North Carolina: Fedora out as football coach after 7 seasons

Former Southern Miss coach led Tar Heels to 2-9 record this season

North Carolina: Fedora out as football coach after 7 seasons
North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora reacts during the second half of an NCAA college football game against North Carolina State in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. North Carolina State won 34-28 in overtime Source: AP Photo/Gerry Broome

RALEIGH, NC (AP) - North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora is out after seven seasons.

The school announced the decision in a news release Sunday morning. That came less than a day after an overtime loss to rival North Carolina State that dropped the Tar Heels to 2-9 and concluded with a brawl between the teams in the end zone after the Wolfpack scored the winning touchdown.

Fedora's exit completes a swift fall. The program won 11 games and an Atlantic Coast Conference division championship in 2015. UNC slipped to 8-5 the next season and then went 5-18 over the past two seasons marred by injuries, inexperienced players and close losses.

The move will cost UNC about $12 million owed on Fedora's contract that runs through the 2022 season.

Fedora arrived in Chapel Hill before the 2012 season to take over a program at the end of an NCAA investigation into improper benefits and academic misconduct. He inherited a one-year postseason ban — which kept the Tar Heels out of the ACC championship game in his debut season — and scholarship reductions yet got the Tar Heels to two straight bowls before a breakout run in 2015 followed by an eight-win season in 2016.

Fedora was athletic director Bubba Cunningham's first major hire with UNC.

"We appreciate all that Larry Fedora has done for us over the last seven years - coming to Carolina in the midst of an NCAA case and bringing stability to our football program when we most needed it," Cunningham said in a statement. "Despite injuries, despite setbacks and hardships, Larry never made excuses. He focused his teams on overcoming adversity, and I deeply respect the way he persevered and led our program each day with integrity through some tough times.

“This was not an easy decision because of the deep affinity I have for Larry. It simply is time to take our football program in a new direction.”

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