North Carolina head football coach Larry Fedora has proven twice he can build up a program, first at Southern Miss and currently with the Tar Heels. Former Goose Creek coach Chuck Reedy, who gave Fedora his first full time college coaching job at Baylor, believes Fedora could turn South Carolina back into a winner as well.
“I don’t want to speculate on what he’s interested in right now. Obviously, he’s focused on the championship game,” Reedy told The State. “But if he were to be hired at South Carolina, I don’t think there’s anybody out there who would do a better job than he would do.”
Fedora is an offensive-minded coach and has head coaching experience.
“Head coaching experience is very important at the University of South Carolina,” Reedy said. “And it’s not been a one-year thing. He’s really built two programs up to a very high level. He has everything that you’re looking for.”
Fedora coached under Reedy from 1993-1996, and Reedy says the two are still good friends. Fedora left Baylor when Reedy did and joined the staff at Air Force.
In addition to coaching the passing game and wide receivers at Air Force, Fedora served as offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee, Florida and Oklahoma State before being hired as the Southern Miss head coach in 2008.
He led the Eagles to bowl games four consecutive seasons, including an 11-2 mark in 2011, his final year at Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles averaged 37 points per game that year.
“I think Middle Tennessee is where he pretty much formulated his ideas about what he wanted to do offensively and carried that on to Florida, then Oklahoma State, then Southern Miss,” Reedy said. “And I’m sure he has added things as he’s gone along. What he’s doing is pretty much the philosophy that he developed working with a number of different people.”
Fedora arrived at North Carolina in 2012 and immediately faced challenges, including a postseason ban in 2012 and scholarship reductions for three years. The Tar Heels went 21-17 his first three seasons and are 11-1 and set to face Clemson in the ACC Championship game on Saturday in Charlotte.
“He’s done a remarkable job. He’s had a lot of adversity and a lot of things they’ve had to deal with up there,” Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said. “He’s been able to kind of keep them moving forward. Offensively, what they’ve done is impressive. He’s had turnover on his staff, and they’ve continued to stay the course. I think he’s done an outstanding job.”
Despite scholarship reductions and probation, UNC has finished 31st or higher in recruiting each of the past three years. During that time, North Carolina has brought in 11 four-star prospects, according to 247Sports.
“He’s very good with kids. He’s very good in the home. I knew that he would do very well at North Carolina, and, obviously, with the success they’ve had this year, if he indeed stays at North Carolina, then I’m sure they’re going to recruit very well this year,” Reedy said.
“North Carolina had struggled for a good while, and they’ve had kind of a cloud hanging over them ever since he’s been there. They’ve had some restrictions on their numbers and stuff like that, but he’s been able to overcome that and they’re very, very close to being undefeated and being right in the mix for everything. I don’t know that there’s anybody out there that’s got any better credentials than he does.”