When Mack Brown returned to coach the North Carolina football team last fall, he made a notable early hire by bringing in former UNC All-American Dré Bly to coach the cornerback unit.
After an NFL career that included a Super Bowl victory and two Pro Bowl appearances, Bly has embraced his new role as the coach and mentor of North Carolina’s defensive backs.
“I love having the chance to tell my story and help these guys accomplish what I’ve done and what my peers have done,” Bly said in a press conference over Zoom on Monday. “I want these guys to have the chance to be better than me.”
Despite his All-American tenure at UNC and an 11-year NFL career, Bly said some questioned whether or not he could make the transition from player to coach. In his first season on UNC's staff, his unit supported a defense that made massive statistical strides from the previous campaign.
In 2018, UNC finished 13th in the ACC for scoring defense, allowing nearly 35 points per game. In 2019, the defense allowed only 23.7 points per game, good for fourth best in the conference.