UNC Football: Potential Defensive Coordinator Candidates To Replace Gene Chizik

This week, the UNC Football coaching staff witnessed a major shakeup in the coordinator room. Who are some potential candidates to replace Gene Chizik?

Duke's Mayo Bowl - North Carolina v South Carolina
Duke's Mayo Bowl - North Carolina v South Carolina / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages
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Charlton Warren - UNC Defensive Backs Coach

Let's start in-house. The University of North Carolina is known for keeping things within the family. While this originally began on the basketball side of things, it has stretched to other sports within the athletic department. This isn't always bad, as long as the in-house candidate can provide a similar resume when compared to the best available candidate.

Warren spent the 2022 and 2023 seasons with the UNC Football program as Co-Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs coach. Warren has only held a Defensive Coordinator title without the "Co" for one season throughout his coaching career which was during the 2021 season with Indiana.

During his one season with the Hoosiers, he had the defense 36th in the country nationally and 9th in the Big Ten, giving up 352.2 yards per game. They were ranked 45th in scoring defense that season, giving up 24.4 points per game.

Here is my personal knock on these stats from any Big Ten defensive coordinator (and spoiler - there will be at least one more on this list). The Big Ten is not an offensive-driven conference, and as a result, the stats from Big Ten defenses can become inflated over the course of a season or multiple.

In a conference where the offenses are known to be more ground and pound and eat up the game clock, how will that translate to a place like Chapel Hill where it has been shown the Tar Heels want to air it out and score as quickly as possible?

This isn't just a Big Ten problem. The UNC Football program hired former Army Defensive Coordinator Jay Bateman for the first three years of Mack Brown's tenure and saw a similar result. Bateman's defenses at Army were phenomenal, but coming from a team that operates with the triple-option and eating the clock to an air-raid offense leaves the defense susceptible to giving up more yards and points which happened from 2019-2021 in Chapel Hill.

Is Warren the solution to the problem? I'm not so sure. But if Mack Brown and the UNC Football program wish to stay in-house on the hire, he appears to be the best candidate that meets those qualifications.