Butch Davis

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Butch Davis
Butch Davis.jpg
Davis at the 2007 ACC Football Kickoff
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1951-11-17) November 17, 1951 (age 62)
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Playing career
1970 Arkansas
Position(s) Defensive end
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1973
1974–1975
1976–1977
1978
1979–1983
1984–1988
1989–1992
1993–1994
1995–2000
2001–2004
2007–2010
Fayetteville HS (AR) (DC)
Pawhuska HS (OK) (DC)
Charles Page HS (OK) (DC)
Will Rogers HS (OK)
Oklahoma State (TE/WR)
Miami (DL)
Dallas Cowboys (DL)
Dallas Cowboys (DC)
Miami
Cleveland Browns
North Carolina
Head coaching record
Overall 63-43 (college)
24–34 (NFL)
Bowls 5-2
Statistics
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
3 Big East (1995–1996, 2000)

Paul Hilton "Butch" Davis, Jr. (born November 17, 1951) is an American football coach.

After graduating from the University of Arkansas, he became an assistant college football coach at Oklahoma State University and the University of Miami before becoming the defensive coordinator of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys. He was head coach of the University of Miami Hurricanes football team from 1995 to 2000 and the NFL's Cleveland Browns from 2001 to 2004. Between 2007 and 2011, he served as the head coach of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) Tar Heels football team from 2007 until the summer of 2011, when a series of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) investigations resulted in his dismissal. He was hired by the Buccaneers as an adviser in February 2012.

Early years[edit]

Davis was born on November 17, 1951 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, to Paul and Pat Davis. He attended high school at Bixby High School in Bixby, Oklahoma where he was an all-state fullback and defensive end for the Spartans football team and graduated in 1970. After graduation, he attended the University of Arkansas and played defensive end for the Razorbacks. Due to a knee injury, Davis was sidelined after his freshman year and became a student assistant for the rest of his college career. After graduation from college, he held assistant coaching positions at several high schools, including Fayetteville High School in 1973, Pawhuska High School from 1974 to 1975, and Charles Page High School in Sand Springs, Oklahoma from 1976 to 1977. He held his first head coaching job at Will Rogers High School in 1978.

In 1979, Butch began a successful 15-year association with Jimmy Johnson, first as a receivers and tight ends coach at Oklahoma State University for the Cowboys, then later as defensive line coach at the University of Miami. During that time, the 1987 Miami Hurricanes football team won the NCAA Division I-A national football championship.

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Davis followed Jimmy Johnson to Dallas, where Davis was promoted to defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys in 1993 after the departure of Dave Wannstedt. As defensive coordinator and coach of the defensive line, he helped Johnson and new owner Jerry Jones win back-to-back Super Bowls with a Dallas Cowboys team that had gone 1–15 in 1989, Johnson's first year as head coach. After Johnson left, Davis continued at Dallas for one more year as assistant coach under Barry Switzer.

University of Miami[edit]

Davis was hired as the head football coach at the University of Miami in January 1995.[1] Not long after Davis was hired to head coach at the University of Miami, the Hurricanes were found to have committed several violations of NCAA rules during the tenure of his predecessor, Dennis Erickson.[2] As a result, the Hurricanes were barred from postseason play in his first year (despite an 8–3 record) and lost 31 football scholarship spots over several years. Davis earned a 51–20 record during his tenure as head coach. During Davis' final year of coaching the team, the Hurricanes finished 11–1 and were ranked as the second best team in the country in 2000, but due to a quirk in the Bowl Championship Series formula, the team didn't play in that year's national championship game, the 2001 Orange Bowl. The Hurricanes were passed over in favor of the Florida State Seminoles, whom they'd beaten in the regular season and who lost the Orange Bowl to the Oklahoma Sooners 13-2. The Hurricanes earned recognition from the American Football Coaches Association for outstanding graduation rates in each of his six seasons at Miami. Numerous professional football players were coached or recruited by Davis in his time at Miami. Davis' smaller-than-usual recruiting classes are widely considered to have laid the foundation for Miami's undefeated national championship team of 2001 (under Davis' former offensive coordinator, Larry Coker), since many of his recruits were forced to play right away.[citation needed]

Cleveland Browns[edit]

Davis became head coach of the Cleveland Browns in and led the team to a 7–9 record in his first year, missing the playoffs by a game. The Browns posted a 9–7 record and got a playoff berth in Davis' second year, getting in after winning two close games in a row against the Baltimore Ravens and the Atlanta Falcons. In 2003, a quarterback controversy erupted between Tim Couch and backup Kelly Holcomb after Holcomb, starting the 2002 playoff game for the injured Couch, threw for 429 yards and three touchdowns. Davis would ultimately give the starting job to Holcomb, though Couch did start a few games. In the 2004 offseason, Davis signed Jeff Garcia and cut Couch. Davis was forced to resign in early December 2004 after a 3–8 start and ended with a 24–35 overall record as coach of the Browns.

