UNC football coach Mack Brown asked again about retirement rumors

UNC football coach Mack Brown continues to reiterate that he plans to return with the Tar Heels for the 2024 season.

Following UNC’s 39-20 loss at NC State in the regular-season finale, reporters asked Brown if he would be back next year.

“I think we addressed that last week. Yeah, I'm planning on being back,” Brown said.

“I hadn't even thought about it until y'all brought it up. It gets brought up every year. When you're 72, that's a regular you can just mark it down. It's the Thursday before the last game before recruiting starts, because everybody that's competing against you.”

On Nov. 16, UNC spokesperson Jeremy Sharpe released a statement on Brown’s future:

“It’s that time of year, so someone is going to start this rumor in hopes of affecting our team and/or recruiting like they’ve done the past two years. Mack is full steam ahead. In fact, he already has spring practice planned and is currently setting up recruiting visits for December, so no, he’s not retiring."

DRAKE MAYE'S FUTURE: Will quarterback Drake Maye play in UNC football's bowl game?

HOW NC STATE BEAT UNC: KC Concepcion stars as NC State football steamrolls UNC in regular-season finale

Brown also addressed retirement rumors in the preseason.

“Just about every recruit that comes in asks me if I’m gonna quit, because they said all the coaches recruiting against us say you’re quitting,” Brown said in June.

“I said, ‘Well, I haven’t talked to any of ‘em.’ There were a number of ‘em last year that said I was quitting that got fired, so they probably ought to worry more about their jobs than mine.”

Brown, who has nearly 50 years of coaching experience, agreed to a one-year contract extension in February that could keep him in Chapel Hill through January 2028.

Brown has signed a one-year contract extension each of the last four years after rejoining the program in 2019 with a five-year deal. He would be 76 in 2028.

“It’s probably the best compliment I could ever have that (some coaches) want me to quit. I want to thank ‘em. … I’m in better shape than I’ve been in 20 years,” Brown said in June.

“I’m working harder than I’ve been in 20 years. I’m really excited about where this program is and where it can go. I sure wouldn’t be sitting in on Sunday afternoon talking to – on an unofficial visit – a guy from the Class of ‘26, if I was planning on quitting. No, I’m not planning on quitting.”

Brown is 38-26 in his five seasons since returning to UNC, with five bowl game appearances. He is the only active college coach who is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Staff writer Rodd Baxley can be reached at or @RoddBaxley on X/Twitter.

This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: UNC football coach Mack Brown asked again about retirement rumors