Butch Davis has been a head coach with the Cleveland Browns, Miami Hurricanes and North Carolina Tar Heels, but he’s currently a consultant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, having been fired from coaching at North Carolina, and choosing not to take an assistant coaching job anywhere else because he wants to keep his full North Carolina buyout, which he only gets if he doesn’t make a living coaching somewhere else.
That does not, however, mean Davis’s coaching career is over. At least not according to Davis, who still wants to be a head coach.
“I would love to think that the things we’ve accomplished over 37 years, that this one particular deal will not define me as a man nor as a coach,” Davis said in an interview with the Associated Press.
The one particular deal Davis refers to is the series of events that led to him being fired from North Carolina amid a scandal involving a wide variety of NCAA rules violations inside the Tar Heels’ football program. Given the way his tenure at North Carolina ended, it seems unlikely that another NCAA program would trust him again. And given that Davis went 24-34 and was fired during his fourth season with the Browns, it seems unlikely that another NFL team would give him a shot as a head coach. So while the Associated Press story paints Davis as a man who burns to be a head coach and deserves the opportunity, that doesn’t seem like an opportunity Davis will get.
The Associated Press story generally puts a pro-Davis slant on things, noting, for instance, that Davis takes pride in the fact that he had high graduation rates as a head coach. What the Associated Press story doesn’t point out is that it’s easy for a football player to graduate when the school looks the other way when he commits academic misconduct, which is one of the accusations in the ongoing investigation at North Carolina.
North Carolina should be rooting for Davis to get another job, because if he doesn’t, the school will be on the hook for paying him another $2.7 million over the next four years — his salary was guaranteed even if he was fired. But if he plans to remain a Buccaneers consultant until another team offers him a head coaching job, then he’s probably going to be a Buccaneers consultant for a long time.