List of North Carolina Tar Heels bowl games

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Several American football players in white and navy uniforms in action at the end zone area of the field.
North Carolina quarterback T. J. Yates with the ball in North Carolina's end-zone during the 2008 Meineke Car Care Bowl.

The North Carolina Tar Heels football team competes as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), representing the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Since the establishment of the team in 1888, North Carolina has appeared in 30 bowl games, including in these games are three combined appearances in the traditional "big four" bowl games (the Rose, Sugar, Cotton, and Orange).[1][2][3]

North Carolina's first bowl game was in 1947, when head coach Carl Snavely led them to the Sugar Bowl, where they lost to Georgia 20–10.[2] Snavely led the Tar Heels to another Sugar Bowl and one Cotton Bowl, which both resulted in losses for the Tar Heels.[2] Taking over for Snavely following the 1952 season was George Barclay, who did not lead the Tar Heels to any bowl games during his three-season tenure.[4] Barclay's successor, Jim Tatum, coached for three years without reaching a bowl game.[4] Jim Hickey replaced Tatum after the 1958 season and coached North Carolina to one bowl game, the 1963 Gator Bowl, where they won their first bowl game in program history.[4][5]

Bill Dooley succeeded Hickey as head coach and led the Tar Heels to six bowl games through his eleven-season run as head coach.[6] Of the six bowls Dooley led North Carolina to, they won only one, the 1972 Sun Bowl.[6] Dick Crum took over as head coach before the 1978 season. Crum led the Tar Heels to four consecutive bowl victories before losing the final two of his tenure at Carolina.[7] Crum handed over control of the program to Mack Brown after the 1987 season.[8][9] Brown assisted the Tar Heels into making a bowl game in six straight seasons; however, before the 1998 Gator Bowl, Brown accepted the head coaching position at the University of Texas at Austin and was subsequently barred from coaching in the bowl game.[9] Defensive coordinator Carl Torbush was promoted to head coach.[9][10] Torbush led the Tar Heels to two bowl victories – the 1998 Gator Bowl and the 1998 Las Vegas Bowl – before being let go after the 2000 season.[11][12]

North Carolina alum John Bunting was hired as coach before the 2001 season.[13][14] Bunting led the Tar Heels to a 16–10 Peach Bowl victory in his inaugural season,[15] and later to the 2004 Continental Tire Bowl, where they lost to Boston College.[16] Bunting was dismissed after the 2006 season.[17] North Carolina's then Athletic Director, Dick Baddour, subsequently hired Butch Davis to be the coach of the Tar Heels.[18] Davis brought the Tar Heels to three bowl games before being fired in the midst of an NCAA investigation into the North Carolina football program.[19] Everett Withers took over the program as the interim head coach for the 2011 season.[20] Withers helped the Tar Heels become bowl-eligible and participate in the 2011 Independence Bowl, where they lost by seventeen points to the Missouri Tigers.[21] Larry Fedora, coming off of a successful season as the head coach for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles football team, was hired to be the next head coach for the Tar Heels.[22] After obtaining a bowl eligible record but not being able to play in the postseason due to self-imposed sanctions in his first year, Fedora led North Carolina to a victory in the Belk Bowl over Cincinnati in his second season.[23]


Bowl games[edit]

