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Trustees approve Larry Fedora as UNC football coach

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The UNC Board of Trustees met Friday morning and approved Larry Fedora as North Carolina’s next head football coach.

Fedora, who agreed to a contract that will pay him $1.7 million per year, was introduced at a press conference at the Loudermilk Center on Friday afternoon.

“Larry Fedora is going to be a great fit for Carolina,” Chancellor Holden Thorp said. “When I met with him, it was clear that he understands that we’re committed to being both competitive in football and building a program that exemplifies Carolina’s values.”

Fedora’s contract, which goes through January 15, 2019, also lists the possibility for bonuses, which he could collect if UNC appears in a bowl game, wins the ACC Coastal Division, wins the ACC championship, competes for a BCS national championship or if the team’s Academic Progress Rate is 960 or higher.

If Fedora is still the coach at UNC on January 15, 2015, he will receive a retention bonus of $100,000. This bonus increases to $200,000 if he remains on staff on January 15 of the following year, and increases by $50,000 for each subsequent year until the contract expires in 2019.

Fedora will also receive a one-time payment of $400,000 and a $30,000 annual expense allowance.

Athletic director Bubba Cunningham, who was hired Oct. 14, said the search process began Oct. 16. The University employed the services of Bill Carr and Associates to aid in the search.

“From the day that I was hired, the task of hiring a permanent head coach was my top priority,” Cunningham said.

Former North Carolina football coach Butch Davis was fired July 27 in connection with the NCAA investigation into the UNC football program, and the University outlined 18 punitive actions it would self-impose in its response to the NCAA’s notice of allegations.

Despite the program’s less-than-perfect track record in compliance, Fedora said he wasn’t discouraged.

“Bubba made me aware of everything. He wanted to make sure I understood everything that was going on at the University,” Fedora said. “To be honest with you, it didn’t scare me.”

Fedora is currently the head coach at the University of Southern Mississippi, which went 11-2 this season and won the Conference USA championship game.

Prior to taking the head coaching job at USM in 2008, Fedora was offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee, Florida and Oklahoma State.

Fedora will coach the Golden Eagles in the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24, and current UNC interim head football coach Everett Withers will coach the Tar Heels in the Independence Bowl on Dec. 26.

But as far as Fedora is concerned, he’s already a Tar Heel.

“Today is the first day of a new era of UNC football, and it’s going to be exciting,” Fedora said. “You better buckle your seat belts and you better hold on, because it’s going to be a wild ride.”

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