On the heels of a trip to the Orange Bowl and most-anticipated season in several years, North Carolina signed coach Mack Brown to a contract extension through the 2025 season this season, securing the leader of a program on the rise nationally. The Tar Heels are a near unanimous Top 10 team entering the 2021 campaign per most way-too-early rankings and should challenge for a ACC Coastal Division crown with a talented roster returning.
Brown said this week on The Paul Finebaum Show that he’s anxious to continue what he has started in Chapel Hill during his second stint with the program.
“It feels great,” Brown said. “You are so good at what you do. I had a lot of talks on the plane back to Charlotte….but I really realized in my five years out, what I do is mentor kids. I enjoy meeting young coaches and trying to help our staff. I’m at a different place in my life than other coaches. I’m loving helping out kids, I’m loving building our team back…..and looking forward to good times ahead.
“We’ve got some things we have to fix but everything’s very positive right now and I’m loving coaching these kids.”
Brown is 15-10 at North Carolina over the past two seasons, helping the program re-emerge nationally in the post-Larry Fedora era.
Brown and the Tar Heels enter the 2021 season with lofty expectation thanks to quarterback Sam Howell, by all accounts the ACC’s top returning signal caller in the post-Trevor Lawrence era. Howell is well on his way to shattering every major program record for passing in Chapel Hill as a multi-year starter and has received plenty of early Heisman buzz entering his junior season.
North Carolina’s all-time leader in total yards at the prep level (17,036), Howell has taken the next step with the Tar Heels and per Brown, has been everything the program expected him to be and then some thus far. Brown credits Howell’s flip from Florida State to North Carolina as the singlemost important signing of his tenure.
“I didn’t even realize it at the time. When we were able to flip Sam, being one of it not the top player in this state,” Brown said last season after UNC signed a Top 25 class for the 2021 cycle. “Being a leader, a quarterback. He comes in, wins the job and then he’s just had an incredible performance for the two years we’ve been here. Since he turned Florida State down and chose us, I think that gave a lot of other players in this state the right to do the same thing.”