The series highlighting one assistant coach from each program whose position group will be in the spotlight this year continues with North Carolina.
Coach: John Shoop
Position: Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
Experience: Shoop is entering his fifth season with the Tar Heels and 21st season as a coach. He has been a coordinator at the collegiate level and in the NFL. Shoop came to Chapel Hill after two seasons with the Oakland Raiders. He was Oakland's quarterbacks coach in 2005, the tight ends coach in 2006 and was elevated to offensive coordinator for the final five games of the 2006 season.
Shoop spent the 2004 season as quarterbacks coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under coach Jon Gruden. He worked five seasons (1999-2003) for the Chicago Bears under head coach Dick Jauron, including three as the offensive coordinator (2001-03). Shoop was promoted to Chicago's offensive coordinator position after spending the 1999-2000 seasons as the Bears’ quarterbacks coach. At the time, he was one of the youngest coordinators in NFL history.
Prior to joining the Bears, Shoop spent four seasons with the Carolina Panthers, where he began his NFL coaching career at the age of 25. Shoop was an offensive quality control assistant for the Panthers in 1995-96 where he was a member of a staff that led the team to the NFC Championship Game in 1996. He was then promoted to quarterbacks coach, serving in that capacity for Carolina from 1997-98.
Of note: Shoop graduated from the University of the South in 1991, where he played quarterback for four seasons. His brother, Bob, is the defensive coordinator at William & Mary College.
His challenge: Replace a record-setting quarterback in T.J. Yates with first-year starter Bryn Renner. There have been nothing but rave reviews coming out of Chapel Hill regarding the Tar Heels’ next quarterback, but the fact remains that Renner lacks game experience. He has completed 1 of 2 passes for 14 yards. North Carolina has an outstanding offensive line and a talented group of receivers to help take some pressure off of Renner, but he has to be ready quickly, as UNC faces Coastal Division opponents Virginia and Georgia Tech in Weeks 3 and 4, respectively. UNC lost some significant talent from last year’s roster, but not so much that it can’t reload and be a contender this fall -- if, of course, Renner shines. It’s up to Shoop to coach ‘em up.