It would seem as though Gene Chizik is returning to his old stomping grounds. Mack Brown, head coach for the University of North Carolina, has decided to go with Chizik for the position of defensive coordinator. Now Chizik has made some statements regarding the decision and added insight into just where the heck he’s been since his last run with the team.
He is 60 now, but seems ready and willing to take on the challenge in the very familiar territory to him, that being an added perk to the decision, he claims. Chizik had these same duties from 2015 to 2016 and before that, secured the position of head coach over at Auburn (2009-12). He has not worked in football in any capacity since that last aforementioned run in 2016 with the Tar Heels, reports 24/7 Sports.
He did work as an analyst for the SEC Network, and held so many other coaching duties dating back to 1986, including stints at UCF and Clemson, Texas and at other schools of course.
All of this does come as a shock to most however, as he was rumored to have been nabbing a head coach position in the reboot of the USFL, but Chizik recently took to Twitter to say that all of that was merely a rumor and nothing at all had been finalized on that front…and now this.
It was while he was on SEC This Morning with Peter Burns and Chris Doering (his other former stomping grounds in the SEC Network), that he talked about this decision and turn of events, not going into too much detail – if any – about those alleged USFL rumors. He said:
“I’m getting into a point in my life where I’ve got one more shot left in me…I’ve always known that. And you know, I’ve turned down a lot of jobs over the years — both head-coach opportunities and coordinator opportunities. And the coordinator opportunities that I’ve turned down are because I don’t have to do this. I do it because I love it, but I have to be with the right guy…
I have to be with a guy that I believe in. I have to be with a guy that I know. I have to be with a guy that I’m comfortable with. And what better way to go out for me — because this is my last shot…I’m not doing this again. I’m going to North Carolina. I’m being with what I consider to be one of my dearest and closest friends in Mack Brown…
It’s a place where I’ve been before, that I really enjoy, had two fantastic years there — and the only reason I got out then, guys, was because I needed to be with Cally…I needed to be with my son as he finished high school, and I wasn’t seeing him play enough. So I got out of coaching not knowing whether I’d get (back) in or not again but was willing to keep an open mind…
And of all the last five years, you guys have been my team. And I’ve never been without a team for seven years. And you guys have been my team. And that’s why I love everybody so much at the network, because it’s been a blast. But I’ve got one more shot in me…
And if I’m going to do it, I want to do it with a guy that I love. I want to do it at a place that I’ve been to and I love. So I’m going to give it another shot. As crazy as it is, man, I’ve got to learn the transfer portal, the NIL rules — I don’t know any of that stuff. And we’ve talked about it. I’ll jump back in and I’ll figure it all out. I’m going to have a lot of fun doing it, because it’s my last go around.”via SEC This Morning /24/7 Sports (Transcription)
As for the USFL, they’re scheduled to start in April of 2022, and yes, without Chizik quite obviously. The North Carolina Tar Heels, who are currently 3rd in the Atlantic Coast, are set to go up against Georgia Tech on Saturday January 15th at 8PM EST.
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