University of North Carolina[edit]

Davis coming through campus before UNC's game against Florida State in 2009

On November 13, 2006, University of North Carolina athletic director Dick Baddour announced that Davis had been hired as the school's new head football coach. On November 27, 2006, Davis officially succeeded John Bunting, who was fired in October 2006 after posting one winning season in the previous six seasons as head coach of the Tar Heels. Davis took over a program that had seen three winning seasons in the past eight years and had won more than six games in a season two other times.

During his first season as head coach, the 2007 Tar Heels finished 4–8, with six of those losses coming by a touchdown or less and two coming against teams ranked in the top 15 at the time. Despite a losing record in 2007, North Carolina fans averaged over 57,000 fans in Kenan Stadium during the season, the highest average attendance since Brown's tenure[citation needed]. The 2007 matchup against South Carolina saw a crowd of 61,000, the second-largest in school history.[citation needed] During the season, suspicion mounted that Davis would leave UNC after his first year if the head coaching job at his alma mater, Arkansas, opened up. The rumors grew louder when Houston Nutt was forced to resign at Arkansas, but Davis denied he was leaving. On November 21, 2007, Davis agreed to a one-year contract extension, along with a raise of about $291,000 annually. Davis said in a statement that one year at UNC convinced him that this was where he wanted to be, and that he intended to have "a long and successful career in Chapel Hill."[3] Davis originally signed a seven-year deal worth approximately $1.86 million per season, with a base salary of $286,000. Additionally, he received $25,000 a year in expenses and a supplement from the Educational Foundation (Ram's Club) that ranged from $1 million in 2007 to $1.3 million in 2013. Baddour said he could not release all the details of the contract until it approved by the school's board of trustees, but did say the base salary would rise $29,000, the expenses would go up $5,000, and Davis’ supplemental income would go up $100,000.

The 2008 North Carolina Tar Heels football team were expected to be much improved from the previous year, with most outlets picking them to finish second in the Coastal Division.[citation needed] On October 4, the Heels defeated the then 24th-ranked Connecticut Huskies 38–12 for their first victory over a ranked non-conference opponent in 11 years. As a result, the Tar Heels were ranked 22nd in the weekly Associated Press rankings, their first appearance in a major poll in seven years. The following Saturday, the Tar Heels defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, their first regular-season win as a ranked team in 11 years. A crowd of 60,500, third-largest in school history, watched the Tar Heels play the Fighting Irish.[citation needed] A 16–13 overtime loss at Virginia on October 18 briefly knocked the Heels out of the rankings, but after a 45-24 victory over Boston College on October 25, the team became bowl-eligible for the first time since 2004. The win also resulted in the team being ranked in the Bowl Championship Series rankings for the first time since the BCS began in 1998. A week later, they defeated Georgia Tech to clinch their first winning season since 2001, and only their fourth since Mack Brown left the school after the 1997 season. The Tar Heels lost three of their last four games, including a loss in the Meineke Car Care Bowl to West Virginia.

Davis led the 2009 Tar Heels to another 8–4 regular season record and a second straight bowl appearance, the first time since the 1997–1998 seasons that UNC had made consecutive bowl appearances. A loss to North Carolina State in the final game of the season sent them back to the Meineke Car Care Bowl. UNC faced the Pittsburgh Panthers on December 26, 2009 and lost for the second straight year, giving UNC another 8-5 final record. Additionally, Butch Davis led Carolina football to its 6th consecutive year of graduating more than 75% of its football players. The America Football Coaches Association recognized fewer than 30 public universities for superior graduation rates last year, with UNC the only such institution in the state of North Carolina and the Atlantic Coast Conference.[4]

Academic misconduct[edit]

