Experience: 1979-1983: Tight ends and wide receivers coach at Oklahoma State
1984-1988: Defensive line coach at Miami (FL)
1989-1992: Defensive line coach for Dallas Cowboys
1993-1994: Defensive coordinator for Dallas Cowboys
1995-2000: Head coach at Miami (FL) (51-20 record)
2001-2004: Head coach for Cleveland Browns (24-34 record)
2007-2010: Head coach at North Carolina (28-23 record)
Philosophy: Butch Davis has a well-deserved reputation as one of the brightest defensive minds at any level of football. In 1988 as the defensive line coach, his Miami Hurricanes ranked second in the NCAA in scoring and total defense.
The Dallas Cowboys led the NFL in rushing defense during his fourth season ss defensive line coach. His 1994 defense, his second as the defensive coordinator of the team, led the NFL in passing and total defense and was number three in scoring defense. By 2000, his Miami Hurricanes defense ranked fifth in scoring defense and eight in passing defense.
In his return to the NFL with the Cleveland Browns in 2001, his defense led the league with 42 takeaways and a team-record 33 interceptions. When he took over the North Carolina defense in 2007, he improved the Tar Heels nearly 60 spots and finished the year with the nation's 35th ranked defense. By 2009, UNC had the ACC's best defense and the sixth best in the country in terms of yards allowed.
He's a mastermind of tough nosed, relentless defenses that consistently are among the best in the nation.
Why he may be hired:
1. He's done this before: When Davis took over the football program in 2007, although he posted a 4-8 record, it was still an improvement over the three win season it posted in 2006. His teams only got better from there, as they recorded three straight eight win seasons in his final years as the head coach at UNC. For an Arizona program having one of the worst seasons in recent memory, a quick turnaround is exactly what it needs.
2. Recruiting:: In five years at North Carolina, Davis' recruiting classes ranked on average as the 21st best in the country according to Scout.com; including as high as number six in 2009. With the long list of professional prospects Davis has put into the NFL, it is likely he would have few problems attracting talented players to Arizona.
3. Defensive prowess: With one of the worst defenses in the nation in 2011, Arizona could certainly use a coach with the credentials on the defensive side of the ball that Davis possesses. As history has shown, while Arizona is currently a terrible defensive team, Davis could reverse that trend in just a couple of seasons.
4. Ability to rally fan base: Like Arizona, North Carolina football has taken a back seat to the heralded Tar Heels basketball program. Davis did a good job of rallying the community around UNC, as attendance raised 15 percent during his tenure, including sell-outs in nearly every home game since 2007. Season ticket purchases increased each season with Davis as head coach, and with all of the renovations surrounding Arizona football, getting more fans in the stands is certainly the goal.
5. Academic success:Amongst 109 eligible coaches, former head coach Mike Stoops ranked 98th in terms of academic progress rating. Nine times Davis' teams have been recognized by the American Football Coaches Association for their achievement in the classroom and graduation rates, and before his firing at North Carolina he had the nation's 33rd best APR. While that may not lead to success on the field, academic success remains among the most crucial elements for student athletes and Davis clearly makes it a priority.
Why he may not be hired:
1. Recruiting violations: Davis was fired from his last stop for several of his players being involved with receiving improper benefits from agents. Although he was never punished for violations during his tenure at Miami, the recent investigation into the program has implicated numerous players that he recruited during his tenure. In a day in age where NCAA compliance is one of the highest priorities for programs, Davis' past problems may prevent him from ever being considered as a candidate.
2. Career winding down: By the time he would take over at Arizona, Davis will be 60 years old. While he may have 10 or so good years left in him, it's certainly no guarantee he'll be at UA for the long haul. Greg Byrne may look for a candidate who is younger and whose future is much more stable.
3. Price tag: At North Carolina, Davis made an annual salary of $2.25 million, which is nearly a full million dollars more than Mike Stoops made before being fired as head coach. It is unlikely that based on his credentials and his prior successes that Davis would take a pay cut to come back and coach at Arizona if he's offered the job. His salary may be outside of Greg Byrne's price range, which obviously poses huge problems for both sides.
4. Legacy: Davis has had a coaching career that has stretched across three decades and has included Super Bowl victories and a Sugar Bowl win as well. He may not be willing to take on an Arizona program that is in the current state it is in at his age, and risk a blemish on his otherwise proud career. He'll likely have to spend his first years in Tucson turning the program around should he get the job, and that may be too much for him to take on at this stage in his career.
5. Desire to coach: At this point in his life, Davis has nothing left to prove as a football coach, and as a result he may be content in unemployment and simply call it a career. Arizona is certainly a rebuilding project, and with no immediate success guaranteed, Davis may prefer to stay out of the coaching spotlight and choose to not pursue another head coaching job.