With his 10th-ranked team set to take on No. 1 Clemson in the ACC Championship Game, North Carolina coach Larry Fedora agreed in principle to a seven-year extension, Tar Heels athletic director Bubba Cunningham announced Saturday afternoon.
Fedora, 53, led the North Carolina to an 11-2 record this season, only one year after a disappointing 6-7 finish. Fedora is 32-19 overall in four seasons in Chapel Hill. His new deal will last through 2022.
Cunningham had this to say before Saturday night’s game, according to ESPN:
“I think the key to long-term success is consistency in the coaching staff. And he has done an excellent job building the program and attracting students that are very successful athletically and academically.”
If Fedora gets a seven-year extension for reaching the ACC title game, who knows what he would have received if the Tar Heels had upset Clemson to win the conference and maybe sneak into the College Football Playoff?
Regardless, huge props to Fedora for turning around a dormant program. When he arrived in 2012, North Carolina faced harsh NCAA sanctions including a scholarship reduction and one-year postseason ban. Before this year, the Tar Heels had not won 11 games since 1997, when Mack Brown was at the helm. This is only the eighth double-digit-win season in program history, and merely the fourth since 1981.