CHAPEL HILL, N.C. –– After dropping their fourth bowl game in the row, North Carolina’s football fate was sealed and they must now turn over some new leaves.
Last week, defensive coordinator Gene Chizik and DL coach Tim Cross were released from the program after UNC’s defensive lapses once again held them back towards the end of the season.
To replace Cross, senior defensive analyst Ted Monachino has stepped up to the plate.
In place of Chizik, the program hired 27-year collegiate coaching veteran Geoff Collins. He most recently served as the coordinator at Georgia Tech for the past four seasons. Prior to that, he was the head coach at Temple University and before that he had coaching stints at Florida, Mississippi State, FIU and his alma mater, Western Carolina.
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Geoff Collins, his wife Jennifer, and their daughter Astrid to the Carolina football family,” said UNC head coach Mack Brown. “Geoff is a brilliant defensive mind, who has been successful at a number of different locations as both a head coach and a coordinator. His experience shows that he knows what it takes to lead the men in our program, and he’ll utilize that
experience for the benefit of our defense. We were blown away when we interviewed Geoff. He was unbelievably prepared. He had watched all of our games, knew our personnel, and pinpointed the items he’d implement to improve our players and the defensive unit as a whole. I can’t wait to get Geoff and his family to Chapel Hill and get to work.”
Five Yellow Jacket players have been drafted under his tutelage and he’s also recognized as an accomplished recruiter. He’s produced back-to-back nationally ranked recruiting classes, including his first full class in 2020 which was ranked No.24 by Rivals. Later on, the class was ranked No.8 by Bleacher Report. It was the just top-25 recruiting class in Georgia Tech history and the first since 2007.
“My family and I want to thank Coach Brown and the staff at UNC for presenting us with this opportunity,” said Collins. “I’ve long admired Carolina and know what a truly special place it is. I feel honored and am very excited to get to work with the high-quality student-athletes in Chapel Hill. This past year has been a very valuable experience personally, studying the game from a unique perspective, following the trends, and preparing for my next coaching position. I’m ready for this challenge. I’m excited for this challenge, and I can’t wait to get to Chapel Hill and get started.”
With these coaching changes and potentially more personnel changes in the future, UNC now shifts to spring practice as they prepare to weave in their transfers and 2024 signees with the remaining players on the squad.