by Chris Paschal
The last time we saw Mack Brown on a college football field, in the words of Steve Harvey, “it didn’t go good.” The once proud college football coach was shown the door after going 8-5 during the 2013 college football season. 8-5 might be alright for some schools, but when you go 8-5 at Texas, especially when it’s your fourth straight season with less than ten wins, you get fired. Mack looked tired. He looked like a grandpa. Hell, he is a grandpa.
Now we are supposed to believe that after a few years as a college football analyst on ESPN that Mack is ready to return to big-time coaching at the ripe old age of 67 (68 when the season begins). Not only that, but Mack is taking over a North Carolina program that has won five games in the past two years. He’s being asked to save the Tar Heels like he did back in the 90s. To understand what is being asked of Coach Mack, we first have to examine what he did during his first stint with the Tar Heels.
This is pretty uncommon. Except for Johnny Vaught at Ole Miss and Johnny Majors with Pittsburgh, I cannot think of another coach that had two separate stints at the same university. Yet despite how uncommon a practice this is, Mack Brown is returning to North Carolina. Mack coached the Tar Heels from 1988-1997 before leaving for Texas. Now, in 2019, Mack returns. Why is North Carolina going back to Mack? In part, it’s because the 90s were some of the best years in Tar Heel football history. Let’s look at why.