North Carolina coach Larry Fedora didn’t have to search far to find his next offensive coordinator. All along he was just down the hall in the UNC football offices.
Chris Kapilovic, who for the past four seasons has been the Tar Heels’ offensive line coach, has been promoted to offensive coordinator. The school will formally announce the move during its national signing day press conference on Wednesday.
Fedora also has made another personnel move on his staff with the promotion of Keith Heckendorf to passing game coordinator. Heckendorf for the past two seasons has been UNC’s quarterbacks coach, a position in which he will continue.
Kapilovic, meanwhile, replaces Seth Littrell, who left UNC in December to become the head coach at North Texas. In promoting Kapilovic, Fedora is endorsing his longest-tenured assistant coach.
Kapilovic and Fedora have worked together for the past eight seasons, since their days at Southern Miss. When Fedora was the head coach there in 2008, he hired Kapilovic to be the team’s offensive line coach.
Kapilovic then followed Fedora to UNC when he became head coach in 2012. The Tar Heels’ offensive line has usually been among the most effective positions on the team under Kapilovic’s leadership.
The offensive line last season helped the Tar Heels become one of the nation’s best offenses. Landon Turner, the senior offensive guard, was among the best interior lineman in the country but the Tar Heels’ other four starting linemen are expected to be back next season.
Kapilovic is inheriting an offense that won’t lack for experience, overall. The Tar Heels, who averaged 40.7 points and 486.9 yards per game last season, will be replacing Turner, quarterback Marquise Williams and receiver Quinshad Davis but eight starters are expected to return.
Schematically the offense isn’t likely to change much, if at all, from what it has been during Fedora’s first four seasons. Fedora, who rose through the coaching ranks as a receivers coach and then an offensive coordinator, developed his version of up-tempo spread offense in 1999 while the offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State.
Kapilovic will call the plays but the mechanics of the offense will remain the same. This will be Kapilovic’s second time as an offensive coordinator in college. He was also the offensive coordinator at Alabama State from 2003-05.