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North Carolina Tar Heels football

North Carolina Tar Heels football
2015 North Carolina Tar Heels football team
First season 1888 (1888)
Athletic director Bubba Cunningham
Head coach Larry Fedora
4th year, 21–17 (.553)
Home stadium Kenan Memorial Stadium
Stadium capacity 63,000
Stadium surface Bermuda Grass
Location Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Conference ACC
Division Coastal
All-time record 670–504–54 (.568)
Postseason bowl record 18–5 (.783)
Claimed national titles 0
Conference titles 9
Consensus All-Americans 14
Current uniform

Carolina blue and White

Fight song Here Comes Carolina
I'm a Tar Heel Born
Carolina Fight
Mascot Rameses
Marching band The Marching Tar Heels
Outfitter Nike
Rivals Duke Blue Devils
Virginia Cavaliers
NC State Wolfpack
South Carolina Gamecocks

The North Carolina Tar Heels football team represents the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the sport of American football. The Tar Heels compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Being the oldest public university and oldest collegiate team in the Carolinas, the school is nicknamed "Carolina" in athletics.[1] The program's title in football is "Carolina Football".[2]

In Carolina's first 121 seasons of football competition, the Tar Heels have compiled a record of 646–488–54, a winning percentage of .566. North Carolina has played in 31 bowl games in its history and won three Southern Conference championships and five Atlantic Coast Conference titles. Thirty Tar Heel players have been honored as first-team All-Americas on 38 occasions. Carolina had 32 All-Southern Conference selections when it played in that league until 1952 and since joining the ACC in 1953, has had 174 first-team All-ACC choices.[3] Since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1953, the team has won five conference championships, with the most recent title coming in 1980.

One very important contribution to the game of football by Carolina is the modern use of the forward pass; they were the first college team to use the play in 1895. Bob Quincy notes in his 1973 book They Made the Bell Tower Chime: "John Heisman, a noted historian, wrote 30 years later that, indeed, the Tar Heels had given birth to the forward pass against the Bulldogs (UGA). It was conceived to break a scoreless deadlock and give UNC a 6–0 win. The Carolinians were in a punting situation and a Georgia rush seemed destined to block the ball. The punter, with an impromptu dash to his right, tossed the ball and it was caught by

While not a consistent football powerhouse, the Carolina football program has had intermittent success and has featured a number of great players, many of whom have gone on to prominence in the National Football League, including Lawrence Taylor, Charlie Justice, Chris Hanburger, Ken Willard, Don McCauley, William Fuller, Harris Barton, Jeff Saturday, Alge Crumpler, Willie Parker, Greg Ellis, Dré Bly, Julius Peppers, and Hakeem Nicks.[4]


  • History 1
    • Early history (1888–1925) 1.1
    • Chuck Collins era (1926–1933) 1.2
    • Carl Snavely era (1934–1935 and 1945–1952) 1.3
    • Raymond Wolf era (1936–1941) 1.4
    • Jim Tatum era (1942 and 1956–1958) 1.5
    • Young and McEver (1943–1944) 1.6
    • George T. Barclay era (1953–1955) 1.7
    • Jim Hickey era (1959–1966) 1.8
    • Bill Dooley era (1967–1977) 1.9
    • Dick Crum era (1978–1987) 1.10
    • Mack Brown era (1988–1997) 1.11
    • Carl Torbush era (1998–2000) 1.12
    • John Bunting era (2001–2006) 1.13
    • Butch Davis era (2007–2010) 1.14
    • Everett Withers era (2011) 1.15
    • Larry Fedora era (2012–present) 1.16
  • Head coaches 2
  • Rivalries 3
    • Duke Blue Devils 3.1
    • North Carolina State Wolfpack 3.2
    • Virginia Cavaliers 3.3
    • Wake Forest Demon Deacons 3.4
    • South Carolina Gamecocks 3.5
  • Controversies 4
    • NCAA investigation 2010–2011 4.1
  • Conference Affiliations 5
  • Championships 6
  • Bowl history 7
    • Bowl record 7.1
  • 1000-yard rushers 8
  • Notable players 9
    • All-Americans 9.1
    • Retired numbers 9.2
    • Honored jerseys 9.3
    • National award winners 9.4
    • Hall of Famers 9.5
    • Tar Heels in the NFL 9.6
      • Tar Heels in the Drafts 9.6.1
      • Tar Heels with Super Bowl Rings 9.6.2
      • Current NFL players 9.6.3
        • AFC
        • NFC
  • Future non-conference opponents 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


Early history (1888–1925)

Hector Cowan, UNC's first head football coach

Hector Cowan was Carolina's first head football coach. He posted a 1–1 record as the head coach in the Tar Heels' inaugural season.[5]


Herman Olcott was the head coach for the Tar Heels for two seasons, 1902 and 1903.[5] He compiled an 11–4–3 record.[5]

In 1895 and from 1913-1915, the Tar Heels were coached by Thomas Trenchard, who posted a 26–9–2 record in those four seasons.[5] His best season was a 10–1 1914 season.

