One of the downfalls of having great coordinators and assistant coaches on your staff is that other schools will look to steal them away. It’s one of the unforeseen consequences of putting a solid staff together that finds some success. That’s the situation that Larry Fedora and the North Carolina Tar Heels find themselves this offseason as offensive coordinator Blake Anderson leaves Chapel Hill to become the next head coach of the Arkansas State Red Wolves.
Anderson has been with Fedora for the last six seasons including the last two at North Carolina as the offensive coordinator. With the Heels, Fedora and Anderson have built an up-tempo offensive machine that pushed the tempo on defenses and pressed an offensive advantage with some of the best in the ACC. This season, they averaged 32.2 points per game as they seemed to struggle a bit keeping up consistent offensive production, but still ranked No. 23 in the nation in passing averaging 286.3 yards per game.
At Arkansas State, Anderson will take over a program that has become a stepping stone for coaches to go on to bigger jobs after just one season. Anderson will be the fifth head coach of Arkansas State in the last five years. He’ll be replacing Bryan Harsin who left the program after one season at the helm to take over as head coach of the Boise State Broncos. Before that, Gus Malzahn spent one season as the head coach before he returned to the Auburn Tigers this season and led them to the BCS National Championship.
For North Carolina, Fedora says the team will take time to find the right fit for the next offensive coordinator. They will still be an up-tempo offense the presses the pace as Fedora has done at every stop in his coaching career. He recognizes that losing Anderson is a reflection of the work that he has done on the UNC staff and calls it an opportunity that he wholly deserves. Will a change at OC hurt the Heels in the Belk Bowl against the Cincinnati Bearcats and into 2014?