UNC rewards Brown with contract extension

UNC coach Mack Brown greets defensive lineman Aaron Crawford after a sack in a season opening win against South Carolina in Charlotte (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

Mack Brown might be 68 years old, but like most people his age he isn’t looking to retire anytime soon.

Saturday, the new/old North Carolina football coach was rewarded with a one-year contract extension after a successful regular season that saw him get the Tar Heels back to a bowl game for the first time in three seasons. The extension, which was announced by UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham, maintains the terms of the original agreement and keeps the length of Brown’s contract at five years, now through the 2024 season.

Brown makes $3.5 million in base salary and other incentives.

“Mack’s return has had an outstanding impact, not just in Kenan Stadium but throughout the Carolina community,’’ Cunningham said in a statement. “Our students are winning on the field and doing well in the classroom, our fan base is energized, and we are all excited about building on the great successes of this season.”

Brown, the nation’s only active Hall of Fame coach, is currently the winningest active coach in college football and his 250 career victories rank ninth on the FBS all-time list. He became UNC’s all-time wins leader during the 2019 season in which he led the Tar Heels to a 6-6 record and a berth in the upcoming Military Bowl against Temple.

“I want to thank the Board of Trustees, chancellor (Kevin) Guskiewicz, Bubba and the athletics department for their great support,” Brown said. “You could really see things come together. Our fans have stepped up filling the stadium each week. I love what we’ve been able to do with our facilities and the excitement around the program has given us the opportunity to have one of the top recruiting classes in the country.

“North Carolina is a wonderful place and everyone can tell we’re building something special here. I’m having a great time. I love our staff and these kids and I’m planning on being here for a long, long time. Because Sally and I love UNC and Chapel Hill, we won’t coach anywhere else, which gives this place as much stability as anywhere in the country. Now, we’ll continue to focus on recruiting and preparing for our bowl game. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at the Military Bowl on Dec. 27.”

The Tar Heels’ six wins are one more than they had won in its previous two seasons combined. Their six losses came by a total of just 26 points to teams with a mbined record of 52-11.