Brothers Bob and Bill Fetzer served as co-head coaches for the Tar Heels from 1921-1925, posting a 30–12–4 overall record.[5] Bob would go on to serve as Carolina's first athletics director from 1923-1952.

Chuck Collins era (1926–1933)

Chuck Collins served as head coach for the Tar Heels for eight seasons, the longest of any coach to that time in Tar Heel history.[6] His record in Chapel Hill was 38–31–9,[5] his best season being a 9–1 record in 1929.[6]

Carl Snavely era (1934–1935 and 1945–1952)

Coach Snavely, the "Grey Fox"

Carl Snavely, nicknamed "The Grey Fox" for his grey suits he would wear on game day,[7] served two stints as the Tar Heels head football coach.[7] He first came to Chapel Hill from Bucknell.[7] He departed after the 1935 season to accept the head football coach position at Cornell[7] but returned in 1945.[7] Snavely then departed again after the 1952 season to accept the head football coach position at Washington University.[7] His final record at UNC was 59–35–5[5] and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1965.[7]

A proponent of the single wing offense,[8] Snavely's teams were known as some of the quickest in the south. His 1946 and 1948 teams reached the Sugar Bowl but lost, finishing ranked #9 and #3, respectively.[9] Those teams posted 8–2–1 and 9–1–1 records, respectively.[9] Snavely's 1949 team finished 7–4, lost the Cotton Bowl and ranked #16 in the final polls.[9]

Raymond Wolf era (1936–1941)

Raymond Wolf came to Carolina from his post as TCU defensive line coach.[10] His overall record in the six seasons he was head coach was 38–17–3,[5] with most of his success coming with players that Snavely recruited. A 3–7 record in 1941 led to Wolf's resignation as head coach.[10]

Jim Tatum era (1942 and 1956–1958)

Coach Tatum

Jim Tatum served two stints as head football coach at his alma mater.[5] He enlisted in the Navy for World War II and left the team but returned in 1956.[5] His overall record at UNC is 19–17–3.[5] He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1984,[11] primarily for his tenure as head football coach at Maryland. Tatum died unexpectedly in the summer of 1958 from a rickettsial disease.[12]

Young and McEver (1943–1944)

Tom Young replaced Tatum for a year as head coach and posted a 6–3 record in 1943.[5] He was also an alum of UNC.[13]

Gene McEver struggled in the one season he served as head coach, compiling a 1–7–1 record in 1944.[5]

George T. Barclay era (1953–1955)

