Former NFL coach Butch Davis will return to the sidelines as coach at North Carolina, which is 1-9 and hasn't beaten a Division I-A school this season .
He will replace the fired John Bunting, the school said Monday. The hiring had been widely expected the past week after Davis' name rose to the top of the list of candidates
Davis, who will turn 55 on Friday, brings a reputation for orchestrating turnarounds, which is just what the struggling Tar Heels need. North Carolina ranks among the worst offenses and defenses in the country.
"Butch Davis became our first choice early in the process, although we did not know of his interest in us," Baddour said. "We were excited to learn of his interest in Carolina and our football program and proceeded from that point. He's a first-class individual who is committed to preparing his student-athletes for success in all aspects of their lives."
Davis was 51-20 as the Miami Dolphins' coach from 1995-00, then took over as the Cleveland Browns' coach in 2001 and went 24-35. He resigned in 2004 from the Browns and worked the past two seasons in broadcasting.
"The timing of my decision to consider coaching opportunities, and the opening at UNC seemed to intersect perfectly," Davis said. "Dick Baddour made my introduction to Carolina happen in a well-planned, well-organized manner and did an outstanding job of presenting the virtues of UNC, its people, its strong commitment to both academics and athletics, as well as the exciting, active part it plays in the community. Obviously, he succeeded."