CHAPEL HILL --- The University of North Carolina's Board of Trustees formally approved a contract extension and salary increase for head football coach John Bunting at its January 24, 2002, meeting.
Coach Bunting's contract has been extended to six years and became effective today. (He originally was hired for five years). It will run through January 2008. Bunting's base salary, which was $160,000 in 2001, will be increased to $260,000 beginning July 1, 2002.
Bunting's compensation from multi-media commitments and Nike raise his total annual package to $650,000.
"I am pleased to announce the Board of Trustees have approved Chancellor Moeser's and my recommendation of a salary increase and extension of Coach Bunting's contract," says Director of Athletics Dick Baddour. "We were so pleased with the job Coach Bunting and his staff did in their first season and felt it was important to take those measures. We knew when we hired Coach Bunting he had a passion for excellence and a passion for the University of North Carolina. He passed those feelings on to his players each and every day. I am confident he will continue to make us proud in the years to come."
Bunting, a 1972 UNC graduate, was hired as Carolina's head coach on December 11, 2000. He led the Tar Heels to an 8-5 record, a third-place finish in the Atlantic Coast Conference and a win over Auburn in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. Under his leadership, the Tar Heels bounced back from season-opening losses at defending national champion Oklahoma, eventual ACC champion Maryland and fifth-ranked Texas to post wins in eight of the last 10 games. The Tar Heels beat Florida State 41-9, won at Clemson and NC State and beat Virginia and East Carolina in tightly-contested games at Kenan Stadium.
"I want to thank Chancellor Moeser and Dick Baddour for the opportunity they gave me to come back and do what I love to do at the University I love more than any other," says Bunting. "We accomplished a lot of good things in the first year, but we have a big challenge ahead of us. I didn't ask for an extension, but I plan on being here longer than five years anyway so I'm glad they have stepped forward and added a few more years. I am so proud to be the head coach at this great institution and thrilled to see that our work has been appreciated."