Who could replace Larry Fedora at North Carolina?
North Carolina coach Larry Fedora was fired on Sunday, ending a seven-year run at the school. The Tar Heels went 45-44 and claimed the 2015 ACC Coastal Division title under Fedora’s direction. However, since winning 11 games in 2015, North Carolina’s win total declined to eight in ’16, three in ’17 and two this year.
Who could replace Fedora at North Carolina? Here are 10 names to watch:
North Carolina Football: 10 Coaching Candidates to Replace Larry Fedora
Blake Anderson, Head Coach, Arkansas State
Anderson is a former North Carolina assistant, working under Fedora in Chapel Hill from 2012-13. While ties to the former staff may push him down the list, Anderson is one of the Sun Belt’s top coaches and will get a look at Power 5 programs in the future. Anderson is 39-24 in five seasons with the Red Wolves and has guided the program to five (counting 2018) bowl appearances. Arkansas State has won at least seven games in all five of Anderson’s years at the helm and had a perfect 8-0 mark in Sun Belt play in 2015.
Neal Brown, Head Coach, Troy
Brown is a rising star in the Group of 5 ranks, and it’s only a matter of time before he gets a shot to run a Power 5 program. The Kentucky native is one of college football’s youngest coaches at 38 years old and has spent the last four seasons as Troy’s head coach. Brown is 34-16 with the Trojans, guiding the program to three seasons of at least nine victories (2016-18). Prior to his tenure at Troy, Brown was an assistant at Kentucky (2013-14), Texas Tech (2010-12), Troy (2006-09) and Delaware (2005).
Matt Canada, Interim Head Coach, Maryland
Canada worked as Maryland’s interim coach under difficult circumstances this year and guided the program to a 5-7 record. The Indiana native has a wealth of experience from stops as an assistant, including jobs at LSU (2017), Pitt (2016), NC State (2013-15), Wisconsin (2012), Northern Illinois (2011) and Indiana (2004-10).
Ryan Day, Co-Offensive Coordinator, Ohio State
Day’s stock has been on the rise in 2018. He worked as Ohio State’s interim coach for the first three games of 2018, guiding the Buckeyes to a 3-0 mark while Urban Meyer was suspended. Day joined Ohio State’s staff last season and took over as the team’s play-caller this fall, helping to develop Dwayne Haskins into one of the nation’s top quarterbacks. Prior to Ohio State, Day had stops on his resume from stints with the 49ers (2016), Eagles (2015), Boston College (2007-11 and 2013-14) and Temple (2012).
Tony Elliott, Co-Offensive Coordinator, Clemson
Could Elliott move from one ACC job to another? North Carolina would be wise to give Elliott a look, as the California native has worked as Clemson’s co-offensive coordinator since 2015. Prior to that season, Elliott coached running backs for the Tigers (2011-14) and worked as a wide receivers coach at South Carolina State (2006-07) and Furman (2008-10). Elliott does not have any head coaching experience, but he’s a bright offensive mind and is regarded as an excellent recruiter.
Seth Littrell, Head Coach, North Texas
Similar to Blake Anderson, Littrell also coached at North Carolina under Larry Fedora as an assistant (2014-15). The Oklahoma native is 23-16 in his three years as North Texas’ head coach and has guided the program to bowl games in all three seasons (counting 2018). The Mean Green also claimed the 2017 Conference USA West Division title. Littrell also has stops on his resume from stints as an assistant at Texas Tech, Arizona and Indiana.
Chip Long, Offensive Coordinator, Notre Dame
Long’s coaching ability has been on display this season, as the 35-year-old assistant has helped Notre Dame’s offense develop under quarterback Ian Book. Under Long’s direction, the Fighting Irish averaged 34.2 points a game and 33.8 in ’18. He also has stops on his resume as an assistant from Memphis (2016), Arizona State (2012-15) and Illinois (2010-11). Long does not have any previous head coaching experience.
Mike Norvell, Head Coach, Memphis
Norvell was hired at Memphis after Justin Fuente left for Virginia Tech, and the program hasn’t missed a beat over the last three years. Norvell is 26-12 in that span, guiding the Tigers to a 10-3 record with a No. 25 finish in the Associated Press poll in 2017. Additionally, Memphis has claimed back-to-back American Athletic Conference West Division titles. Prior to taking over as the Memphis head coach, Norvell worked as Arizona State’s offensive coordinator from 2012-15 and at Pitt in 2011. He also has a stop in his career at Tulsa from 2007-10. Norvell also has a good track record of building high-powered offenses.
Scott Satterfield, Head Coach, Appalachian State
Satterfield should be near the top of North Carolina’s list to replace Fedora. The North Carolina native played his college ball at Appalachian State and worked there as an assistant from 1998-08. Satterfield spent a season at Toledo (2009) and FIU (2010-11) before returning to Boone to call plays under legendary coach Jerry Moore (2012). Satterfield took over as Appalachian State’s head coach in 2013 and has guided the program to a 51-24 mark over the last six years. The Mountaineers have won at least nine games in each of the last four seasons and claimed the Sun Belt’s East Division title in 2018.
Mel Tucker, Defensive Coordinator, Georgia
Tucker’s stock is on the rise after spending the last three years in Athens. The former NFL assistant has helped Kirby Smart mold Georgia’s defense into one of the best in college football and is regarded for his work on the recruiting trail. Prior to coming to Athens, Tucker worked for a year at Alabama (2015) and had stints in the NFL with the Bears (2013-14), Jaguars (2009-12) and Browns (2005-08). Tucker also had a stint at Ohio State from 2011-04. He does not have any experience as a head coach at the college level.