Former NFL assistant John Lilly will replace Tim Brewster as the tight ends coach for North Carolina football, the team confirmed in a statement Wednesday.
Lilly had the same position with the Cleveland Browns last season, and has 27 years of coaching experience. The news was first reported by The Athletic's Bruce Feldman on Tuesday.
UNC did not respond to a request for comment.
“We’re thrilled to add a coach with the quality, experience and recruiting acumen that John Lilly possesses,” head coach Mack Brown said in the statement, adding that Lilly is "very familiar with the state of North Carolina, which will allow him to hit the ground running in recruiting."
In Lilly's lone season in Cleveland, Browns tight ends produced the fourth-most TD receptions in the NFL. Before that, Lilly spent time in the college ranks at Tennessee, Georgia and Florida State, among other places.
His arrival comes after Brewster left to become the tight ends coach at Florida. In 2019, UNC tight ends Garrett Walston and Carl Tucker combined for 14 receptions, 130 yards and two touchdowns; Lilly's job will be to increase receiving production at that position while keeping the running game strong.
“I can’t think of a better program to walk into right now than the one in Chapel Hill," Lilly said in a statement. "There’s so much energy and enthusiasm surrounding this place and this program, and if everyone continues to work hard together the way they have, there are certainly big things ahead."