  • Official Website

External links

  1. ^ University of North Carolina (university system, North Carolina, United States) - Encyclopedia Britannica
  2. ^ Football - News - University of North Carolina Tar Heels Official Athletic Site
  3. ^ a b "All-Time Records for North Carolina". Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Tar Heels in the NFL Draft - Tar Heel Times
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s North Carolina Tar Heels Coaches | College Football at
  6. ^ a b Chuck Collins Coaching Record | College Football at
  7. ^ a b c d e f g National Football Foundation > Programs > College Football Hall of Fame > SearchDetail
  8. ^ Star-News - Google News Archive Search
  9. ^ a b c North Carolina Tar Heels' Greatest Football Games - Porter, Robert - Google Books
  10. ^ a b Lawrence Journal-World - Google News Archive Search
  11. ^ National Football Foundation > Programs > College Football Hall of Fame > SearchDetail
  12. ^ "Jim Tatum's Disease Likened To Typhus". The Sun. March 31, 1960. 
  13. ^ The Dispatch - Google News Archive Search
  14. ^ a b All-America selection, North Carolina coach Barclay dead at 87
  15. ^ George Barclay Coaching Record | College Football at
  16. ^ History of the Atlantic Coast Conference (Chatham Journal)
  17. ^ James Hickey Coaching Record | College Football at
  18. ^ a b Bill Dooley Coaching Record | College Football at
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o North Carolina Tar Heels Football Statistics & History -
  20. ^ Star-News - Google News Archive Search
  21. ^ Star-News - Google News Archive Search
  22. ^ a b c Dick Crum Coaching Record | College Football at
  23. ^ North Carolina's Crum Turns In Resignation | News OK
  24. ^ "Tulane's Brown Is New North Carolina Coach". Los Angeles Times. December 17, 1987. 
  25. ^ a b c Mack Brown Coaching Record | College Football at
  26. ^ "Report: Mack Brown to Texas". Los Angeles Times. December 4, 1997. 
  27. ^ a b c d Mack Brown At Carolina: An Analysis
  28. ^ Unc Hires Defensive Coordinator Torbush As Its New Head Coach -
  29. ^ Carl Torbush Coaching Record | College Football at
  30. ^ CBS News 
  31. ^ "North Carolina Hires Bunting as Its Coach". Los Angeles Times. December 12, 2000. 
  32. ^ a b John Bunting Coaching Record | College Football at
  33. ^
  34. ^ Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: North Carolina vs. Auburn
  35. ^ John Bunting fired by UNC -
  36. ^ Butch Davis hired to coach North Carolina football team |
  37. ^ a b Butch Davis Coaching Record | College Football at
  38. ^ a b Butch Davis era sets North Carolina Tar Heels back - ESPN
  39. ^ UNC's Butch Davis fired |
  40. ^ North Carolina investigation - NCAA Football - Sporting News
  41. ^ Defensive coordinator Everett Withers named interim head coach at UNC "
  42. ^ a b North Carolina names Everett Withers interim head coach - NCAA Football - Sporting News
  43. ^ Everett Withers Coaching Record | College Football at
  44. ^ College Sports | Missouri beats North Carolina 41-24 in Independence Bowl | College football | Seattle Times Newspaper
  45. ^ Withers 'disappointed' after not getting UNC job ::
  46. ^ North Carolina Tar Heels hire Larry Fedora of Southern Miss Golden Eagles - ESPN
  47. ^ North Carolina ruled ineligible for a bowl next season and must forfeit 15 scholarships - Yahoo Sports
  48. ^
  49. ^ 2013 North Carolina Tar Heels Football Schedule - UNC
  50. ^ "Recap: North Carolina 39, Cincinnati 17". Chicago Tribune. December 28, 2013. 
  51. ^ "CBJ Seen: Tar Heels hold off Bearcats for Belk Bowl win". 
  52. ^ "Two 1956 wins vacated for use of ineligible player". 1957-09-23. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  53. ^ a b c "North Carolina Football History Database". Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  54. ^ a b : NCAAF Football : Series records : North Carolina vs. Wake Forest
  55. ^ "The oldest college football rivalry in North Carolina"
  56. ^ "Winsipedia - North Carolina Tar Heels vs. South Carolina Gamecocks football series history". Winsipedia. 
  57. ^
  58. ^ Giglio, J.P. (16 July 2010). "NCAA begins probe of UNC".  
  59. ^ a b Davis, Curtis (13 Dec 2011). "North Carolina Investigation".  
  60. ^ "Butch Davis fired as North Carolina football coach - ESPN". 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  61. ^ "UNC files response to NCAA notice of allegations". ( September 19, 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  62. ^ "Holden Thorp updates the UNC community on investigations". ( March 12, 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  63. ^ "NCAA Infractions Report". NCAA Report on Infractions. Retrieved 3/12/2012. 
  64. ^ "UNC Bowl Game Appearances". Tar Heel Times. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  65. ^ "Eras Of Imperfection". Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  66. ^ Adelson, Andrea. "1,000-yard rushing droughts in the ACC - College Football Nation Blog - ESPN". Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  67. ^ Carter, Andrew. "Renner and Bernard: UNC’s dynamic duo ready to enter new territory - North Carolina". Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  68. ^ "Tar Heels roll past Elon in Fedora's debut | The Asheville Citizen-Times". Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  69. ^ Scott Cunningham/Getty Images. "Gio Bernard - RB, North Carolina, So. - 2012 Preseason All-ACC Team - Photos -". Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  70. ^ "Tailback U: North Carolina Tar Heels 1,000-yard rushers". Tar Heel Times. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  71. ^ a b NC Tar Heels football history - official website
  72. ^ "College Football Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  73. ^ "Colleges". 2010-02-07. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  74. ^ "Tar Heel Super Bowl Champions". Tar Heel Times. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  75. ^ "North Carolina Tar Heels Football Schedules and Future Schedules". Retrieved 2014-08-02. 



