Hunter Leaves UNC for NFL

SAN DIEGO - Hal Hunter, North Carolina's offensive line coach for the last four seasons, has been named assistant offensive line coach of the San Diego Chargers, the organization announced Monday.

Hunter coached the Tar Heels' offensive line since 2002, mentoring All-Atlantic Coast Conference standouts Jason Brown, Willie McNeill, Kyle Ralph and Jeb Terry.

Carolina's offensive line paved the way for more than 150 rushing yards per game in two of the last three seasons. In 2004, the Tar Heels averaged 176.2 yards rushing per game, the highest mark since 1994, and were second in the league in total offense (390.7 yards/game).

"I leave the University of North Carolina with mixed emotions," said Hunter. "I am tremendously excited about the new challenges that lay before me at the San Diego Chargers and the NFL. In life, opportunities like this present themselves very infrequently, and you must know when to take advantage of them.

"My family and I have enjoyed our four years here in Chapel Hill and will miss the many people in the community we have come to know and call friends. I truly appreciate everything that John Bunting, the athletic department and the University of North Carolina have done for both me and my family."

"Hal has been pursued by the NFL for several years and he has expressed an interest in coaching in the professional ranks," said Carolina head coach John Bunting. "This is an excellent opportunity for Hal and his family, and I support his decision. Hal did an outstanding job here, helping our offensive line improve dramatically since 2002.

"We are already working to find the best offensive line coach to fill the vacancy."

Bunting and the Tar Heels open the 2006 season Sept. 2 versus Rutgers at Kenan Stadium.

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