Davis Announces Coaching Moves

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Butch Davis has reconfigured his coaching staff following the departure of associate head coach John Blake.

The announcement of defensive line coach John Blake's resignation on Sunday afternoon bookended a hectic weekend for a North Carolina football program swimming in a two-pronged NCAA investigation.

But a detrimental side effect of that decision lies in the fact that UNC will be without one of the most celebrated defensive line coaches in the nation for the remainder of the 2010 season, and it's unlikely that Davis would be able to find a viable candidate to fill that role in-season. Therefore, the fourth-year head coach felt it was in the program's best interest to handle the coaching adjustments internally, using staff members that were already familiar with the players and defensive schemes.

After lengthy discussions over the weekend, Davis has tabbed defensive coordinator and secondary coach Everett Withers to coach the linebackers corps.

"He's actually coached linebackers at Tulane, and having been a defensive coordinator, he's pretty familiar with that," Davis said. "It's one of the more experienced groups, certainly with getting Bruce [Carter] and Quan [Sturdivant] back, so that helps."

Defensive backs coach Troy Douglas will take over full secondary responsibilities for Withers, while linebackers coach Art Kaufman will move up to the first line of defense.

"Art Kaufman, who has also been a defensive coordinator, but at three different schools, he has coached the defensive line and he will assume the role with the defensive line from the standpoint of being able to run the meetings," Davis said.

Helping Kaufman along the front line will be player development assistant Norris McCleary, a former NFL defensive lineman.

"He's worked in our strength and conditioning program," Davis said. "He's been a defensive lineman; he played at East Carolina. He came here as a result of his relationship with Jeff Connors."

As expected, Davis did not provide much of any insight into his longtime friend's resignation in the wake of the NCAA investigation on Sunday evening.

When asked why Blake decided to step down when he did, Davis responded, "I really don't know – I think you would have to ask him that question."

Blake's high school biology teacher went into a little more detail several minutes later, saying, "It was an awful lot of pressure on him. There was a lot with his family and stuff, and he just felt like it was in his best interest to do that."

Yahoo! Sports reported on Aug. 9 that Blake worked for sports agent Gary Wichard as the vice president of football operations at Pro Tect Management for a short period of time following his firing as Oklahoma's head coach in 1999. But Davis downplayed the relevance of that information on Tuesday.

"If you check the records, I think when John Blake left the University of Oklahoma as the head coach, he was no employed by any NCAA institution," Davis said. "In my own personal case, I went to work for different NFL teams. I spent some time with the Kansas City Chiefs and I spent some time with the NFL Network.

"When you're unemployed, you do whatever you have to do to try to provide for your family, and certainly, that was the option that John got involved in with sports camps, running camps, tutoring young high school kids and junior high kids to try to get scholarships. That was just a decision that he made at the time in his life."

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