North Texas Names Dan McCarney Head Football Coach

Dan McCarney
UNT Head Football Coach
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

DENTON, Texas -- The University of North Texas has named Dan McCarney as its 18th head football coach, University President V. Lane Rawlins and Director of Athletics Rick Villarreal announced today.

McCarney, 57, has more than 30 years of college coaching experience, including 12 years as a head coach at Iowa State

University. He comes to North Texas after serving as the assistant head coach at the University of Florida where he has been since 2008.

"Dan McCarney is the embodiment of everything we were looking for when we began the process of looking for the head coach that was going to return North Texas to a championship caliber program," Villarreal said. "He has a proven record of success at the highest level of college football and has an infectious energy and passion that will motivate student-athletes, alumni faculty and the community to new levels of commitment for success. With this hire we have a person who will be the face of our athletics department and a tremendous ambassador for this university."

During the press conference, McCarney announced that Mike Canales will remain with UNT as associate head coach and offensive coordinator. Canales served as interim head coach for the last four games of UNT's 2010 season, finishing with a 2-3 record. Canales and McCarney were both on the staff at the University of South Florida in 2008.

McCarney began his coaching career at the University of Iowa, where he was an assistant for 11 years under legendary former North Texas head coach Hayden Fry. He continued his career as the defensive coordinator at the University of Wisconsin under Barry Alvarez, who will join Fry in the College Football Hall of Fame later this year.

McCarney has a long history of helping to rebuild programs and brings a highly-respected reputation as an engineer of top-ranked defenses. In his 11 years with Fry at Iowa, their teams went to eight bowl games after not having a winning season the previous 19 years. At Wisconsin, McCarney helped turn a team that had won 10 games in five years into a Big 10 Conference championship and Rose Bowl appearance in his fourth year.

"I am truly honored and humbled to accept this position as the head coach at the University of North Texas," McCarney said. "It is an unbelievable opportunity to work for two of the most dynamic leaders I have ever met in Rick Villarreal and President Rawlins. The ability to help start a new chapter in this tremendously proud program is exciting and I am looking forward to returning it to a championship level. I will pour my heart and soul into this job and I will wake up every morning and go to bed each night proud to be a member of the Mean Green family."

McCarney took over as head coach at Iowa State in 1995, assuming responsibility of a program that had enjoyed just three winning seasons in the 16 years prior to his arrival. The year before McCarney became head coach at Iowa State, the Cyclones suffered through an 0-10-1 record. His rebuilding process at Iowa State took five years, but in his sixth season, he became the first head coach in the previous 94 years at Iowa State to win nine games in a season and gave the Cyclones their first-ever bowl victory and first bowl appearance in 23 years.

McCarney led Iowa State to five bowl games from 2000-05 and was named the Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year in 2004 when his team earned a Big 12 North co-championship. In 119 years of football at Iowa State, only 17 teams have won seven or more games in a season and McCarney coached five of those.

McCarney remains the longest-tenured (141 games) and winningest (56 victories) head football coach in Iowa State history.

His overall record in 12 years as the Cyclones head coach is 56-85.

After leaving Iowa State, McCarney spent one season as the assistant head coach at the University of South Florida, where his defensive line ranked third in the nation in tackles for loss. From 2008-10 at the University of Florida, McCarney helped guide the team to two Southeastern Conference Championship games and three bowl appearances. His 2008

Florida team finished with a 13-1 record and won the BCS National Championship behind a defense that ranked fourth in the nation in scoring defense and ninth nationally in total defense.

In all, McCarney has coached in 17 bowl games in 34 years as a collegiate coach, five of which are current BCS bowls.

He has coached 22 players that have been drafted by the NFL, including nine that have gone in the first three rounds.

McCarney is a 1975 graduate of the University of Iowa where he was a three-year letterman on the offensive line and a team captain in 1974.

New coach and new stadium

McCarney will be the first head coach to lead a Mean Green team onto the new UNT stadium field when the home season opens Sept. 10.

Be among the first fans to ensure you'll be there Sept. 10 by making a deposit now to purchase your season tickets for the Mean Green's first season in its new home. Learn more at

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108