June 15, 1963 |
Charlotte, North Carolina
|Position(s)||Defensive back, linebacker|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1988–1989||Austin Peay (DC)|
|1990||Austin Peay (ST/WR)|
|1992–1993||Southern Miss (assistant)|
|1994||New Orleans Saints (assistant)|
|2001–2006||Tennessee Titans (assistant)|
|2008–2010||North Carolina (DC)|
|2012–2013||Ohio State (DC)|
|Head coaching record|
Everett Rowe Withers (born June 15, 1963) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head coach for the James Madison Dukes. Withers served as head football coach at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during the 2011 season.
Withers was born in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 15, 1963. He attended West Charlotte High School and later attended Appalachian State University for college, graduating in 1985. He was a standout defensive back for the Mountaineers and a captain.
Withers started his coaching career at Austin Peay State University as the defensive coordinator in 1988. He then proceeded to coach wide receivers and special teams at Austin Peay before moving on to coach outside linebackers at Tulane University in 1991. A year later he went to the University of Southern Mississippi to coach defensive backs. Withers then moved to the National Football League (NFL), joining the New Orleans Saints as a defensive quality controller in 1994. He then took the job of defensive coordinator at the University of Louisville, serving from 1995 to 1997. He then joined the University of Texas at Austin coaching staff as the defensive backs coach in 1998. In 2001 he went back to the NFL to take the job of defensive backs coach of the Tennessee Titans. In 2007, he took the job of defensive coordinator at the University of Minnesota. He then took the defensive coordinator job at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) in 2008. He was promoted to interim head coach from the defensive coordinator position after Butch Davis was fired on July 27, 2011.
Withers has made accomplishments at several of his coaching stops, both college and the NFL. While he was the defensive backs coach of the Titans, they achieved a top ten defensive ranking in 2002, his first season with the Titans. From 2002 to 2004, the Titans grabbed 57 interceptions, the best ever for a three-year span for the franchise, fourth best in the AFC and eighth best in the NFL. The Titans tallied 21 picks in 2004, with 16 coming from the Withers coached secondary. In his first year with the Tar Heels, his defense totaled 20 interceptions, one shy of the school record for interceptions in a year. 2009 was an elite year for Withers's defense as they ranked sixth in total defense in the nation. They ranked 10th against the run, 13th in scoring defense and 14th in pass defense. The UNC defense was the only defense in the nation that was ranked in the top 15 in total yards allowed, scoring defense, run defense, pass defense, pass-efficiency defense, third down defense and tackles for loss. The Carolina defense totaled 19 interceptions and set an ACC record with 508 interception return yards. In 2010 the Tar Heels matched their interception total of 2009 with 19 picks. The Heels also ranked fourth in the ACC and 30th nationally in defense, even with injuries that made Withers play a different lineup every game. During the three total years that Withers was defensive coordinator of the Tar Heels, they totaled 58 interceptions.
Scandal at UNC
Withers was promoted to the head coaching position at UNC on July 28, 2011 after it was announced that Butch Davis had been fired following a scandal that involved improper benefits to players from an agent, excessive parking tickets accumulated by players, overuse of a tutor, plagiarism, and other violations that could bring harsh punishment to the football program from the NCAA. These punishments would go along with the self-imposed sanctions that the University has already placed on their football program, including a two-year probation a $50,000 fine, a reduction of scholarships and the vacation of 16 wins from the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Withers was identified by the Wainstein investigation report in 2014 as refusing to help the investigation for his role in academic fraud at UNC during his years there. 
With Withers leading the Tar Heels as the new head coach the 2011 season got started with many distractions. The Tar Heels beat their first opponent, FCS school James Madison University 42–10. Bryn Renner set the single game school record for completion percentage at 95.7%. The Heels then beat Rutgers University 24–22, holding the Scarlet Knights to one total yard rushing and 244 yards overall. The week after, the South's Oldest Rivalry was resumed, as Carolina beat the University of Virginia 28–17. UNC rushed for 222 total yards for an average of 5.4 yards per carry. The Heels then traveled to Atlanta to play #25 Georgia Tech, dropping this one 35–28. Georgia Tech had 312 yards rushing and 496 yards total on the day. Next the Heels played East Carolina University beating them 35–20. The Heels then proceeded to beat the University of Louisville 14–7. Giovani Bernard became the first Tar Heel rusher in 27 years to rush for over 100 yards in four straight games. Bernard extended his streak of 100 yard rushing games to five in UNC's 30–24 loss to University of Miami. The Heels recovered an onside kick with under a minute to go, but time ran out before they could score. The Heels then traveled to Clemson University to face the Tigers, losing 59–38. It was the second most points given up by the Tar Heels in their 405 ACC games, trailing only the 63 given up in a game against Florida State University in 2000. The next game was the Homecoming game for the Heels, and they beat Wake Forest University 49–24. UNC racked up 506 total yards and caught four interceptions in the game. Next up for the Heels was the rivalry game with North Carolina State University in Raleigh, which the Heels lost 13–0. It was the fifth straight loss to the Wolfpack, the first shutout in the series since 1960. Giovani Bernard did break the 1,000 yard rushing mark for the season, but as a team the Heels were held to three total yards rushing. On a Thursday night in Blacksburg, Virginia the Heels lost to Virginia Tech 24–21. Dwight Jones passed the 1,000 yard receiving mark for the season, making the 2011 Tar Heels the first team to have a 1,000 yard receiver and rusher in the same season. UNC closed out the regular season with a home win over arch-rival Duke University, winning 37–21. The Heels have won the last 20 of 21 games in the series and hold an all time advantage of 58–35–4. Dwight Jones's 79 receptions and Bryn Renner's 23 TD passes set single season records for the Tar Heels.
On December 20, 2013, Withers accepted the position of head football coach at James Madison University. During a successful first campaign with the Dukes, Withers led the team back to the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2011 and was named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson FCS Coach of the Year award.
Head coaching record
- As of October 3, 2015
|North Carolina Tar Heels (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2011)|
|2011||North Carolina||7–6||3–5||T–4th (Coastal)||L Independence|
|James Madison Dukes (Colonial Athletic Association) (2014–present)|
|2014||James Madison||9–4||6–2||3rd||L FCS Playoffs First Round|
- Zimmerman, Luke. "Ohio State Co-DC Everett Withers to be James Madison head coach".
- "Everett Withers Named North Carolina Defensive Coordinator". University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. February 25, 2008. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
- "Everett Withers named Carolina's Interim Head Football Coach".
- "Good Hire: Withers new Defensive Coordinator/DB Coach".
- Parsons, Kelly. "UNC outlines self-imposed football sanctions in response to NCAA".
- "UNC Report Academic Fraud".
- Beard, Aaron. "Fired up NC State shuts out North Carolina".
- "2011 UNC Football Schedule". Tar Heel Times.
- "Withers Named Finalist For Eddie Robinson FCS Coach of the Year". JMUsports.com. 2014-11-20. Retrieved 2014-11-20.