In July 2010, the NCAA began investigating violations involving improper benefits provided by agents to current players at UNC.[5] In September 2010, the NCAA opened a second prong of its investigation, this time involving possible improper tutor involvement with UNC student-athletes.[6] In response to the investigation, local and national sports columnists called for Davis' termination,[7][8] but some North Carolina fans still supported the coach.[9] A survey of UNC fans reflected strong support for Coach Davis despite the ongoing investigation.[10] Thirteen UNC football players were suspended for the team's season opener in Atlanta against the Louisiana State University Tigers, and the Tar Heels lost the game 30–24. The Tar Heels later lost to ACC rivals Miami, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and NC State, but won their first game since 1981 in Virginia's Scott Stadium and gained their first win ever in FSU's Doak Campbell Stadium. In October 2010, wide receiver Greg Little, defensive tackle Marvin Austin, and defensive end Robert Quinn were ruled permanently ineligible after it was discovered they improperly accepted gifts from sports agents. Five other players were found guilty of accepting improper benefits and/or inappropriate academic assistance.[11] On July 27, 2011, Davis was fired by UNC chancellor Holden Thorp amid an NCAA investigation of academic misconduct and allegations players receiving improper benefits from agents.[12] Thorp said the move was necessary to restore confidence in UNC's integrity.[13] On September 19, 2011, in response to an NCAA notice of allegations, Davis was never mentioned in the NCAA inquiry and had no involvement in the investigation.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers[edit]

In February 2012, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Davis as a special assistant to newly hired head coach Greg Schiano. The terms of Davis' settlement with the University of North Carolina prevented him from taking a coaching position, and he was instead hired as an advisor to Schiano, who was the defensive coordinator under Davis at the University of Miami.[14]

Coaching tree[edit]

Several of Davis' assistant coaches from his head coaching positions have gone on to be NFL and college football head coaches. Three of the coordinators from his time at the University of Miami would go on to be head coaches at either the NCAA or NFL level. Special teams coach Chuck Pagano is head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Greg Schiano would go on to become the head coach of Rutgers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Larry Coker became the head coach of the University of Miami following Davis' departure and is currently the head coach at The University of Texas at San Antonio. In addition to Pagano, Schiano, and Coker, former FIU head coach Mario Cristobal served under Davis as a graduate assistant from 1998 to 2000. Another assistant coach under Davis at Miami who would go on to become a head coach is Randy Shannon. Shannon served as the linebackers coach for Davis' first three years at Miami. Current Tulane football coach Curtis Johnson also was an assistant under Davis at UM. Johnson served as the wide receivers coach from 1996 to 2005. Davis' tight ends coach at the University of Miami was Rob Chudzinski, former head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Chudzinski worked in Cleveland when Davis was the head coach there serving as tight ends coach in 2004.

While with the Cleveland Browns and the North Carolina Tar Heels, three of Davis' assistant coaches went on to serve as head coaches in some capacity. Everett Withers replaced him as the head coach at North Carolina on an interim basis. Withers is currently a head coach at James Madison University. The secondary coach in Cleveland under Davis, Todd Bowles served as the interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2011. He later interviewed for the head coaching jobs with the Dolphins and with the Oakland Raiders. The previous year he interviewed for the Dallas Cowboys head coaching job.[15] Davis' special teams coach in Cleveland in 2004, Taver Johnson, served as the interim head coach of Arkansas for a brief time during the spring following Bobby Petrino's departure and currently is the cornerbacks coach.

Head coaching record[edit]

College[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Miami Hurricanes (Big East Conference) (1995–2000)
1995 Miami 8–3 6–1 T–1st 20
1996 Miami 9–3 6–1 T–1st W Carquest 14 14
1997 Miami 5–6 3–4 T–5th
1998 Miami 9–3 5–2 T–2nd W Micron PC 21 20
1999 Miami 9–4 6–1 2nd W Gator 15 15
2000 Miami 11–1 7–0 1st W Sugar 2 2
Miami: 51–20 33–9
North Carolina Tar Heels (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2007–2010)
2007 North Carolina 4–8 3–5 4th (Coastal)
2008 North Carolina 8–5* 4–4* T–3rd (Coastal) L Meineke Car Care
2009 North Carolina 8–5* 4–4* 4th (Coastal) L Meineke Car Care
2010 North Carolina 8–5 4–4 T–3rd (Coastal) W Music City
North Carolina: 28–23 15–17
Total: 63–43
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

* North Carolina self-imposed a penalty of vacating 16 wins in the 2008 and 2009 seasons due to NCAA violations. [16]

NFL[edit]

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
CLE 2001 7 9 0 .438 3rd in AFC Central - - - -
CLE 2002 9 7 0 .563 2nd in AFC North 0 1 .000 Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Wild Card Game.
CLE 2003 5 11 0 .313 4th in AFC North - - - -
CLE 2004 3 8 0 .300 4th in AFC North - - - -
CLE Total 24 35 0 .414 0 1 .000 -
Total[17] 24 35 0 .414 0 1 .000 -

References[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Dave Wannstedt
Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator
1993–1994
Succeeded by
Dave Campo