It’s only been one year for Larry Fedora and the North Carolina Tar Heels and it was marred by a postseason ban that kept them from taking their spot in the 2012 ACC title game. But it was filled with excellent success that has people thinking big for the near future. Despite that small sample size, there is plenty to be excited about in the Fedora-era at Chapel Hill.
It’s easy to understand the excitement when you look at the track record that got Fedora hired in the first place. The Heels’ head coach has given a positive boost to every offense he has run, including the Southern Miss Eagles and Oklahoma State Cowboys. He continued that trend with UNC last year when the team set school records for total points (487) and points per game (40.6) and that was without the benefit of his entire playbook. Quarterback Bryn Renner is back and will be more comfortable with the offense, meaning Fedora will get to open things up and step on the gas in 2013.
And Fedora isn’t exactly hurting for players. UNC has done a great job recruiting talent in recent years, especially on offense and along the offensive line, in particular. Fedora has continued that strong recruiting trend and currently has the No. 22 recruiting class in the country for 2014 and all the while, working under the cloud of NCAA sanctions. Once North Carolina clears the sanctions and Fedora has full access to all of his recruiting capabilities, the Heels should see even more talent roll in. It wouldn’t hurt if he kept winning football games, either.
He has even worked to cover up his weakness (defense) by surrounding himself with talented coaches who can pick up the slack. Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning has a track record of success, particularly in the ACC. During his time with the Clemson Tigers, Koenning’s unit finished in the top 25 of scoring, total and pass efficiency defense. He knows what it takes to win in and if given the time and the recruits, he can build the Heels’ defense into one of the ACC’s best.
The Fedora-era in Chapel Hill got off to a fast start and there’s no indication that he’s planning on slowing down. With a few more successful years under his belt, Fedora could transform UNC into a perennial contender for the ACC crown and a dominant presence in the Coastal Division for years to come.