Larry Fedora Will Finish with a Better Legacy than Mack Brown

By M. Shannon Smallwood
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports


So it’s only been one season but it’s never too early to dream about what could be with the North Carolina Tar Heels and Head Coach Larry Fedora.


Fedora’s first year was fantastic as he led the Heels to a 8-4 record overall and a first place 5-3 mark in the ACC Coastal Division. Due to sanctions, Carolina gave up its bid to play the Florida State Seminoles in the ACC Championship so it was not able to compete in any post-season games.

Add to the fact the Tar Heels finished second in Scoring Offense and Total Offense, sixth in Total Defense and fifth in Scoring Defense, third in Rushing Offense and fourth in Passing Offense and that’s one heck of a first year ladies and gentlemen…

In fact in the 113 years of football at UNC it is the best… by far!

And as you look through the history of the 33 Head Coaches Carolina has had over these years three names stand out; Bill Dooley, Dick Crum and Mack Brown. Crum leads the pack with a 72-41-3 record in 10 seasons and won a few ACC Titles. Brown was next with a 69-46-1 record over 10 seasons that ended with a No. 4 National Ranking which was the highest in Carolina Football History. Dooley was no slouch either with a 69-53-2 in 11 years with a few ACC Titles as well.

So in the history of College Football we know where those three guys played out. There is no doubt a sports fan thinks of basketball coach Denny Crum instead of Dick and Derek Dooley probably has more street cred than Bill.

But everyone knows the pedigree that is Mack Brown and the legacy of greatness he has built with the Texas Longhorns that include a National Championship in 2005 and another appearance in 2009. In 15 years, Brown has a 150-43 mark in Austin, Texas but is just a timid 22-16 since the 2009 BCS Title loss.

So as the 61-year-old Brown seems to have peaked in his greatness, can Fedora find a way to overtake him? The answer is a resounding yes!

Fedora is currently 43-22 as a head coach over his first five seasons. Brown started his first five seasons at 17-38 including a 1-10, 1-6 record in his first season in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

So as Fedora Ball continues to pick up steam in the ACC don’t be surprised at all when the next 10 years become the golden era of Tar Heel Football.

And the No. 1 reason Carolina better not let another Texas take away their gridiron great.


M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.

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