Football

North Texas hires North Carolina assistant Seth Littrell as head coach

North Carolina assistant head coach Seth Littrell, from a spring practice in 2014, will be announced as North Texas head coach Saturday night, according to a source.
North Carolina assistant head coach Seth Littrell, from a spring practice in 2014, will be announced as North Texas head coach Saturday night, according to a source. AP

North Texas officials ended weeks of speculation Saturday by announcing the hiring of North Carolina assistant Seth Littrell as the school’s new football coach.

Littrell will be formally introduced as the Mean Green’s 19th head coach at a news conference Monday at the school.

Littrell, 37, was ultimately selected over TCU offensive coordinator Doug Meacham during an interview process that also included Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley.

Riley interviewed early in the process, but withdrew from consideration a few days later.

Littrell will replace Dan McCarney, who was fired five games into the Mean Green’s 1-11 season. Offensive coordinator Mike Canales coached the team’s final seven games on an interim basis.

Littrell takes over a program that, except for one season, has battled mediocrity over the past 10 seasons. Since the 2005 season, the Mean Green is 25-87, and that includes 2013’s 9-4 season, which concluded in a Heart of Dallas Bowl championship in McCarney’s third season.

Littrell has been an assistant head coach for offense at North Carolina — the offensive coordinator in the staff’s hierarchy — the past two seasons after spending two years at Indiana. He has coached in seven bowl games and also played in two, including as a fullback and captain on Oklahoma’s national championship team in 2000.

The Muskogee, Okla., native spent four seasons — 2005-08 — as running backs coach at Texas Tech under Mike Leach.

Littrell is expected to bring with him a spread offense similar to what he has helped implement at North Carolina under head coach Larry Fedora. Though a spread, the Tar Heels’ scheme is balanced. North Carolina averages almost as many yards rushing as passing in an attack that has averaged almost 500 yards a game.

The Tar Heels played in the ACC championship game Saturday night against No. 1 Clemson.

At Indiana as offensive coordinator, Littrell fashioned one of the best offenses in the country.

The Hoosiers were ninth in total offense in 2013 and one of only three FBS teams to average more than 300 yards passing and 200 yards rushing.

His 2013 unit set single-season records of 6,102 yards and 36 passing touchdowns.

Littrell left Indiana voluntarily after the 2013 season to take the job at North Carolina, which became vacant after offensive coordinator Blake Anderson accepted the head coaching job at Arkansas State.

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