Who's Coaching the North Carolina Tar Heels Defense?

By Tim Letcher

The North Carolina Tar Heels have no problem scoring. Coach Larry Fedora’s offense set more than 40 school records in Fedora’s first season in Chapel Hill. With the exception of who will replace Giovani Bernard at running back, the UNC offense has very few questions.

However, questions abound on the other side of the ball. One of the biggest questions for the 2013 Tar Heels is, who’s running the defense?

Vic Koenning is the associate head coach for defense and inside linebackers coach. It would seem that Koenning would be the man calling the shots on defense, given his title.

However, North Carolina hired Ron West as co-defensive coordinator earlier this month. West comes to Chapel Hill from the Arizona State Sun Devils, where he served in the same capacity.

Also on the Tar Heels’ coaching staff is Dan Disch, who is the other co-defensive coordinator. Disch worked with Fedora at Southern Miss, where he improved the defense by leaps and bounds.

So the question remains, who’s running the defense?

The good news is that Fedora is familiar with Koenning, West and Disch. West coached with Fedora during his time with the Baylor Bears. West also coached with Koenning and Disch with the Illinois Fighting Illini. So seemingly, these three should be able to work through any issues that might arise.

However, with all three being given titles that would suggest that they are running the defense, confusion could set in. It will be Fedora’s job to determine who is calling the defensive plays, and who is in charge in Chapel Hill.

North Carolina was 56th in the nation last season in total defense, giving up nearly 390 yards per game. If that is to improve in 2013, the Tar Heels will need to know which of the three men with the defensive leader titles is actually calling the shots.

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