2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
at Illinois vs California at California at Wake Forest vs Old Dominion at Notre Dame vs Notre Dame vs South Carolina in Charlotte, NC vs Charlotte at Charlotte
vs The Citadel at Old Dominion vs East Carolina vs South Carolina in Charlotte, NC TBA vs Wake Forest TBA TBA TBA TBA
vs Georgia (Atlanta, GA) vs Notre Dame vs Western Carolina TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
vs James Madison vs Western Carolina TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA

Future non-conference opponents


Current NFL players


Super Bowl Player Position Team
XLVI Hakeem Nicks WR New York Giants
XLVI Marvin Austin DT New York Giants
XLIII Willie Parker RB Pittsburgh Steelers
XLIII Jeff Reed K Pittsburgh Steelers
XLIII Greg Warren LS Pittsburgh Steelers
XLII Russell Davis DT New York Giants
XLII Madison Hedgecock FB New York Giants
XLI Dexter Reid S Indianapolis Colts
XLI Jeff Saturday C Indianapolis Colts
XL Willie Parker RB Pittsburgh Steelers
XL Jeff Reed K Pittsburgh Steelers
XL Greg Warren LS Pittsburgh Steelers
XXXIX Dexter Reid S New England Patriots
XXVI Riddick Parker DL New England Patriots
XXXIV Dré Bly CB St. Louis Rams
XXXIV Mike Morton LB St. Louis Rams
XXXIV Nate Hobgood-Chittick DT St. Louis Rams
XXXI Bucky Brooks DB Green Bay Packers
XXXI Bernardo Harris LB Green Bay Packers
XXXI William Henderson FB Green Bay Packers
XXX Oscar Sturgis DE Dallas Cowboys
XXIX Harris Barton OL San Francisco 49ers
XXIX Brian Bollinger OL San Francisco 49ers
XXIX Antonio Goss LB San Francisco 49ers
XXV Lawrence Taylor LB New York Giants
XXIV Harris Barton OL San Francisco 49ers
XXIV Antonio Goss LB San Francisco 49ers
XXIII Harris Barton OL San Francisco 49ers
XXII Kelvin Bryant RB Washington Redskins
XXII Dave Truitt TE Washington Redskins
XXII Tim Morrison DB Washington Redskins
XXII Danny Burmeister DB Washington Redskins
XXI Lawrence Taylor LB New York Giants
XXI Brian Johnston C New York Giants
XVII Jeff Hayes P Washington Redskins
XVI Amos Lawrence RB San Francisco 49ers

Tar Heels with Super Bowl Rings

Tar Heels in the Drafts

Tar Heels in the NFL


NC Tar Heels Pro football hall of famers
Player Pos. NFL Career Inducted
Lawrence Taylor LB 1981-93 1999
Chris Hanburger LB 1965-78 2011
NC Tar Heels College hall of famers
Player Pos. Career
Charlie Justice HB 1946-49
Don McCauley RB 1968-70
Art Weiner TE 1946-49
Jim Tatum 1933-35
Carl Snavely 1934-35


Hall of Famers

National award winners

NC Tar honored jerseys
No. Player
99 George Barclay
59 Andy Bershak
46 Bill Sutherland
22 Charlie Justice
50 Art Weiner
10 Danny Talbott
23 Don McCauley
62 Ron Rusnak
68 Ken Huff
44 Mike Voight
71 Dee Hardison
98 Lawrence Taylor
95 William Fuller
12 Ethan Horton
71 Marcus Jones
87 Greg Ellis
41 Brian Simmons
31 Dré Bly
49 Julius Peppers
44 Kelvin Bryant
67 Harris Barton
60 Brian Blados
25 Irv Holdash
85 Bob Lacey
20 Amos Lawrence
87 Paul Severin
64 Jonathan Cooper

Around the front of second tier of stands in Kenan Stadium, there are strips of metal with names of former Tar Heel footballers with their numbers. UNC does not retire jerseys and their numbers are honored instead.[71]

Honored jerseys

  • 1 Died in a car accident, posthomous honor.
  • 2 Also served as coach (1953–55)
NC Tar Heels retired numbers
No. Player Pos. Career
22 Charlie Justice HB 1946-49
46 Bill Sutherland QB 1946 1
50 Art Weiner WR 1946-49
59 Andy Bershak TE 1935-37
99 George Barclay LB 1932-34 2

