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North Carolina defensive coordinator Gene Chizik steps down; John Papuchis named replacement

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The Tar Heels’ defensive coordinator leaves the program to spend more time at home.

NCAA Football: North Carolina vs Georgia Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

In a move that makes a lot of sense after the news of earlier today, Defensive Coordinator Gene Chizik is leaving the program. His contract was set to expire at the end of the month, and he has decided to pass up another season in Chapel Hill in favor of spending more time with his family.

Chizik had been splitting time between his job in Chapel Hill and his family in Alabama since taking the job at UNC. He is certainly credited with improving the Tar Heel defense, although it remained a point of scrutiny in the latter part of 2015 and all of 2016.

According to the press release from the school, linebackers coach John Papuchis will take over the job as the Heels’ defensive coordinator. Papuchis joined the staff in 2015 after coaching at Nebraska under Bo Pelini and LSU under Nick Saban. He’s no stranger to the job at a big program, so it shouldn’t be a stretch for him to succeed in his new role at Carolina.