UNC Announces Papuchis Hire

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora announced Monday that John Papuchis (pronounced puh-POO-chis) has been hired as a defensive assistant coach.

Papuchis was most recently on Nebraska’s staff from 2008-14, including the last three as the Huskers’ defensive coordinator.

“I’m excited to add John to our staff,” said head coach Larry Fedora. “He has quickly earned a reputation as an outstanding teacher and recruiter. John has worked at some of the top programs in the country and his vision for success for our student-athletes mirrors the goals we have at UNC.”

Papuchis has made a quick rise through the coaching ranks. The 36-year-old was the fourth-youngest defensive coordinator in the country and the youngest solo defensive coordinator when he was promoted to the position at Nebraska in 2012. Prior to joining Bo Pelini’s Nebraska staff in 2008, he worked at LSU under Nick Saban from 2004-07, and was a graduate assistant at Kansas from 2001-03.

“I’m looking forward to working with Coach Fedora and Coach Chizik to continue to build this program and achieve the type of success both on and off the field that our fans will be proud of,” said Papuchis. “Carolina has everything a young man would want – academically, athletically and socially – and I’m thankful for this opportunity.

Papuchis has plenty of big-game experience having coached at three Power Five programs Nebraska, LSU and Kansas. In the past 10 seasons, he has coached in one national championship game (2007) and five conference title games.

Nebraska was especially strong defending the pass under Papuchis, holding opponents to a 48.5 completion percentage in 2014, which ranked second in the country. NU also was fourth nationally in pass efficiency defense and fifth in third down defense. In his last 10 seasons as a defensive assistant, Papuchis has coached four units that have ranked in the top 10 in scoring defense and total defense.

During his career, Papuchis has coached several players to conference and national honors. At Nebraska, he also held positions as defensive line coach, special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator.

In 2010, Papuchis was one of four finalists for the FootballScoop Special Teams Coordinator-of-the-Year Award.

Papuchis graduated from Virginia Tech in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. He earned his master’s degree in sports administration from Kansas in 2003.

Papuchis is a native of Gaithersburg, Md. He and his wife, Billie, have a 6-year-old daughter, Addyson, a 5-year-old son, John, a 3-year-old daughter, Sophia, and a 5-month-old daughter, Rylee.

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