"First of all, I want to say that I'm very appreciative of the administration, the Board of Trustees, Chancellor Moeser and Dick Baddour and their show of faith and their appreciation of the strides that we've made with this program this year. When Tammy and I moved here a year ago with Drew, we really fell in love with Chapel Hill. It's some place that we wanted to be.
"We made that decision after sitting out of football for over 18 months – that this is where we wanted to live and that this is where we wanted to coach. I'm just very appreciative of the opportunity to continue to build this football program and be here for a long time. And I am very thankful for them wanting us to stay here and be a part of it."
What kind of statement does this make about the program?
"I think it's a very positive statement for several reasons. I think – one – from the very first time that I met with all of the people at the University of North Carolina, their commitment to really, truly make football an important part of this University and to give us the opportunity to build a program that perennially every year has a chance to be in the top-15, top-10 programs in the country.
"It all started obviously with the opportunity to hire a terrific coaching staff. Then we gained momentum with an outstanding recruiting class and then obviously the momentum continues as the University makes a commitment to expand the stadium and upgrade the facilities and I think that this is just another piece of the puzzle that certainly will help us continue that momentum going forward at the conclusion of this season."
Did you talk to Arkansas about coaching there?
"I had not."
Did any schools contact you?
"They had not."
Is stadium expansion a part of this deal?
"It is not."
How do you explain an extension after a losing season?
"Sometimes the success at the beginning of the rebuilding of a program is difficult to measure progress and momentum and moving the meter forward by wins and losses. We're very disappointed that we didn't win more football games so far this season, but I think the strides that have been made over the last 12 months have been enormous.
"Just by the competitive nature of the games, by the atmosphere that's been created. It's a great atmosphere to come to Kenan on Saturday - we've had five consecutive sellouts, season tickets sales were extremely high at the beginning of the season, we had a great recruiting class and we're in the midst of having another fine recruiting class. I think all of the momentum is certainly moving in the right direction, and I used this analogy a couple of weeks ago just talking to our players, that a lot of times, like in the midst of 1-15 with the Dallas Cowboys, very few people watched that 1-15 team and realized that maybe they were looking at the infancy steps of a team and a program that was on the threshold of winning three Super Bowls.
"And by the same token, at the University of Miami in 1997, unfortunately we went through the only losing season that Miami had had since 1977. People probably looked at that and said, ‘Oh my gosh, what's the state of the union of the program?' and a lot of people didn't realize that in just three years that the program would compete for three consecutive national championships. So how you look at, if you just take one slice of one season, and don't step back and look at the big picture, you get maybe a totally different perspective."
Has this been a distraction?
"It was totally no distraction whatsoever. We focused every single week on each individual game. I think when two people really, truly want something, and they both want the same thing, it's very easy. I wanted to be here and Tammy and I wanted to be here. We made that decision a year ago, that Chapel Hill is our home. I am so thrilled to be the head coach of the University of North Carolina and I want to be here for a long time."