Davis says he will return for second season at North Carolina

Updated: December 7, 2007, 4:05 AM ET
Associated Press

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Butch Davis apparently isn't going anywhere.

North Carolina's coach -- whose name has been mentioned as a possible candidate for other coaching vacancies -- said Thursday he won't talk with other schools about jobs and will return for his second season here.

"Obviously, I know that there was interest out there," Davis said. "But I have to be honest and tell you that my interest was to stay at the University of North Carolina. I love this job, and I love being here and I love being a part of it. I look very much forward to the future of this program."

When asked directly whether he could say that he would not talk to other schools or entertain other offers, Davis said, "You got it. Exactly what you said."

The school announced before the season finale against Duke that Davis, who led the youthful Tar Heels to a 4-8 record in his first season, agreed to terms for a one-year contract extension through the 2014 season. The extension also included a raise of $291,000 that will push his annual income to about $2.1 million. The extension has not been finalized yet, team spokesman Kevin Best said Thursday.

The extension came as Davis was rumored to be a candidate for other jobs, including at his alma mater, Arkansas. But he refuted that Thursday, saying, "There is no interest in the University of Arkansas coaching job."

Davis is best known for rebuilding a Miami program weakened by NCAA sanctions that limited scholarships during his first three seasons. But he gradually brought the Hurricanes back to the nation's elite, going 51-20 while leading Miami to three Big East championships and four bowl victories.

His last team went 11-1 and finished ranked No. 2 nationally in 2000 after winning the Sugar Bowl. Then, after Davis left to coach the NFL's Cleveland Browns, his former players went unbeaten in 2001 and won a national title.

His hiring gave North Carolina's beleaguered fans what they had hoped: a big-name coach to return the Tar Heels to the success they enjoyed only a decade earlier, when Mack Brown led North Carolina to consecutive top-10 seasons before leaving for Texas.

Since Brown left in 1997, the Tar Heels have reached just three bowl games.

During the season, Davis sounded like someone who planned to stick around. He talked ambitiously about renovations and upgrades to 60,000-seat Kenan Stadium. He also seemed eager to return to recruiting after putting together a surprisingly strong first class and work with a young team -- 59 of the Tar Heels' 84 scholarship players were underclassmen -- through offseason drills and spring practice.

Davis also noted another reason Thursday: his wife Tammy and teenage son Drew.

"My family and I truly love Chapel Hill," he said. "We've chosen it as a place to raise our son. We've chosen it as a place to stay and I'm real thrilled to be here. I'm fortunate to have this job and I love being a part of it."

Davis also said Thursday that quarterback T.J. Yates will have arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder later this month. Yates is expected to recover in time for next season.

Also on Thursday, Davis said North Carolina had added McNeese State to open next season on Aug. 30.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press