North Carolina

UNC offensive coordinator Anderson taking head job at Arkansas State

Posted December 19, 2013

North Carolina offensive coordinator Blake Anderson spoke with the media Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 after news of Bryn Renner's injury.

— University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offensive coordinator Blake Anderson will soon leave the Tar Heels to become the head coach at Arkansas State University.

"I'm excited to announce Blake Anderson as our new head football coach!" Arkansas State Athletics Director Terry Mohajir tweeted Thursday morning.

Anderson will be Arkansas State's fifth coach in five years, taking over for Bryan Harsin, who left recently to become the head coach at Boise State.

Gus Malzahn, who is preparing the Auburn Tigers for the BCS National Championship game, coached at Arkansas State in 2012, leading the Red Wolves to a 10-3 record and a bowl win over Kent State.

Mohajir said the coaching turnover played a large factor in in Anderson's contract, a five-year, $700,000 annual agreement that includes a buyout of $3 million for the first two years. The buyout tapers to $2 million in the third and fourth years, and then to $1 million in the final year.

Anderson came to Chapel Hill with Larry Fedora prior to the 2012 regular season, helping the Tar Heels put up record-breaking offensive numbers in his two seasons with the team.

Led by quarterback Bryn Renner and running back Gio Bernard, the 2012 Tar Heels averaged 40.6 points per game and finished the year 8-4.

In 2013, UNC averaged 32.2 points per game despite losing Renner midway through the year due to injury. In the final six games of the season, the Tar Heels averaged better than 41 points per game. The only loss in the final six weeks of the season came to Duke, as the Blue Devils beat the Heels 27-25 on Nov. 30 to clinch a spot in the ACC Championship Game.

Fedora said Wednesday that Anderson deserves a lot of the credit for UNC's midseason turnaround in 2013. The Tar Heels won five of their last six games to finish the regular season 6-6 and qualify for the Belk Bowl.

"Blake is an outstanding football coach and I’m thrilled he has the chance to be the head coach at Arkansas State," Fedora said in a statement Thursday. "It’s been a goal of his for a long time to be a Division I head coach and he deserves this opportunity."

Anderson will not coach in UNC's Dec. 28 bowl game against Cincinnati. The school has not announced who will call the plays for that game.

The 2013 Red Wolves finished the regular season 7-5 and will take on Ball State Jan. 5 in the GoDaddy Bowl.

20 Comments

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  • The Ramfather Dec 19, 9:47 a.m.

    Sorry to see him go however Fedora knows Offensive Coaching Staff and will restock with a good selection. Glad to see the Heels gave this guy a chance at captaining his own rowboat...

  • TeaBagOnLove Dec 19, 11:17 a.m.

    Arkansas State plays a pretty serious non-conference schedule. This season they played Auburn & Missouri and in 2014 they play Tennessee, Miami and Utah State.

  • I am not who you think I am Dec 19, 11:32 a.m.

    always like to see young coaches moving forward. It will be interesting to see if Fedora promotes from within or brings in a new OC

  • Gunnstigator Dec 19, 11:52 a.m.

    Hate to see him go, especially with the success he brought to UNC's offense, but he deserves a shot at being HC. Wish him all the best.

  • Gunnstigator Dec 19, 11:54 a.m.

    Arkansas State plays a pretty serious non-conference schedule. This season they played Auburn &... View More

    — Posted by TeaBagOnLove

    Wow - I had no idea Arkansas State played such a tough schedule. Pretty impressive.

  • I am not who you think I am Dec 19, 12:09 p.m.

    With App. St. move to FBS next year they will be in the Sun Belt conference with Ark. St..

    App plays at Mich. first game of the season next year..

  • dmccall Dec 19, 12:09 p.m.

    Darn. Best of luck to him.

  • BeastieBoy Dec 19, 12:43 p.m.

    This story title somehow made it past the moderators with no trouble. Geesh, please re-word it so it doesn't sound so vulgar. Should read, "head coach" not "head job."

  • Alex25 Dec 19, 1:09 p.m.

    NCAA is again knocking on the door at UNCCH. Time to get out...

  • weaklings report Dec 19, 2:40 p.m.

    thank goodness the d coordinator is staying, LOL

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