UNC head football coach Larry Fedora
September 10, 1962 |
College Station, Texas
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
Garland HS (TX)
Air Force (QB/WR)
Middle Tennessee (OC)
Oklahoma State (OC)
|Head coaching record|
College Football Data Warehouse
|Accomplishments and honors|
1 C-USA (2011)
1 C-USA East Division (2011)
Larry Fedora (born September 10, 1962) is an American football coach and former player, and is the head football coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He accepted the position in December 2011 as UNC was facing sanctions by the NCAA for academic fraud and other improprieties. He was previously the head coach of the University of Southern Mississippi from 2008 to 2011.
Fedora played wide receiver at Austin College before starting his coaching career as a graduate assistant there in 1986. He spent four seasons as head coach at Garland High School, a powerhouse in Texas high school football, but then returned to the collegiate ranks, coaching tight ends, wide receivers and running backs for six seasons (1991–96) at Baylor. Fedora moved on to coach the passing game and receivers at United States Air Force Academy from 1997–98, before he became offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State University in 1999. In 2002, he was hired by Ron Zook to join his coaching staff at the University of Florida. Fedora served as run game coordinator in 2002, perimeter game coordinator in 2003 and offensive coordinator in 2004. During those three seasons, Fedora also coached the running backs and receivers.
His coaching strength is offense and is a proponent of the spread offense Fedora drew several assistant coaching offers from top-tier schools including LSU and Alabama as well as some head coaching offers including Rice and Air Force. Earning $393,000 a year at Oklahoma State, Fedora was one of the top paid offensive coordinators in the country. In November 2007, Fedora was rumored to be a candidate for the head coaching job at Baylor University, which eventually went to Art Briles.
On December 11, 2007, Fedora was named the new head coach of Southern Miss, replacing outgoing Jeff Bower. He signed a four-year contract with a $650,000 base salary, but incentives in the contract could bring the contract close to $900,000.
He made a big splash in his first recruiting season, as Fedora was able to land five-star prospect DeAndre Brown, who had offers from several Southeastern Conference schools, such as LSU, Ole Miss, and Auburn. Southern Miss was generally regarded as having the best recruiting class of the mid-major schools.
Fedora opened his first season as head coach at Southern Miss with a 51–21 drubbing of Louisiana–Lafayette, in which the Golden Eagles broke the school record for total yards in a single game with 633.
Under Fedora, Southern Miss notched the four most prolific offensive seasons in its 100-year football history. His players also graduated at a higher rate than at any time in school history.
In 2011, Fedora led his 24th-ranked Southern Mississippi team to winning the Conference USA championship by defeating then-No. 6 ranked and then-undefeated, Houston Cougars, two weeks after losing to UAB.
On December 7, 2011, ESPN's Joe Schad reported that Fedora accepted an offer to take the job at North Carolina, but still planned to coach the Golden Eagles in the 2011 Hawai'i Bowl. His hiring was officially announced the next day.
He was formally introduced as UNC's 34th full-time head coach on December 9. He promised to implement an aggressive, attacking philosophy on both sides of the ball, with the same wide-open spread offense he implemented at Southern Miss and a blitz-heavy defense. He summed up his philosophy with a quote from George S. Patton—"Instead of waiting to see what might develop, attack constantly, vigorously and viciously. Never let up, never stop, always attack." Fedora was already a familiar face to recently hired UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham, who had arrived a few months earlier from Conference USA rival Tulsa.
Fedora took over a program that had just been slapped with probation for numerous academic and impermissible benefits violations under predecessor Butch Davis— the second major NCAA infractions case in the history of UNC's entire athletic program. He took the job at UNC knowing that he would not be able to go to a bowl in his first year. Fedora led the Golden Eagles in the Hawaii Bowl, officially beginning his duties at UNC on January 1. His first season at UNC saw the Tar Heels finish with their first winning record in ACC play since 2004 and their third winning conference record of the millennium. Notably, they notched their first win over North Carolina State since 2006. Had it not been for the probation, they would have represented the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship Game; they finished tied atop the division with Miami and Georgia Tech, but would have won the three-way tie-breaker due to their victory over fourth-place Virginia Tech.
Following the firing of Tennessee coach Derek Dooley, Fedora was a prime candidate to succeed him. However, on December 5, one of UNC's early recruits, Jordan Fieulleteau, told The News & Observer and Inside Carolina that Fedora had assured him he would not leave UNC. A day later, Fedora told his team at their last meeting of the season that he would remain their coach. According to WNCN in Goldsboro, Fedora spoke with former Baylor coach Chuck Reedy, who'd given him his first full-time collegiate job, and said that he "turned down more money than I ever thought I'd see" because he was more than happy in Chapel Hill.
Fedora's second season in Chapel Hill got off to a sluggish start, with five losses in their first six games. However, the team recovered to win five of its final six games, including an unprecedented 80-20 thrashing of Old Dominion--the most points that a Tar Heel team has ever scored. After a close loss to Duke to end the season, the Tar Heels dominated Cincinnati 39-17 in the 2013 Belk Bowl.
Head coaching record
|Southern Miss Golden Eagles (Conference USA) (2008–2011)|
|2008||Southern Miss||7–6||4–4||3rd (East)||W New Orleans|
|2009||Southern Miss||7–6||5–3||3rd (East)||L New Orleans|
|2010||Southern Miss||8–5||5–3||T–2nd (East)||L Beef 'O' Brady's|
|2011||Southern Miss||12–2||6–2||1st (East)||W Hawaii||19||20|
|North Carolina Tar Heels (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2012–present)|
|2012||North Carolina||8–4||5–3||T–1st (Coastal) ‡||‡||‡|
|2013||North Carolina||7–6||4–4||5th (Coastal)||W Belk|
|North Carolina:||15–10||9–7||‡ Ineligible for ACC title, bowl game and Coaches' Poll|
|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.
- Carter, Andrew (2011-12-09). "Fedora officially takes the reins of UNC's football program". The News & Observer. Retrieved 2011-12-09.
- NewsOK.com: Fedora has chance to advance
- The Sporting News: Coaching Carousel: Baylor job could open soon
- Allen, Robert (2007-12-11). "It's Official Now, Fedora to Southern Miss". GoPokes. Retrieved 2007-12-12.
- Hattiesburg American: Incentives may push salary near $900K
- The Clarion-Ledger: Believe it now
- Source: UNC to hire Larry Fedora. ESPN, 2011-12-07.
- Larry Fedora Will Be New Football Coach. UNC Athletic Department, 2011-12-08.
- North Carolina introduces Larry Fedora as new football coach USA Today, 2011-12-09.
- Transcript of Fedora's introductory press conference
- Carter, Andrew. Fedora assures recruit he will remain Tar Heels coach. The News & Observer, 2012-12-06.
- Callahan, Don. Fedora tells recruit he's staying. Inside Carolina, 2012-12-05.
- Fedora tells team he's staying at UNC. WNCN, 2012-12-06.
- Report: UNC's Fedora turned down 'more money than I ever thought I'd see'. WNCN, 2012-12-06.