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Sunday May 9th

Southern Mississippi football coach Larry Fedora could be next UNC coach

Southern Mississippi football coach Larry Fedora is expected to be announced as North Carolina’s new football coach as early as Wednesday.

According to sources and multiple reports, Fedora has accepted the position offered by UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham.

Fedora has been a prominent name among many head coaching vacancies in recent weeks, including Texas A&M, Arizona State and Kansas.

A Southern Miss spokesman confirmed Fedora was in New York City on Tuesday with athletic director Richard Giannini for the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Awards Dinner, scheduled for Tuesday night. Among those honored were former UNC radio broadcaster Woody Durham, who received an award for his broadcasting contributions.

Cunningham was also in New York City for the banquet and could not be reached Tuesday afternoon, but it is believed he conducted the interview with Fedora there. Chancellor Holden Thorp, who must review and sign the contract before it becomes final, had no comment Tuesday.

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

He 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 USM job before the 2008 season.

At USM, Fedora has assembled a 33-19 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 gone to a BCS bowl.

Fedora is also 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 told The Daily Tar Heel on Tuesday 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.

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.

UNC interim coach Everett 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.

Contact the Sports Editor
at sports@dailytarheel.com.

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