UNT names Dan McCarney head football coach
DENTON, Texas - UNT has named Dan McCarney as its 18th head football coach, President V. Lane Rawlins and Director of Athletics Rick Villarreal announced today.
McCarney, 57, has more than 30 years of college coaching experience, including 12 years as a head coach at Iowa State University. He comes to North Texas after serving as the assistant head coach at the University of Florida where he has been since 2008.
"Dan McCarney is the embodiment of everything we were looking for when we began the process of looking for the head coach that was going to return North Texas to a championship caliber program," Villarreal said. "He has a proven record of success at the highest level of college football and has an infectious energy and passion that will motivate student-athletes, alumni, faculty and the community to new levels of commitment for success. With this hire we have a person who will be the face of our athletics department and a tremendous ambassador for this university."
McCarney began his coaching career at the University of Iowa, where he was an assistant for 11 years under legendary former North Texas head coach Hayden Fry. He continued his career as the defensive coordinator at the University of Wisconsin under Barry Alvarez, who will join Fry in the College Football Hall of Fame later this year.
McCarney has a long history of helping to rebuild programs and brings a highly respected reputation as an engineer of top-ranked defenses. In his 11 years with Fry at Iowa, their teams went to eight bowl games after not having a winning season the previous 19 years. At Wisconsin, McCarney helped turn a team that had won 10 games in five years into a Big 10 Conference championship and Rose Bowl appearance in his fourth year.
"I am truly honored and humbled to accept this position as the head coach at the University of North Texas," McCarney said. "It is an unbelievable opportunity to work for two of the most dynamic leaders I have ever met in Rick Villarreal and President Rawlins. The ability to help start a new chapter in this tremendously proud program is exciting and I am looking forward to returning it to a championship level. I will pour my heart and soul into this job and I will wake up every morning and go to bed each night proud to be a member of the Mean Green family."
McCarney took over as head coach at Iowa State in 1995, assuming responsibility of a program that had enjoyed just three winning seasons in the 16 years prior to his arrival. The year before McCarney became head coach at Iowa State, the Cyclones suffered through an 0-10-1 record. His rebuilding process at Iowa State took five years, but in his sixth season, he became the first head coach in the previous 94 years at Iowa State to win nine games in a season and gave the Cyclones their first-ever bowl victory and first bowl appearance in 23 years.
McCarney led Iowa State to five bowl games from 2000-05 and was named the Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year in 2004 when his team earned a Big 12 North co-championship. In 119 years of football at Iowa State, only 17 teams have won seven or more games in a season and McCarney coached five of those.
McCarney remains the longest-tenured (141 games) and winningest (56 victories) head football coach in Iowa State history. His overall record in 12 years as the Cyclones head coach is 56-85.
After leaving Iowa State, McCarney spent one season as the assistant head coach at the University of South Florida, where his defensive line ranked third in the nation in tackles for loss. From 2008-10 at the University of Florida, McCarney helped guide the team to two Southeastern Conference Championship games and three bowl appearances. His 2008 Florida team finished with a 13-1 record and won the BCS National Championship behind a defense that ranked fourth in the nation in scoring defense and ninth nationally in total defense.
In all, McCarney has coached in 17 bowl games in 34 years as a collegiate coach, five of which are current BCS bowls. He has coached 22 players who have been drafted by the NFL, including nine who have gone in the first three rounds.
McCarney is a 1975 graduate of the University of Iowa where he was a three-year letterman on the offensive line and a team captain in 1974.
Dan McCarney Personal Information
- Birthday: July 28, 1953
- Hometown: Iowa City, Iowa
- Education: 1975 - Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education from the University of Iowa
- Family: Married to Margy McCarney. Has three children: Jillian (22), Melanie (20), Shane (18).
During the press conference, McCarney announced that Mike Canales will remain with UNT as associate head coach and offensive coordinator. Canales served as interim head coach for the last five games of UNTís 2010 season, finishing with a 2-3 record. Canales and McCarney were both on the staff at the University of South Florida in 2008.
What others are saying about Dan McCarney:
Former North Texas and Iowa head football coach Hayden Fry:
"North Texas made a great choice with the hiring of Dan McCarney. He is a great motivator, a great recruiter and most of all a great gentleman. He did a great job for me at Iowa and did a great job for Barry Alvarez at Wisconsin and took Iowa State to bowl games in five of his last seven years. I am really looking forward to North Texas opening its new stadium and they have the right coach there to open it with in Dan McCarney."
University of Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops:
"Dan is an outstanding football coach. I have known him for many years and always appreciated his energy, knowledge of the game, passion and the way he motivates his players to perform at a high level. He is a tireless recruiter who high school coaches and players will enjoy. I know he's excited to be back in a head coaching role and I am happy for him."
University of Wisconsin Director of Athletics and former head football coach Barry Alvarez:
"The people of Denton will love Dan McCarney. He's one of the most enthusiastic coaches in college football. Dan and I worked together at Iowa and he was my first hire at Wisconsin. North Texas has a star in Dan McCarney."
University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz:
"I had the pleasure of coaching with Dan for nine years while we both served as assistants at Iowa under legendary coach Hayden Fry. When I returned to Iowa 12 years ago, Dan was in the process of building Iowa State's program to a level of success that they had never previously experienced. Dan has proven in all of his positions that he is a tireless worker, a very strong recruiter and an excellent coach and motivator. I have no doubts that he will do a tremendous job at North Texas."
University of Florida head football coach Urban Meyer:
"I'm happy for Coach McCarney and his family. He has a proven track record as a head coach and we were fortunate to have him on our staff for the last three years. He did a great job with our defensive line and I fully expect him to be successful at North Texas."
Kansas State University head football coach Bill Snyder:
"Dan is a very talented football coach, a relentless recruiter and an even better person. He will do an amazing job recruiting that area and will motivate his players to perform at a very high level. He did an unbelievable job as head coach at Iowa State, bringing them to a level of play they had not seen in a long time, and I expect he will do the same at the University of North Texas."