Five numbers have been retired by the University.[71]

Retired numbers


Notable players

Year Player[70] Yards
1969 Don McCauley 1,092
1970 Don McCauley 1,720
1973 Sammy Johnson 1,006
1974 Jim Betterson 1,082
1974 Mike Voight 1,033
1975 Mike Voight 1,250
1976 Mike Voight 1,407
1977 Amos Lawrence 1,211
1978 Amos Lawrence 1,043
1979 Amos Lawrence 1,019
1980 Amos Lawrence 1,118
1980 Kelvin Bryant 1,039
1981 Kelvin Bryant 1,015
1982 Kelvin Bryant 1,064
1983 Ethan Horton 1,107
1983 Tyrone Anthony 1,063
1984 Ethan Horton 1,247
1986 Derrick Fenner 1,250
1988 Kennard Martin 1,146
1991 Natrone Means 1,030
1992 Natrone Means 1,195
1993 Curtis Johnson 1,034
1993 Leon Johnson 1,012
1997 Jonathan Linton 1,004
2011 Giovani Bernard 1,253
2012 Giovani Bernard 1,228

North Carolina has been call "Tailback U" for their number of 1000-yard rushers. Throughout the course of the Tar Heels' football history, a player has rushed for over 1,000 yards in a season twenty-six times. The first player to rush for over a 1,000 yards was Don McCauley, who rushed for 1,092 yards in the 1969 season.[65] The most recent player to have rushed for 1,000 yards was Giovani Bernard, who rushed for 1,253 yards in 2011, and for 1,228 yards in 2012.[66][67][68][69]

1000-yard rushers

Date Bowl Name[64] Result Opponent PF PA
January 1, 1947 Sugar Bowl L Georgia 10 20
January 1, 1949 Sugar Bowl L Oklahoma 6 14
January 2, 1950 Cotton Bowl Classic L Rice 13 27
December 28, 1963 Gator Bowl W Air Force 35 0
December 30, 1970 Peach Bowl L Arizona State 26 48
December 31, 1971 Gator Bowl L Georgia 3 7
December 30, 1972 Sun Bowl W Texas Tech 32 28
December 28, 1974 Sun Bowl L Mississippi State 24 26
December 31, 1976 Peach Bowl L Kentucky 0 21
December 19, 1977 Liberty Bowl L Nebraska 17 21
December 28, 1979 Gator Bowl W Michigan 17 15
December 31, 1980 Bluebonnet Bowl W Texas 16 7
December 28, 1981 Gator Bowl W Arkansas 31 27
December 25, 1982 Sun Bowl W Texas 26 10
December 30, 1983 Peach Bowl L Florida State 3 28
December 27, 1986 Aloha Bowl L Arizona 21 30
January 2, 1993 Peach Bowl W Mississippi State 21 17
December 31, 1993 Gator Bowl L Alabama 10 24
December 30, 1994 Sun Bowl L Texas 30 35
December 30, 1995 CarQuest Bowl W Arkansas 20 10
January 1, 1997 Gator Bowl W West Virginia 20 13
January 1, 1998 Gator Bowl W Virginia Tech 42 3
December 19, 1998 Las Vegas Bowl W San Diego State 20 13
December 31, 2001 Peach Bowl W Auburn 16 10
December 30, 2004 Continental Tire Bowl L Boston College 24 37
December 27, 2008 Meineke Car Care Bowl L West Virginia 30 31
December 26, 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl L Pittsburgh 17 19
December 30, 2010 Music City Bowl W Tennessee 30 27 (2OT)
December 26, 2011 Independence Bowl L Missouri 24 41
December 28, 2013 Belk Bowl W Cincinnati 39 17
December 26, 2014 Quick Lane Bowl L Rutgers 21 40

North Carolina has played in 31 bowl games in its history with a record of 14–17.[63]

Bowl record

Bowl history

  • 9 conference championships
Year Conference Overall record Conference record
1895 SIAA 7-1-1 5-0
1922 Southern 9–1 5–1
1946 Southern 8–2–1 4–0–1
1949 Southern 7–4 5–0
1963 ACC 9–2 5–1
1971 ACC 9–3 6–0
1972 ACC 11–1 6–0
1977 ACC 8–3–1 5–0–1
1980 ACC 11–1 7–0




  • 1888–1894: Independent
  • 1895–1921: Southern Conference Athletic Association
  • 1922–1952: Southern Conference
  • 1953–current: ACC

