John Bunting (American football)

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John Bunting
No. 95
Date of birth (1950-07-15) July 15, 1950 (age 65)
Place of birth Portland, Maine
Career information
Position(s) Linebacker
College North Carolina
NFL draft 1972 / Round: 10 / Pick: 248
Career history
As player
1972–1982 Philadelphia Eagles
1983–1984 Philadelphia Stars (USFL)
Career stats
John Bunting
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1950-07-15) July 15, 1950 (age 65)
Portland, Maine
Playing career
1969–1971 North Carolina
Position(s) Linebacker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1985 Baltimore Stars (LB)
1986 Brown (DE)
1987 Glassboro State (DL)
1988–1992 Glassboro State
1993–1994 Kansas City Chiefs (DE)
1995–1996 Kansas City Chiefs (LB)
1997 St. Louis Rams (LB)
1998–1999 St. Louis Rams (Co-DC/LB)
2000 New Orleans Saints (LB)
2001–2006 North Carolina
Head coaching record
Overall 65–59–2
Bowls 1–1
Tournaments 2–2 (NCAA D-III playoffs)
Accomplishments and honors
2 NJAC (1991–1992)

John Stephen Bunting (born July 15, 1950) is a former head American football coach at the University of North Carolina as well as a former National Football League (NFL) player.

Playing career[edit]

Bunting grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland and graduated from Springbrook High School in 1968. He was a starting linebacker for the University of North Carolina from 1969 to 1971 under Coach Bill Dooley. In 1971, Bunting earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors and helped lead the Tar Heels to their first outright ACC title, in 1971.

He had an eleven-year NFL career as a linebacker with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1972 to 1982, and he played in Philadelphia's Super Bowl XV game against the Oakland Raiders. Bunting then played for the Philadelphia Stars of the United States Football League from 1983 to 1984. After retiring as an NFL player, Bunting moved into the coaching ranks. He has served as an assistant coach for three NFL teams: Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Rams, and the New Orleans Saints. As the Rams' co-defensive coordinator (along with Peter Giunta), he played a key role in leading that team to their victory in Super Bowl XXXIV. In December 2000, UNC athletic director Dick Baddour decided to hire him as the school's head football coach, replacing the fired Carl Torbush.

Coaching career[edit]

In his first season, Bunting led the Tar Heels to an 8-5 record and a victory over Auburn in the 2001 Peach Bowl. However, his teams since were highly inconsistent. Bunting compiled an overall record of 27 wins and 45 losses over six seasons. Bunting does own UNC's only two wins over a team ranked in the top 10 of a major media poll in school history. In 2001, the Tar Heels beat Florida State 41-9; the Seminoles were ranked sixth in the AP Poll at the time. In 2004, the Tar Heels defeated Miami 31-28 on a last-second field goal by Connor Barth; the Hurricanes were ranked fourth at the time in the AP poll. On the other end of the spectrum, his 2005 team was routed 69-14 by Louisville, one of the worst losses in modern Tar Heel history.

During his final season (2006), his team had a record of 3-9, while averaging over 23 fewer points per game than their opponents.

Bunting was fired by UNC Athletic Director Dick Baddour on October 22, 2006. He was allowed to finish out the 2006 season. His last home victory on November 18, 2006, against North Carolina State University, broke a seven-game losing streak, and he was able to close out his career one week later with a 45-44 win over the Duke Blue Devils.

Since his split with North Carolina, Bunting has been working as a commentator and announcer for college football.


Bunting is married to Dawn Bunting and they have two children. They live on the North Carolina coast.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Glassboro State Profs (New Jersey Athletic Conference) (1988–1992)
1988 Glassboro State 5–5
1989 Glassboro State 5–3–2
1990 Glassboro State 7–3
1991 Glassboro State 9–2 5–1 1st L NCAA Division III First Round
1992 Glassboro State 12–1 6–0 1st L NCAA Division III Semifinal
Glassboro State: 38–14–2
North Carolina Tar Heels (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2001–2006)
2001 North Carolina 8–5 5–3 3rd W Peach
2002 North Carolina 3–9 1–7 8th
2003 North Carolina 2–10 1–7 9th
2004 North Carolina 6–6 5–3 T–3rd L Continental Tire
2005 North Carolina 5–6 4–4 4th (Coastal)
2006 North Carolina 3–9 2–6 5th (Coastal)
North Carolina: 27–45 18–30
Total: 65–59–2
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title