CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Mack Brown, who this season guided Tulane to its first bowl in seven years, Wednesday succeeded Dick Crum as North Carolina's football coach.
Brown, 36, had coached the past four seasons at Tulane, compiling an 11-22 record while doubling as the school's athletic director. The Green Wave went 6-5 this year and will play Saturday in the Independence Bowl against Washington. Brown said he plans to coach in that game.
Tulane had not previously been to a bowl since the 1980 Hall of Fame. This marks the third straight year a coach headed for the Independence Bowl has left his team for another job. In 1985, Lou Holtz left Minnesota for Notre Dame and last year, David McWilliams went from Texas Tech to Texas. Neither Holtz nor McWilliams stayed to coach the bowl as Brown will.
'I made a list 15 years ago of the best (coaching) jobs in the country,' Brown said. 'And North Carolina was very, very high on that list.'
Athletic Director John Swofford said Brown was the unanimous choice of an eight-man search committee, which included himself.
'We were looking for a people person who could deal with the relationships on a college campus,' Swofford said. 'We were looking for a man of integrity, a leader and a motivator with a passion for college football. We got that in Mack Brown.'
Crum resigned Nov. 30 with a 72-41-3 record in 10 seasons. He accepted an $800,000 buyout of the final four years of a 10-year contract.
Brown said he was reluctant to leave Tulane, where he took over a struggling program. This year's winning season was the Green Wave's first since 1981.
Brown's first head-coaching job was in 1983, when he led Appalachian State to a 6-5 mark. He left the Mountaineers to become offensive coordinator at Oklahama, then departed after one season for Tulane.
He played at Florida State in the early 1970s. He began coaching full-time in 1974 at Southern Mississippi and stayed there four years. He spent a year at Memphis State. He moved to Iowa State in 1979 and became the Cyclones' offensive coordinator in 1980.
Brown took a similar position at Louisiana State in 1982 before going to Appalachian State.
Brown announced his resignation at Tulane Wednesday before departing for the news conference in Chapel Hill.
'It is with very torn emotion that I leave a state where people have been so good to me,' said Brown, whose brother, Watson, coaches Vanderbilt. 'I'm extremely proud of the progress that our entire athletic staff has been able to make under the fine direction of Tulane President Dr. Eamon Kelly during the past three years and I would like to challenge the great Tulane fans to continue working in that same light.
'My family and I will do anything we possibly can to help Tulane University continue in the building process. After accepting what I feel is a tremendous professional and personal opportunity at the University of North Carolina today, our staff will dedicate itself through Saturday to help the Tulane football team win the Independence Bowl game against the University of Washington. Then on Sunday, I will start my duties at the University of North Carolina.'
Tulane was 1-10 in Brown's first season with the Green Wave in 1985 and 4-7 in 1986.
'Mack Brown did an excellent job both academically and athleticly in building the athletic program at Tulane,' Kelly said.
Brown said he would begin working Sunday, the day after the Independence Bowl, on assembling a coaching staff at North Carolina.