DENTON -- Dan McCarney has fond memories of the heyday of North Texas football, when coach Hayden Fry built a top-25 program in Denton during the 1970s.
McCarney watched a ton of film of those Mean Green teams as a young coach at Iowa, his alma mater. He was a part-time coach for the Hawkeyes when Fry left North Texas for Iowa. Fry promoted McCarney to a full-time job coaching the tight ends for $18,000 per year.
“It’s amazing how this thing goes full circle,” McCarney said as he was introduced as North Texas’ head coach Tuesday afternoon.
McCarney worked 11 years for Fry, eventually making the transition to defensive line coach. A little more than two decades later, McCarney will try to match Fry’s success with the Mean Green.
“North Texas made a great choice with the hiring of Dan McCarney,” Fry said in a statement released by UNT. “He is a great motivator, a great recruiter and most of all a great gentleman. He did a great job for me at Iowa and did a great job for Barry Alvarez at Wisconsin and took Iowa State to bowl games in five of his last seven years there.
“I am really looking forward to North Texas opening its new stadium and they have the right coach there to open it with in Dan McCarney.”