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UNC tabs DC Withers to replace the dismissed Davis

A little more than 24 hours after firing Butch Davis, North Carolina has found itself a new, albeit temporary (probably), head coach.

In a press release issued Thursday evening, the school announced that, effective immediately, defensive coordinator Everett Withers will serve as the Tar Heels’ interim head coach. A press conference has been scheduled to officially “introduce” Withers at 3 p.m. ET Friday.

The other candidates believed to have received serious consideration were associate head coach Sam Pittman and offensive coordinator John Shoop.

“We’ve selected Everett Withers to lead the football program,” said soon-to-be-former UNC athletic director Dick Baddour. “The Chancellor and I spoke with him this afternoon and we believe he has the leadership qualities to help our student-athletes deal with the challenges ahead. We are fortunate to have someone with his credentials and background. He is ready for this position.”

“I believe Everett is the right person for our football program under these challenging circumstances,” said UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp. “I am impressed with the relationships he has built with our players and staff, and it is our top priority to help our student-athletes going forward. I believe he can help our students succeed at the highest level both on and off the field and in the classroom.”

“I’m excited for this opportunity and I’m honored the Chancellor and Dick Baddour have faith in me to do this job,” said Withers. “I realize this appointment is coming during a tough transition for our football players and staff. My job and the job of our assistant coaches is to prepare these students to perform at the highest level this season. I love Carolina and this community, and I will do everything I can to make the Tar Heel fans proud of this team.”

Withers has been UNC’s coordinator for the past three seasons. A search for a full-time assistant to replace Withers will commence immediately; the release did not stipulate whether that individual would serve as coordinator, although it seems highly unlikely at this late of date.

Additionally, Withers’ contract for the 2011 season will be amended to reflect his promotion to interim head coach. Thos details will be released at a later date.