The University of North Carolina and Head Football Coach Mack Brown have agreed to a one-year contract extension. The length of the contract remains five years, now through January of 2028.
“Mack has reenergized our program in so many ways – from the team camaraderie in the locker room, to the engaged fan base in the stands, to this season’s Coastal Division Championship and nine-win finish,’’ Carolina Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham said. “We know that under his leadership, our student-athletes will continue to succeed on the field and in the classroom while giving back to the community. We appreciate all he and Sally have done to help build a positive culture around Carolina Football.”
Brown, the nation’s only active Hall of Fame coach, ranks second among active coaches in all-time wins and his 274 career victories rank eighth on the FBS all-time list. The 2005 Paul W. “Bear” Bryant National Coach of the Year and the 2008 Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year, Brown is one of a handful of coaches in college football history to lead two separate programs to Top-Five national finishes. He is also one of just five active head coaches who has won a National Championship.
“I appreciate the Board of Trustees, Chancellor Guskiewicz, Bubba Cunningham and the athletics department for continuing to invest in our football program and assisting us as we continue our rise in the ACC and on the national landscape,” Brown said. “We’ve had a very successful four years across the board and we’re continuing to strive to win all the games, have as much fun as possible, and mentor young men who graduate and are better prepared for life after football. We’ve accomplished a lot and we still have so much room for improvement, so we’re looking forward to attacking this offseason and getting ready to go for the 2023 season.”
In four seasons back at North Carolina, Brown has revitalized a program that had won five games in the two seasons prior to his arrival. In his first season in 2019, the Tar Heels went 7-6, sold out every home game, and won the Military Bowl. They followed that with an 8-4 season in 2020 and a trip to the Orange Bowl, the school’s first major bowl in 70 years.
In year three, Brown led the Tar Heels to their third consecutive bowl game, which hadn’t happened since 2016 and occurred only one other time since his departure in 1997. Carolina snapped a four-game losing streak to Virginia, defeated Miami for the third consecutive season, and defeated a Top-10 opponent at home for the first time since 2004. In addition, UNC saw five of its Tar Heels selected in the 2021 NFL Draft with three of players going in the first three rounds.
Last year, Carolina won nine games, was the ACC Coastal Division Champion, and qualified for the Holiday Bowl, the Tar Heels fourth consecutive bowl trip. Carolina won nine games for just the second time since Brown’s first stint in Chapel Hill with 2015 being the other occurrence. It was UNC’s sixth nine-win season since 1982 with Brown-led teams accounting for five of them. Carolina also produced a major turnaround on the road. The Heels went 6-0 in true road games for the first time in school history.
Brown and the program have also made great strides off the field. The 2022 recruiting class ranked eighth nationally, the school’s highest-ranked recruiting class in the internet era, to go along with two Top-15 classes and a Top-30 class, supplemented by one of the nation’s highest-ranked transfer classes. Academically, Carolina has produced the two highest single-year APR rates in program history with a 997 in 2019-20 and 1,000 in 2020-21. The team has also achieved a program best multi-year APR rate of 977. In addition, over the last two years, the team has earned the highest annual GPAs in over 10 years.