List of bowl games showing bowl played in, score, date, season, opponent, stadium, location, attendance and head coach[A 1]
# Bowl Score[A 2] Date Season[A 3] Opponent[A 4] Stadium Location Attendance[24] Head coach
1 Sugar Bowl L 20–10 January 1, 1947 1946 Georgia Bulldogs Tulane Stadium New Orleans 73,300 Snavely, CarlCarl Snavely
2 Sugar Bowl L 14–6 January 1, 1949 1948 Oklahoma Sooners Tulane Stadium New Orleans 82,000double-dagger Snavely, CarlCarl Snavely
3 Cotton Bowl Classic L 27–13 January 2, 1950 1949 Rice Owls Cotton Bowl Dallas 75,347double-dagger Snavely, CarlCarl Snavely
4 Gator Bowl W 35–0 December 28, 1963 1963 Air Force Falcons Gator Bowl Stadium Jacksonville 50,018 Hickey, JimJim Hickey
5 Peach Bowl L 48–26 December 30, 1970 1970 Arizona State Sun Devils Grant Field Georgia 52,126double-dagger Dooley, BillBill Dooley
6 Gator Bowl L 7–3 December 31, 1971 1971 Georgia Bulldogs Gator Bowl Stadium Jacksonville 71,208 Dooley, BillBill Dooley
7 Sun Bowl W 32–28 December 30, 1972 1972 Texas Tech Red Raiders Sun Bowl Stadium El Paso 31,312 Dooley, BillBill Dooley
8 Sun Bowl L 26–24 December 28, 1974 1974 Mississippi Bulldogs Sun Bowl Stadium El Paso 30,131 Dooley, BillBill Dooley
9 Peach Bowl L 21–0 December 31, 1976 1976 Kentucky Wildcats Fulton County Stadium Georgia 54,132double-dagger Dooley, BillBill Dooley
10 Liberty Bowl L 21–17 December 19, 1977 1977 Nebraska Cornhuskers Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium Memphis 49,456 Dooley, BillBill Dooley
11 Gator Bowl W 17–15 December 28, 1979 1979 Michigan Wolverines Gator Bowl Stadium Jacksonville 70,407 Crum, DickDick Crum
12 Bluebonnet Bowl W 16–7 December 31, 1980 1980 Texas Longhorns Houston Astrodome Houston 36,667 Crum, DickDick Crum
13 Gator Bowl W 31-27 December 28, 1981 1981 Arkansas Razorbacks Gator Bowl Stadium Jacksonville 71,009 Crum, DickDick Crum
14 Sun Bowl W 26–10 December 25, 1982 1982 Texas Longhorns Sun Bowl Stadium El Paso 31,359 Crum, DickDick Crum
15 Peach Bowl L 28–3 December 30, 1983 1983 Florida State Seminoles Fulton County Stadium Georgia 25,648 Crum, DickDick Crum
16 Aloha Bowl L 30–21 December 27, 1986 1986 Arizona Wildcats Aloha Stadium Honolulu 26,743 Crum, DickDick Crum
17 Peach Bowl W 21–17 January 2, 1993 1992 Mississippi Bulldogs Georgia Dome Georgia 69,125double-dagger Brown, MackMack Brown
18 Gator Bowl L 24–10 December 31, 1993 1993 Alabama Crimson Tide Gator Bowl Stadium Jacksonville 67,205 Brown, MackMack Brown
19 Sun Bowl L 35–30 December 30, 1994 1994 Texas Longhorns Sun Bowl Stadium El Paso 50,612 Brown, MackMack Brown
20 CarQuest Bowl W 20–10 December 30, 1995 1995 Arkansas Razorbacks Joe Robbie Stadium Miami 34,428 Brown, MackMack Brown
21 Gator Bowl W 20–13 January 1, 1997 1996 West Virginia Mountaineers Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Jacksonville 45,202 Brown, MackMack Brown
22 Gator Bowl W 42–3 January 1, 1998 1997 Virginia Tech Hokies Alltel Stadium Jacksonville 54,116 Torbush, CarlCarl Torbush
23 Las Vegas Bowl W 20–13 December 19, 1998 1998 San Diego State Aztecs Sam Boyd Stadium Whitney 21,429 Torbush, CarlCarl Torbush
24 Peach Bowl W 16–10 December 31, 2001 2001 Auburn Tigers Georgia Dome Atlanta 71,827 Bunting, JohnJohn Bunting
25 Continental Tire Bowl L 37–24 December 30, 2004 2004 Boston College Bank of America Stadium Charlotte 70,412 Bunting, JohnJohn Bunting
26 Meineke Car Care Bowl L 31–30 December 27, 2008 2008 West Virginia Mountaineers Bank of America Stadium Charlotte 73,712dagger Davis, ButchButch Davis
27 Meineke Car Care Bowl L 19–17 December 26, 2009 2009 Pittsburgh Panthers Bank of America Stadium Charlotte 50,389 Davis, ButchButch Davis
28 Music City Bowl W 30–27 (2OT) December 31, 2010 2010 Tennessee Volunteers LP Field Nashville 69,143 Davis, ButchButch Davis
29 Independence Bowl L 41–24 December 26, 2011 2011 Missouri Tigers Independence Stadium Shreveport 41,728 Withers, EverettEverett Withers
30 Belk Bowl W 39–17 December 28, 2013 2013 Cincinnati Bearcats Bank of America Stadium Charlotte 45,211 Fedora, LarryLarry Fedora
31 Quick Lane Bowl L 40–21 December 26, 2014 2014 Rutgers Scarlet Knights Ford Field Detroit 23,876 Fedora, LarryLarry Fedora


