Fedora to UNC not yet official

Southern Mississippi head football coach Larry Fedora is at the center of swirling rumors about the coaching vacancy at North Carolina.

Fedora has been a prominent name among many head coaching vacancies in recent weeks, and according to several reports it appears he has settled on UNC.

But his brother, John, told The Daily Tar Heel that as of 2 p.m. Tuesday, he had not heard of Larry accepting the North Carolina position.

“I know rumors are out there that he’s accepted a contract,” he said. “I haven’t heard anything about it and no one else in the family has.”

According to multiple reports, Fedora interviewed in New York City with Texas A&M athletic director Bill Bryne for the Aggie position on Monday and Arizona State athletic director Lisa Love for that position on Tuesday.

A Southern Miss spokesperson confirmed Fedora is in New York City with athletic director Richard Giannini for the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame banquet, which will be held Tuesday night. Among those being honored Tuesday night is former UNC radio broadcaster Woody Durham, who will receive an award recognizing his contributions as a broadcaster.

UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham is also in New York City for the banquet and could not be reached Tuesday afternoon. Chancellor Holden Thorp, when approached on campus Tuesday afternoon, had no comment.

Fedora was a long-time offensive coordinator, serving in the role at Middle Tennessee from 1999-2001, then at Florida from 2001-2004 and finally at Oklahoma State before taking the Southern Miss job before the 2008 season.

At USM, Fedora has assembled a 32-19 overall record, with improving records in each of his four seasons. He began with two 7-6 seasons before going 8-5 last year and 11-2 this season. The Golden Eagles demolished No. 6 Houston 49-28 on Saturday, a game that cost Conference USA an estimated $17 million in revenue it would have received had Houston went to a BCS bowl game.

Fedora is a favorite for the Texas A&M job because of his close ties to the school. He grew up in College Station, Texas, and the Aggie job has been open since Dec. 1 when Mike Sherman was fired.

He has four children, including one son who plays football for Oklahoma State. John Fedora said his brother will do what’s in his family’s best interest.

“I think doing what’s best for the family supersedes everything for him,” John Fedora said. “I hope he does what makes him happy. If it’s North Carolina, that’s great. I think he’ll make the right decision either way.”

According to a USA Today salary database, Fedora earned a total pay of $704,500 this season with a maximum bonus of $387,500. UNC interim head coach Everett Withers earned a total pay of $500,000 with a maximum bonus of $100,000.

North Carolina is still paying the $2.7 million buyout to former head coach Butch Davis, who was fired in late July amid the NCAA investigation into agent-related and academic misconduct.

Withers said Monday he interviewed for the permanent head coaching position last week and expects to coach the Tar Heels on Dec. 26 when they play Missouri in the Independence Bowl.

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