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The Daily Tar Heel

Signs Point To Hiring Of Bunting

Assistant Sports Editor

John Bunting is coming to Chapel Hill today for the second time in a week. He's not expected to leave this time without becoming North Carolina's next football coach.

John Bunting's wife, Dawn, said Sunday at the couple's home in New Orleans that she expects UNC to offer her husband a contract today. She said a press conference to announce his hiring should occur today or tomorrow.

"It's his dream job, the dream he's always talked about," she said. "A lot of people don't get to live out their dream.

"He doesn't plan on going anywhere else."

Dawn said she and her husband are departing from New Orleans for Chapel Hill at 10 a.m. today. Bunting, the linebackers coach for the New Orleans Saints, was in San Francisco on Sunday for a game against the 49ers.

North Carolina Director of Athletics Dick Baddour visited New Orleans last Saturday to interview Bunting. Two days later, Bunting, 50, visited Chapel Hill for a second interview.

Reports stated that Bunting had been offered a package worth $550,000 to $600,000 a year. Bunting is in his first season with the Saints. He played at UNC from 1968 to 1971 and was the team captain his final season.

Board of Trustees member Richard Williams said Sunday night that he expects to receive a telephone call early this morning telling him to be alert. The board must approve the salary package offered to a new coach, which can be done via a fax.

Steve Kirschner, UNC's assistant athletics director for media relations, said Sunday night that a press conference had not been scheduled for today. He would not confirm or deny reports that Bunting would be hired.

"It's not appropriate for us to comment on the search at this time," he said. "Hopefully, tomorrow, or early in the week, we can put this matter to rest."

UNC Chancellor James Moeser said recently that he also expects the search to end this week. When asked Sunday if it was going to end today with the hiring of Bunting, he was brief with his answer.

"It might," Moeser said. "I can't confirm anything. Talk to us tomorrow."

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