AP Source: North Texas picks UNC’s Littrell as head coach

North Texas has agreed to make North Carolina offensive coordinator Seth Littrell its new head coach, a person with direct knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Saturday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because a deal was still being finalized and the school did not plan to make an announcement until after the Tar Heels played Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game Saturday night.

Littrell is an Oklahoma native who played running back on the Sooners 2000 national title. He is in his second season at North Carolina after serving as offensive coordinator at Indiana (2012-13) and Arizona (2010-11)

North Texas went 1-11 this season, matching a school record for losses, and coach Dan McCarney was fired after an 0-5 start. The Mean Green have had one winning season in the past 11 years.

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Under Littrell, North Carolina is second in the nation in yards per play (7.46).

Littrell started his coaching career as a graduated assistant at Kansas and worked at as running backs at Texas Tech from 2005-08 under Mike Leach.

North Texas just completed its third season in Conference USA, and plays in a 31,000-seat stadium that opened in 2011 at the intersection where Interstate 35 reconnects after splitting through Dallas and Fort Worth to the south. That means there are plenty of quality high school players in the immediate area, including two Denton high schools that have advanced to the quarterfinals in this season’s Texas Class 6A playoffs.

There has never been a capacity crowd at the $78 million stadium, and the announced attendance for last Saturday’s season-ending 20-17 loss to UTEP was 8,305 — though there were far fewer people than that in the stadium on a dreary, rainy day. The average attendance this season was 13,631, UNT’s lowest since 1998.

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North Texas is hoping Littrell can recreate the high-powered offenses he has guided at North Carolina and Indiana and bring the fans back to Mean Green games.


AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Waco, Texas, contributed.