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February 6, 2014

Fedora fills coaching staff

North Carolina has made its final two coaching hires for the 2014 season, Tar Heel Illustrated has learned, as Larry Porter will be coming from Texas to fill the running backs coach job left behind by Randy Jordan, while Keith Heckendorf is returning to Chapel Hill to take over the quarterbacks coaching duties.

"I've filled both spots," said Fedora in Wednesday's Signing Day press conference, refusing to provide any additional details.

Porter, a native of Jackson (Miss.), played at Memphis in the early 1990s and actually served as head coach of the Tigers in 2010 and 2011. His other coaching stops including serving as running backs coach at Tennessee-Martin (1998), Arkansas State (1999-2001), Oklahoma State (2002-2004), LSU (2005-2009), Arizona State (2012), and Texas (2013).

Porter has coached numerous collegiate standouts including Tatum Bell and Vernard Morency at Oklahoma State, and Jacob Hester and Joseph Addai at LSU, among many others.

Heckdorf served as an offensive quality control assistant this past year for the Tar Heels and had actually accepted a position coach with former UNC offensive coordinator Blake Anderson at Arkansas State. Heckendorf was going to serve at tight ends coach for the Red Wolves before the UNC quarterbacks coach opened up.

Sources tell THI that Heckendorf dazzled Tar Heel head coach Larry Fedora on his interview, winning the job with his knowledge of the spread offense and his familiarity with what North Carolina is doing offensively.

Heckendorf, a native of Mosinee (Wisc.), was a two-time finalist for the Harlan Hill Trophy, the National Player of the Year at the NCAA Division II level, during his career at St. Cloud State in Minnesota from 2000 to 2003. He became a graduate assistant coach at Nebraska in 2006 and 2007 before taking on his first full-time head coaching job as quarterbacks coach at Western Carolina from 2008 to 2010.

In 2011 Heckendorf came to Chapel Hill as a quality control assistant, serving three seasons under Everett Withers and Fedora before accepting the tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator position at Arkansas State offered to him by Anderson.

Seth Littrell, who was officially announced by Fedora during Tuesday's Signing Day press conference, will call the plays according to the UNC head coach. Gunter Brewer, UNC's wide receivers coach, and Chris Kapilovic, the offensive line coach, were promoted to co-offensive coordinators, though Littrell will call the plays.


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