North Carolina Football: Mack Brown’s return could be what Tar Heels need


Yes, I get it that Mack Brown is old and has been away from coaching for a few years. But the guy is a proven winner and could be just what North Carolina football needs.

Brown’s return to Chapel Hill is reportedly in the works. The 67-year-old was the head coach of the Tar Heels from 1988-1997 prior to accepting the same position at Texas.

His success hinges on two former head coaches coming on board as Brown’s top assistants — Kliff Kingsbury directing the offense and Gene Chizik as the man to lead the defense. If Brown can complete his contract with North Carolina and get both Kingsbury and Chizik to join him, there is a good chance this will all work.

Brown earned the ACC Coach of the Year award in 1996 and had even more success with the Longhorns, including a spot in the 2005 NCAA National Championship. Texas won a Big 12 record 21 consecutive games under Brown’s guidance from 2004-06 and he has 20 seasons with a winning record under his belt.

Along with the incredible amount of success, Brown has had a team ranked in the AP Top-25 162 consecutive weeks and 192 weeks for the coach’s poll. Both of those streaks ended in 2010.  He announced his resignation following the 2013 campaign, which marked the first losing season and non-bowl year for Brown as a head coach.

The key to Brown finding success at North Carolina this time around will only be had with great assistant coaches like Kingsbury and Chizik. Kingsbury, who was fired by Texas Tech recently, won 35 games after a strong run as an assistant with Houston and Texas A&M.

The Red Raiders ranked in the Top-25 under Kingsbury in terms of scoring offense in each of the past four seasons, including second in 2015 and fifth the following year.

Chizik, meanwhile, was the top coordinator in the nation while leading the Auburn defense in 2004 and was also a coach under Brown at Texas in 2005-06. He won three bowl games and 38 games as a head coach at both Iowa State and Auburn, and most recently served as the North Carolina defensive coordinator in 2015-16.

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So yes, Brown isn’t someone who is likely to lead a 10-year resurgence of the Tar Heel program, but with assistants like Kingsbury and Chizik on board, he doesn’t need to. And success will follow Brown like it has at every stop along his hall of fame coaching career.