Conference Affiliations

In July 2010, it was reported that the program was being investigated by the NCAA due to possible connections with sport agents.[58] The football program was also under investigation for academic fraud and a failure to properly monitor players, which the NCAA found to be true.[59] Seven players from the UNC football program, including starters and once top recruits Greg Little and Marvin Austin, were reported to have accepted more than $27,000 in impermissible benefits in 2009 and 2010.[59] Following an NCAA investigation into misconduct, in July 2011, head coach Butch Davis was fired [60] and replaced by interim coach Everett Withers. Also, in September 2011, the program decided to vacate all its wins from the 2008 and 2009 seasons, reduce its scholarship athletes by 3, begin serving two years of probation, and pay a $50,000 fine.[61] The NCAA later increased the penalties to a reduction of athletic scholarships by 15, three years of probation, and a post-season ban of one year.[62]

NCAA investigation 2010–2011


The Battle of the Carolinas is a rivalry that began in 1903. North Carolina holds a 34–19–4 overall leads the series.[56] Since South Carolina left the ACC the teams still meet every once and while. In the 2010's Decade the series have been played on a Thursdays. It was announced in September 2015 they will play every four years in 2019 and 2023.[57]

South Carolina Gamecocks

Two institutions in the state of North Carolina have met in 105 meetings. The first meeting was held in 1888 in Raleigh, NC with Wake Forest winning 6-4.[54] Unlike the Duke game, the Wake-Carolina game is not played yearly and nor do the two schools play for a trophy. [55] The Tar Heels lead the all-time series 68–35–2.[54]

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

The Tar Heels' rivalry with the Virginia Cavaliers began in 1892, and the rivalry has come to be known as the "South's Oldest Rivalry." The teams played twice during the 1892 season, with the Cavaliers winning the first game and the Tar Heels winning the second. The two teams have played a total of 116 times, more than the two teams have played any other program. It is the fourth most played rivalry game among college football's major conference schools. The all-time series record is 58–54–4, in favor of the Tar Heels.

Virginia Cavaliers

The first football game between the NC State Wolfpack and the Tar Heels occurred in 1894, and the Tar Heels won 44-0. The two teams played every now and then until the formation of the ACC. Since the two teams have been a part of the ACC, they have played every year since 1953. In the past few years, the rivalry has been more highly contested than the Tar Heels rivalry with Duke. The 1998 and 1999 games were held at Bank of America Stadium, the Tar Heels won both games. The longest consecutive win streak in the series is 9 games, from 1943-1955 by the Tar Heels. The most recent meeting between the two teams saw a North Carolina State blowout victory of 35-7. The all-time series is 64–33–6 in favor of the Tar Heels.

The 2007 game between the Tar Heels and the Wolfpack.

North Carolina State Wolfpack

Duke is one of North Carolina's biggest rivals. The football rivalry between Duke and North Carolina began in 1888, when Duke was known by the name of Trinity. Trinity won the first game in the now-longstanding series. While the two teams are more known for their basketball rivalry, they have been known to have some great games every now and then. The Victory Bell was introduced for the 1948 match-up, which North Carolina won 20-0. It's tradition for the school that has possession of the bell to paint the bell in the shade of blue of their school. The longest consecutive win streak in the series is a 13-game win streak by the Tar Heels from 1990-2002. The all-time series record is 55–35–4 (excluding the two Carolina vacated victories) in favor of the Tar Heels.

Rameses and the Blue Devil mascot in 1957.

