Blake Agrees to Join UNC Staff

Nebraska defensive line coach John Blake concluded a visit to Chapel Hill on Monday by agreeing to join Butch Davis' coaching staff at North Carolina, according to sources close to the situation and confirmed late Tuesday by Nebraska.

"I want to thank Coach Blake for his efforts and contributions as part of our coaching staff for past three years," Nebraska coach Bill Callahan said. "This is an opportunity that John felt would enhance him professionally and we certainly wish him all the best in the future."

Blake is not expected to coach in Nebraska's Cotton Bowl game against Auburn on Jan. 1, according to Inside Carolina's sources.

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, citing an unnamed source, Blake will serve as UNC's assistant head coach, defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.

Blake, who has coached the defensive line for much of his career, has extensive college and NFL experience, including a three-year stint as the head coach at Oklahoma. He is also widely regarded as one of the nation's top recruiters.

He has been a part of three championship teams -- two with the Dallas Cowboys (1993, 1995) and one at Oklahoma (1985).

Blake posted a 12-22 record in his three years as the head coach at Oklahoma (1996-98), though his recruits comprised most of the starters on the 2000 Sooners squad that won the national championship.

After leaving Oklahoma, he was the director of a professional developmental camp. Among his clients were Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor, Atlanta Falcons linebacker Keith Brooking, New Orleans Saints defensive end Darren Howard and Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney.

He made an immediate impact after joining the Nebraska staff in 2004. In his first season there, Nebraska ranked 11th nationally in rushing defense. In 2005, Nebraska's defense led the country in sacks and tackles for loss. The Huskers' media guide credits Blake with having played a "prominent role" in the team's improved recruiting success the last three seasons and says he is "considered by many to be the nation's top recruiter."

He is the third assistant coach hire by Butch Davis since taking over at UNC, joining offensive assistants Steve Hagen and Charlie Williams.

Coaching Experience:
1985 - Oklahoma (student assistant/defensive line)
1986 - Oklahoma (graduate assistant); 1987-88 - Tulsa (assistant coach/tight ends/wide receivers)
1989 - Oklahoma (assistant coach/defensive line)
1990-92 - Oklahoma (assistant coach/linebackers)
1993-95 - Dallas Cowboys (assistant coach/defensive line)
1996-1998 - Oklahoma (head coach)
2003 - Mississippi State (assistant coach/defensive line)
2004-present - Nebraska (assistant coach/defensive line)

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