  1. ^ Statistics correct as of 2013–14 NCAA football bowl games.
  2. ^ Results are sortable first by whether the result was a North Carolina win, loss or tie and then second by the margin of victory.
  3. ^ Links to the season article for the North Carolina team that competed in the bowl for that year.
  4. ^ Links to the season article for the opponent that North Carolina competed against in the bowl for that year when available or to their general page when unavailable.


  • National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). "Bowl/All-Star Game Records" (PDF). 2013 NCAA Division I Football Records. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 18, 2014. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 
  • "History" (PDF). 2009 North Carolina Tar Heels Football Media Guide. University of North Carolina. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 23, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2014. 
  1. ^ "North Carolina Tar Heels Bowls". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved May 21, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c History, p. 139
  3. ^ Dunnavant 2004, pp. 93–99.
  4. ^ a b c UNC Athletic Communications Office. "Carolina 2011 Tar Heel Football". University Directories. p. 140. Archived from the original on July 18, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2013.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  5. ^ History, p. 140
  6. ^ a b History, pp. 140–142
  7. ^ History, pp. 142–144
  8. ^ Powell 2006, p. 93.
  9. ^ a b c "North Carolina Aide Is Named Coach". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Associated Press. December 9, 1997. Archived from the original on July 22, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2014. 
  10. ^ Powell 2006, p. 113.
  11. ^ "Tar Heels Fire Football Coach". CBS News (CBS Interactive Inc.). Associated Press. November 20, 2000. Archived from the original on December 14, 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  12. ^ Powell 2006, p. 114.
  13. ^ Powell 2006, p. 118.
  14. ^ "North Carolina Hires Bunting as Its Coach". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). December 12, 2000. Archived from the original on July 18, 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  15. ^ "North Carolina vs. Auburn". USA Today (Gannett Company). December 31, 2001. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Boston College vs. North Carolina". USA Today (Gannett Company). December 30, 2004. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  17. ^ "North Carolina parting with Bunting at end of season". USA Today (Gannett Company). October 22, 2006. Archived from the original on May 26, 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Butch Davis taking over at North Carolina". USA Today (Gannett Company). Associated Press. November 14, 2006. Archived from the original on July 18, 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Butch Davis fired by Tar Heels". (ESPN Internet Ventures). July 27, 2011. Archived from the original on May 26, 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  20. ^ Carey, Jack (July 28, 2011). "North Carolina picks Everett Withers as interim coach". USA Today (Gannett Company). Archived from the original on May 26, 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Scoring Summary". (ESPN Internet Ventures). December 26, 2011. Archived from the original on May 26, 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  22. ^ "North Carolina Tar Heels hire Larry Fedora of Southern Miss Golden Eagles". (ESPN). Associated Press. December 8, 2011. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Return touchdowns help UNC overwhelm Cincinnati". (ESPN). Associated Press. December 28, 2013. Archived from the original on July 13, 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  24. ^ Bowl/All-Star Game Records, pp. 3–14