John Bunting (American football)
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July 15, 1950 |
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1985||Baltimore Stars (LB)|
|1987||Glassboro State (DL)|
|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)|
|Head coaching record|
|Tournaments||2–2 (NCAA D-III playoffs)|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|2 NJAC (1991–1992)|
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.
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
|Glassboro State Profs (New Jersey Athletic Conference) (1988–1992)|
|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|
|North Carolina Tar Heels (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2001–2006)|
|2001||North Carolina||8–5||5–3||3rd||W Peach|
|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)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|