UNC defensive coordinator Chizik steps down

FILE - In this Aug. 10, 2015, file photo, North Carolina defensive coordinator Gene Chizik works with players during an NCAA college football practice in Chapel Hill, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

North Carolina defensive coordinator Gene Chizik is resigning after two seasons with the Tar Heels.

In a letter to North Carolina fans, Chizik said he was stepping away from football to focus on his family. Chizik's wife and three children still live in Auburn, Alabama, where he was head coach of the Tigers from 2009-12. The 55-year-old has twin daughters and a son.

Linebacker coach John Papuchis is being promoted to defensive coordinator.

Chizik joined North Carolina in 2015 and helped turn around a defense that was one of the worst in the country the season before.

Before joining North Carolina, Chizik was head coach at Auburn for four seasons. He led the Tigers to the 2010 national championship, but was fired after a winless Southeastern Conference season in 2012.

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