Monday, February 16, 2009

Tar Heels lose 2 football assistants

The University of North Carolina confirmed this afternoon that Tar Heels assistant football coaches Steve Hagen and Tommy Thigpen are leaving the program.

Hagen's departure for an assistant coaching position in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns and Thigpen's exit to coach the secondary at Auburn means three coaches have left the North Carolina staff of coach Butch Davis this offseason.

In a statement released this afternoon, Davis thanked Thigpen and Hagen. (UNC lost special teams coordinator John Lovett to Miami on Thursday.)

"I appreciate everything Tommy Thigpen and Steve Hagen did to help build our program at North Carolina. Both Tommy and Steve made the decision to leave based on what was in the best interest of their families and professional careers. I wish them well in their new positions," Davis said in a release issued by the university. "As I've said before, our assistant coaches will become increasingly more attractive to other programs as we continue to have success. Moving forward, we will bring in outstanding coaches who are excellent teachers and recruiters and who will continue the growth of our program. This is a tremendous opportunity to add to an already outstanding staff."