UPDATE: Offensive line coach Jack Bicknell is going with Longo to Wisconsin, per Feldman:
SOURCE: UNC offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. also is expected to join the Wisconsin staff as the Badgers new O-line coach. He and new OC Phil Longo coached together at Ole Miss and at UNC: https://t.co/7rR0mYYfDL https://t.co/oHAmylR2gA— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 7, 2022
UNC offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Phil Longo has reportedly agreed to take the same job on Luke Fickell’s staff in Wisconsin, per a tweet from Bruce Feldman:
SOURCE: Phil Longo is leaving UNC to go to Wisconsin to become the Badgers OC. He had a prolific offense in Chapel Hill and helped develop Drake Maye into a star this year. He's had a strong relationship with Luke Fickell for awhile and he interviewed for the Cincy OC before.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 7, 2022
Longo was one of Mack Brown’s first hires when he came to Chapel Hill for his second go-around, and the hire immediately paid dividends — with a true freshman at quarterback of a roster that had won two games the previous year, Longo engineered the nation’s 26th-most effective offense in terms of efficiency, getting an unprecedentedly good season out of Sam Howell and creating an environment for good players like Michael Carter, Javonte Williams, Dazz Newsome, and Dyami Brown to become stars. Getting nearly everybody back for 2020, Longo took things to the next level, orchestrating possibly the greatest offensive season in program history and a top-5 offense in the country as UNC went to a New Years’ Six bowl game for the first time in living memory.
Just as impressive, however, may have been how he handled the next two years — In 2021, losing nearly all of his offensive contributors through the air and on the ground, Longo didn’t blink, and posted another top-15 offense on the back of Sam Howell and Josh Downs even as his offensive line regressed into one of the worst in the nation and his counterpart’s defense struggled mightily and frequently didn’t allow room for the offense to be anything but perfect. Then, in 2022, after losing the best quarterback in program history, Longo managed to not just avoid a dropoff but in fact upgrade the position with redshirt freshman Drake Maye, who led the ACC in nearly all major categories as the UNC offense, despite grinding to a halt towards the end of the season, ranked in the country’s top 20 units in adjusted efficiency for the third straight year.
Longo’s offense has produced more 1000-yard players from scrimmage than anybody else in the country over the last three years and is responsible, at this point, for a substantial portion of UNC’s record books, both team and individual. While his offense is often remembered for its occasional lapses and relative red zone mediocrity, Longo’s productivity, explosiveness, and quarterback play were pretty unprecedented in the history of UNC football, and his time in Chapel Hill is much appreciated.
We’ll have more on Mack Brown’s search to replace him as it unfolds. It’s unknown at this point if Longo intends to coach UNC in the upcoming Holiday Bowl.