Papuchis Joins UNC Staff

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Former Nebraska defensive coordinator John Papuchis has accepted a defensive assistant coach position at North Carolina, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Papuchis’s specific staff position has yet to be determined due to other possible staff changes, according to the source. reported on Wednesday that Papuchis was “in the process” of joining UNC’s coaching staff.

Papuchis spent the last seven years on Bo Pelini’s staff at Nebraska, including the last three seasons as defensive coordinator. He was the youngest defensive coordinator in the country when Nebraska promoted him from defensive line coach/special teams coordinator in 2012. Papuchis also served as Nebraska’s recruiting coordinator in 2011.

In 2014, Nebraska ranked eighth in the Big Ten in total defense (383.7 ypg) and ninth in scoring defense (26.4 ppg). In 2013, the Huskers were fourth in the conference in total defense (370.7 ypg) and six in scoring defense (24.8 ppg).

Five defensive linemen earned All-Big Ten honors under his tutelage from 2008-2011.

Papuchis directed Nebraska’s kickoff return unit to a top-10 ranking in 2011 with an average return of 25.5 yards. The Huskers’ kickoff and punt return units ranked top-30 nationally in 2009. He also coached a pair of All-America kickers in Alex Henery and Brett Maher in 2010-11.

The 36-year-old previously served as a defensive intern/graduate assistant for four seasons at LSU (2004-07). He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2001 and earned his master’s degree in sports administration from Kansas in 2003.

UNC formally announced former Auburn head coach Gene Chizik as defensive coordinator on Monday.

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