Duke Blue Devils


  • During the years 1888 and 1891–93, North Carolina had no official head coach. Over those four seasons, the team went 8–9.
  • In 1890, the North Carolina Tar Heels did not field a team.
    • On September 19, 2011, North Carolina self-imposed sanctions against their football program, including forfeiting their wins from the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
      • On March 12, 2012 The NCAA Committee on Infractions stiffened the previously self-imposed sanctions including, inter alia, vacating participation in the '08 and '09 Bowl Games.
Tenure Head Coach Years Record Pct.
1889 Hector Cowan 1 2–2 .500
1894 V. K. Irvine 1 6–3 .667
1895 T. C. Trenchard 1 7–1–1 .833
1896 Gordon Johnston 1 3–4–1 .438
1897–1900 W. A. Reynolds 4 27–7–4 .763
1901 Charles Jenkins 1 7–2 .778
1902–1903 H. S. Olcott 2 11–4–3 .694
1904 R. R. Brown 1 5–2–2 .667
1905 William Warner 1 4–3–1 .563
1906 W. S. Keinholz 1 1–4–2 .286
1907 Otis Lamson 1 4–4–1 .500
1908 Edward Green 1 3–3–3 .500
1909–1910 A. E. Brides 2 8–8 .500
1911 Branch Bocock 1 6–1–1 .813
1912 W. C. Martin 1 3–4–1 .438
1913–1915 T. C. Trenchard 4 19–8–1 .696
1916–1919 Thomas Campbell 2 9–7–1 .559
1920 M. E. Fuller 1 2–6 .250
1921–1925 Bill Fetzer 5 30–12–4 .696
1926–1933 Chuck Collins 8 38–31–9 .545
1934–1935 Carl Snavely 2 15–2–1 .833
1936–1941 Raymond Wolf 6 38–17–3 .681
1942 Jim Tatum 1 5–2–2 .667
1943 Tom Young 1 6–3 .667
1944 Gene McEver 1 1–7–1 .167
1945–1952 Carl Snavely 8 44–33–4 .568
1953–1955 George Barclay 3 11–18–1 .383
1956–1958 Jim Tatum 3 12–15–1 .429 [52]
1959–1966 Jim Hickey 8 36–45 .444
1967–1977 Bill Dooley 11 69–53–2 .565
1978–1987 Dick Crum 10 72–41–3 .634
1988–1997 Mack Brown 10 69–46–1 .599
1998–2000 Carl Torbush 3 17–18 .486
2001–2006 John Bunting 6 27–45 .375
2007–2010 Butch Davis 4 28–23 .549
2011 Everett Withers 1 7–6 .538
2012– Larry Fedora 4 28–18 .609
1889–2013 114 seasons 34 coaches 655–503–54[53] .562

Head coaches

Larry Fedora was hired away from Southern Miss in late 2011 as the Tar Heels' 34th head football coach, replacing Withers.[46] In his first year as head coach, in a season that the UNC football team was ineligible for the ACC title (due to sanctions from Davis' tenure), a bowl game and a ranking in the USA Today Coaches' Poll,[47] Fedora led the team to an 8–4 record.[19] North Carolina had at least eight victories in four of the five years from 2008 to 2012.[19] The eight wins in 2008 and 2009 were vacated due to NCAA penalty.[48] The last time North Carolina had more than eight victories was in 1997.[19] After starting the 2013 season 1–5,[49] Fedora's Tar Heels rebounded to finish 5–1 in their final six regular season games[50] and capped the season with a thrashing of Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl to finish the season with a 7–6 record.[51]

Coach Fedora

Larry Fedora era (2012–present)

Everett Withers was promoted from defensive coordinator to 33rd head coach of the Tar Heels football program for the 2011 season following the firing of Davis.[41][42] Withers was the first and is the only African American head football coach in Tar Heels football history.[42] In his lone season as head coach, Withers led the Tar Heels to a 7–6 record,[43] capped with a loss to Missouri in the Independence Bowl.[44] After Withers was thanked for his good service, he was informed that his contract would not be extended beyond the 2011 season.[45]

Everett Withers era (2011)

Davis was fired over these violations after they came to light on July 27, 2011.[39] Later when the NCAA inquiries came out, Davis was never mentioned nor did he admit to having any involvement in the violations.[40] Notable players who played for Davis at UNC are Hakeem Nicks and T. J. Yates.[4]

Former Cleveland Browns and Miami head football coach Butch Davis was hired as the Tar Heels 32nd head football coach in late 2006.[36] Davis led the Tar Heels to two consecutive Meineke Car Care Bowl appearances, both losses and a victory in the Music City Bowl in what turned out to be his final season.[37] While Davis turned around UNC's football program, graduated 75% of his players (North Carolina being the only school in the state and ACC to do so)[38] and went from 4–8 in his first season to three straight 8–5 seasons after that,[37] NCAA violations, in particular improper benefits to players, rocked his tenure.[38]

Coach Davis

Butch Davis era (2007–2010)

John Bunting was hired by his alma mater as the Tar Heels head coach after the firing of Torbush despite no FBS coaching experience of any kind, assistant coaching or head coaching.[31] Bunting's only winning season in Chapel Hill was his first, an 8–5 season[32] that included a 41-9 thrashing of ACC powerhouse Florida State,[33] capped with a Peach Bowl win over Auburn.[34] Other than that, his teams never posted a better record than 6–6 in 2004.[32] After a dismal 3–9 2006 season, Bunting was fired.[35]

