CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina head coach Mack Brown officially introduced new assistant head coach for defense Gene Chizik on Thursday for the first time since the hire was announced last Saturday. Chizik returns to Chapel Hill, where he was the defensive coordinator for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, following a five-year coaching hiatus at ESPN.
Chizik’s relationship with Brown goes back 17 years when he was hired by the Hall of Fame coach to be the co-defensive coordinator, assistant head coach and linebackers coach at the University of Texas in 2005; the year the Longhorns won the national championship with Vince Young at quarterback. Since that time, Chizik has made stops at Iowa State and Auburn (another national championship) as head coach, UNC as defensive coordinator, and then stepped away from coaching not unlike how Brown did following his departure from Texas.
The new AHC for defense inherits a Tar Heel defense that ranked 105th nationally in scoring defense (32.1) and yards per play allowed (6.11) last season.
Chizik discussed his early priorities, his connection with Brown, why he took this job without hesitation, building the right culture, his role in recruiting, the “no-brainer” decision to bring Charlton Warren with him, and more during his introductory press conference. Below are 10 takeaways from his time on Thursday with the media …
Greg Barnes contributed to this article.