Flipping the Script

Non-traditional powerhouse NCAA football teams like North Carolina & Kansas make updates to their facilities & recruitment programs.


Jackson Vetter

Scott Frost was one of the new coaches of a power five team in college football last year, hoping to bring success to a poorly performing Nebraska Huskers team.

Josh Hennings, Sports Editor

The North Carolina Tar Heels and the Kansas Jayhawks usually aren’t NCAA teams that remind you of a legacy of football, but with the implementation of new coaching staffs and innovative facilities, these teams are looking to build a dynasty for years to come. 

Among the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s (UNC) recent installments to their football program include a new locker room over the 2019 summer. The innovative and contemporary locker room includes three-foot wide stainless-steel lockers with three fans in each to dry helmets, shoulder pads and knee braces, a variety of storage cubbyholes and USB ports in each locker to charge the players’ phones. UNC also constructed a brandnew weight room with twenty-three UNC designed weight racks. 

Perhaps most important of all for UNC, the Tar Heels hired a new head coach, Mack Brown. Over Brown’s 30 years of coaching, dating back to his first season in 1985, as the helm of the Tulane Green Wave, he has a stellar 238-117 record. Brown previously coached at UNC from 1988-1997 until he departed to coach the storied Texas Longhorns, a college football powerhouse, from 1998-2013. At Texas, Brown saw great success, appearing in 14 bowl games, including one BSC National Championship in 2009, and an undefeated season in 2005, where the Longhorns went 13-0, winning the National Championship. 

Mack Brown hasn’t coached since 2013, but in 2019 he resumed coaching football at the age of 68, beginning his season against the South Carolina Gamecocks at a neutral site at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. Tar Heel fans across the country are hoping for Brown to bring success to a football program of a university widely known for basketball. 

The Tar Heels picked up the win against the rival Gamecocks in Brown’s first game. In a week where SEC powerhouses struggled, North Carolina took advantage of South Carolina, winning by a small margin, 24-20.  

Similar to UNC, the University of Kansas (KU), usually perceived as a “basketball school,” recently hired Les Miles as their new head coach of football. Miles previously was the head coach of the Oklahoma State University Cowboys from 2001-2004, where he appeared in three bowl games. He then led the Louisiana State University Tigers (LSU), to two National Championships, winning one in 2007. Miles’ Tigers appeared in 12 bowl games, up until Miles’ firing in 2016. 

Kansas opened their season in Lawrence, KS, at home against Indiana State. The Jayhawks picked up their first win of the season there as well, sneaking by the Sycamores, winning 24-17, giving KU fans a joyful start to a season with higher expectations than usual.  

Kansas also built a $26 million indoor football practice facility that opened in autumn of 2018, just one of many renovations to come to the Kansas football program; This project is part of the first phase of “Raise The Chant,” a fundraising campaign focusing on football and KU’s Memorial Stadium. As a member of a power 5 conference, the Big 12, KU athletics is looking to aim for a high prestige of not only academic success, but also athletic prosperity.  

As college football continues to become on the largest and most popular sports in the United States, universities like UNC and KU are continuously updating their programs, facilities, stadiums, and team itself. Schools like these are the reason why college football sees so much success on television, ticket sales, and other forms of media. NCAA football gives nearly everyone in the U.S.A. a team to root for on every Saturday, which is why non-traditional football teams like the Tar Heels and Jayhawks are ever evolving, hoping to target a larger fanbase and become prestigious teams down the road.