Football Center. There was some speculation that either recruiting coordinator Allen Mogridge, a UNC alumnus who was hired after the unpleasantness began, or running backs coach Ken Browning, who has been at Carolina for nearly 20 years and through four head coaches, would find a place on Fedora's staff. Browning in particular was thought to have a shot because of the fantastic job he did with UNC's backs (like coaching Gio Bernard to a 1,000-yard season despite a Swiss cheese line) and that he was the liaison with high school coaches in the state of North Carolina. The 65 year-old Browning was rumored to have been offered an administrative position, but he will not be on the field this fall.
All in all, this would appear to be a solid coaching foundation for Carolina moving forward. Fedora pointed out that bringing so many of his USM assistants means that there will be no learning curve for the staff, and Koenning is an impressive hire given his reputation and that there seems to be a lot of defensive talent in need of some coaching up.