Engulfed in a crippling scandal that saw the school and its football coaches routinely fail to investigate sexual assault allegations against its players–Baylor University suspended head coach Art Briles on Thursday with intention to terminate him.
As a result, the internet–as it tends to do–immediately began speculation about who would replace Briles, naming UNC head coach Larry Fedora as the school’s likely first target.
Would expect Fedora to be the subject of some Baylor buzz. He began his college coaching career there, is from Texas https://t.co/vmcRcxzuJP
— Andrew Carter (@_andrewcarter) May 26, 2016
Fedora and Briles each came up through the coaching ranks in Texas, crossing paths a number of times when Fedora was an assistant at Baylor recruiting some of Briles’ players at Stephenville High School.
In eight seasons under Briles, Baylor rose to national prominence using a high-tempo offense similar to the one used by Fedora at UNC.
The Bears also defeated Fedora’s Tar Heels 49-38 in last season’s Russell Athletic Bowl, running for 645 yards with their top three quarterbacks each sidelined–showing they still have the talent to compete on the national level the next couple years with or without Briles at the helm.
It's way early, but I could see Baylor going after North Carolina's Larry Fedora as HC.
— Kirk Bohls (@kbohls) May 26, 2016
However, there has been no indication so far that Fedora would be interested in taking the job, despite the numerous connections.
For one, the 53-year-old just signed a new contract extension at UNC in December which adds four years to his current seven-year deal–meaning it won’t expire until after the 2022 season.
His original contract signed in 2011 was worth upwards of $2 million per year, making him the highest paid football coach in the school’s history.
Upon his arrival in Chapel Hill, Fedora also entered into the beginning of the NCAA academic scandal that still has yet to reach a resolution.
It’s unlikely that he would want to jump from the ending of one long-running scandal into the beginning of another.
And let’s not forget, the Tar Heels are coming off a 2015 season where they tallied a school-record 11 wins and won the ACC Coastal Division Title.
He wouldn’t exactly have to leave North Carolina to chase more wins in the future, either, given the amount of talent UNC returns next season.
Fedora was unavailable for comment on the issue, as it is the longstanding policy of both he and UNC Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham to not comment on any type of coaching speculation.