Lecture Topic: Special Teams Play
• 2015 Bear Bryant National Coach of the Year Finalist
• 2015 FCA National Coach of the Year
Larry Fedora’s fourth season as North Carolina’s head coach saw the Tar Heels return to the national discussion thanks to a record-setting offense and vastly improved defense. After an 11-3 season that featured a school-record 11-game winning streak and the program’s first trip to the ACC Championship Game, Fedora has the Tar Heels poised to compete for a league title on a yearly basis.
“I’m a believer that nothing great can be accomplished without energy and a passion for what you believe in,” he says. “We’re building this program and every day we are striving to become better coaches and student-athletes.”
Fedora is building a program at North Carolina that encompasses all aspects of the student-athlete experience. In his first four seasons, the Tar Heels have set offensive records in bunches, electrified fans with their special teams play, produced numerous professional prospects and finished first in the Coastal Division on two occasions. Off the field, the Tar Heels’ APR has improved under Fedora and his student-athletes are regulars in the community.
Despite scholarship limitations imposed before Fedora took over the program, he guided the Tar Heels to 32 wins in his first four years. Only Dick Crum won more games (34) in his first four seasons in Chapel Hill since the ACC began in 1953.
Fedora was one of the first coaches in the country to implement the spread offense, a style now employed in a majority of major programs. Fedora was quick to brand his style of play as “smart, fast and physical,” a mantra he’s preached since he first became a head coach at Southern Miss in 2008. That style has paid dividends for UNC, which has averaged more than 425 yards of total offense per game under his watch and averaged more than 40 points in 2015. In fact, Fedora has coached the two most prolific offenses in UNC history. The 2015 team set school marks for most points (570), points per game (40.7) and touchdowns (73). The previous highs of 487 points and 62 touchdowns were set in 2012, Fedora’s first season in Chapel Hill.
Carolina averaged a school-record 486.9 yards on offense, which tops the 2012 mark of 485.6. UNC has averaged more than 425 yards per game each season under Fedora. This marks the first time Carolina has averaged more than 400 yards per game in four straight years.