ROBERT WILLETT - email@example.com
CHAPEL HILL — UNC assistant football coach Everett Withers, above, has been named interim head coach for the Tar Heels program, the university announced this evening.
A Charlotte native, Withers has served as UNC’s defensive coordinator and secondary coach under Butch Davis the last three seasons. Last year, UNC’s defense ranked fourth in the ACC and 30th in the country.
Withers contract for the 2011 season will be amended to reflect his promotion to interim head coach. Details will be available at a later date. With Withers' promotion, the Tar Heels will begin the process of hiring a full-time assistant to complete the staff, according to a release issued by the university.
“The Chancellor and I spoke with him this afternoon and we believe he has the leadership qualities to help our student-athletes deal with the challenges ahead," said UNC athletics director Dick Baddour. "We are fortunate to have someone with his credentials and background. He is ready for this position.”
In a statement released by UNC, Withers said he was honored that university chancellor Holden Thorp and Baddour have faith in him to serve as interim head coach.
“I realize this appointment is coming during a tough transition for our football players and staff," he said. "My job and the job of our assistant coaches is to prepare these students to perform at the highest level this season. I love Carolina and this community, and I will do everything I can to make the Tar Heel fans proud of this team.”
Thorp said he believes Withers is the right person for the football program "under these challenging circumstances."
“I am impressed with the relationships he has built with our players and staff, and it is our top priority to help our student-athletes going forward," Thorp said in the statement. "I believe he can help our students succeed at the highest level both on and off the field and in the classroom.”
Withers will address the media at 3 p.m. Friday.