Mack Brown plans to return in 2024, North Carolina says

ByMark Schlabach ESPN logo
Thursday, November 16, 2023

Mack Brown plans to return to the sideline at North Carolina in 2024, despite speculation that this season might be his last in coaching, a school spokesperson said in a statement Thursday.

Brown, 72, is in his second stint at North Carolina and has guided the No. 20 Tar Heels to an 8-2 record. His teams are 38-24 the past five seasons; he had previously coached at UNC from 1988 to '97. It his 35th season as head coach of an FBS program.

"It's that time of year, so someone is going to start this rumor in the hopes of affecting our team and/or recruiting like they've done the past two years," UNC spokesperson Jeremy Sharpe said in a statement. "Mack is full steam ahead. In fact, he already has spring practice planned and is currently setting up recruiting visits for December, so no, he's not retiring."

Last season, the Tar Heels won the ACC's Coastal Division and finished 9-5. Brown coached at Texas for 16 seasons, from 1998 to 2013, and guided the Longhorns to a national championship in 2005.

The Tar Heels are tied for third in the ACC standings, two games behind No. 4 Florida State and one behind No. 10 Louisville in the loss column.

North Carolina plays at Clemson on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN and ESPN App) and closes the regular season at NC State on Nov. 25.