John Bunting era (2001–2006)

Carl Torbush was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach following Brown's departure.[28] Torbush led the Tar Heels to their eighth consecutive bowl appearance following the 1998 regular season, in which they went 7–4, a win in the Las Vegas Bowl.[19] Torbush's Tar Heels slipped to a 3–8 record in 1999,[29] and despite improving to 6-5 in 2000,[19] Torbush was fired.[30] His final record at UNC is 17-18.[19] Notable players who played for Torbush at UNC are Julius Peppers, Alge Crumpler and Jeff Reed.[4]

Carl Torbush era (1998–2000)

Brown's tenure was also known for the rise in popularity in the Tar Heel football program that, while not bad, was overshadowed by the Tar Heel's national powerhouse men's basketball program.[27] Games at Kenan Memorial Stadium were almost always sold out, highlighted by the 62,000 that showed to watch the Tar Heels' game against Florida State in 1997,[27] the largest crowd at a regular season college football game in the history of the state of North Carolina.[27] Brown also led an effort that resulted in upgrading UNC's football facilities and the expansion of Kenan Memorial Stadium.[27] Notable players who played for Brown at North Carolina include Jeff Saturday, Greg Ellis and Dré Bly.[4]

Mack Brown was hired away from Tulane as the replacement for Crum.[24] He was the Tar Heel's head football coach for nine seasons.[25] Brown's Tar Heels got off to a slow start, posting 1–10 records in 1988 and 1989,[25] but improved to 6–4–1, 7–4, 9–3 and 10–3 in 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993 with a Peach Bowl win and a Gator Bowl loss plus being ranked in both polls in the final two of those seasons.[19] Brown also led the Tar Heels to 10-win seasons in 1996 and 1997,[25] both seasons playing in the Gator Bowl.[19] His 69 wins are the second most in UNC football history.[5] Brown resigned during the 1997 season to accept the head football coach position at Texas.[26]

Coach Brown

Mack Brown era (1988–1997)

Dick Crum was hired away from Miami (OH) to replace the departed Dooley.[21] Crum enjoyed success in his first five years at UNC, but posted a winning record only once in his final four seasons.[22] He resigned after nine seasons.[23] Crum led the Tar Heels to four bowl victories in six bowl appearances.[22] The victories were the Gator Bowl (twice), Bluebonnet Bowl and the Sun Bowl after the 1979, 1981, 1980 and 1982 regular seasons.[19][22] Those years, the Tar Heels posted records of 8-3-1, 10-2, 11-1 and 8-4 and finished ranked in the Top 20 in both the AP and Coaches' polls.[19] But, records of 5–5–1, 5–6, 7–4–1 and 5–6 in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987 sealed his fate. Notable players coached by Crum at UNC include Harris Barton, Kelvin Bryant, Reuben Davis and Lawrence Taylor.[4] Crum's 72 wins are the most in UNC football history among head coaches.[5]

Dick Crum era (1978–1987)

Dooley's 1970 team finished 8–4 capped with a Peach Bowl loss.[19] The next season, 1971, was a 9–3 season that was capped with a Gator Bowl loss and a #18 ranking in the Coaches' Poll.[19] Dooley became the first Tar Heels coach to win 11 games in a single season in 1972, going 11–1 with a victory in the Sun Bowl, and rankings of #14 and #12 in the Coaches' and AP Polls.[19] Dooley's 1976 team finished 9-3 with a loss in the Peach Bowl and the 1977 team finished 8-3-1 with a loss in the Liberty Bowl and rankings of #14 and #17 in the Coaches' and AP Polls.[18][19]

[20].Virginia Tech Dooley departed after the 1977 season to accept the head football coach position at [19] Six of those seasons were bowl appearances, five losses and one win.[18]

Bill Dooley era (1967–1977)

Jim Hickey was promoted from assistant coach to head coach after Tatum's death. His best season was a 9–2 1963 season in which the Tar Heels won the Gator Bowl and finished the season ranked #19 in the Coaches' Poll.[5] Hickey spent eight seasons as the Tar Heels head football coach and his final record was 36–45.[5][17]

Jim Hickey era (1959–1966)

[16] in all sports in 1953.Atlantic Coast Conference The most notable part of Barclay's tenure is that the Tar Heels helped charter the [14][5] before resigning.[15] Barclay struggled as UNC's head football coach, posting an 11–18–1 record in his three seasons[14]

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