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February 08, 2011

Baker on leaving UNC: 'I mean, it's Dallas.'

       Brian Baker’s dream is still to become a college head coach.

       That’s why leaving his college job for the NFL makes so much sense to him.

       Baker, the former Carolina Panthers defensive line coach, said Tuesday he’s leaving the University of North Carolina after one month to take the same job with the Dallas Cowboys.

       Baker cited many reasons for the move, including the obvious financial implications.

       “It was a huge difference ... I mean huge,” he said of the change in salary, since the Tar Heels job was for less than he made last year with the Panthers.

      But mostly, it was about the star.

      “I mean, it’s Dallas,” Baker said. “The thing that made me entertain the offer after such a short time with North Carolina was who it was from. The Cowboys are a special franchise.

      “I can’t worry about the perception. I’ve talked to a lot of people who respond like, ‘You’re crazy for thinking about not taking it.’ But if they were around Butch Davis, they’d understand.”

     Baker said looking at a few career paths that went through Dallas made it clear to him he could still realize his eventual goal of a college head coaching job. He pointed to Davis moving through his new job to the head job at Miami, to John Blake’s time with the Cowboys leading him to Oklahoma as well as Paul Pasqualoni’s recent move from the Cowboys defensive line job to the University of Connecticut.

     “The fact all those were D-line guys, that was part of it,” Baker said. “But it’s clear that Dallas is a place you can move from."

      And while he was careful to say taking the Dallas job had nothing to do with his other two NFL offers (to stay with the Panthers or follow John Fox to Denver), there were other differences in the one he took.

      “They’ve got a quarterback in place, and all the pieces you need to win,” Baker said. “I don’t think the world was out of whack saying ‘Whoa, that group should have won last year.’ I think last year was the anomaly, and that we’ll turn it around pretty quick.”

-- Darin Gantt

Posted by Observer Sports on February 8, 2011 at 04:07 PM | Permalink

Comments

I've read several stories leading up to this, but nobody ever talks about his contract. Can any college coach leave so soon after joining a staff? Was there a bunch of red tape? Did Butch have to give his blessing? I'm actually a UNC alum, so no hating here, I just don't remember hearing of so quick an exit before from a coach. I've seen it the other way 'round (a la Saban or Petrino), I just thought college contracts tended to be less fluid than in the NFL. Can someone on staff address this for me, please?

And regardless of how it happened, I have no doubt a quality replacement is on the way very soon! Go Heels!

Posted by: Jones | Feb 8, 2011 5:00:24 PM

College assistants are usually on one-year contracts. There probably isn't a buyout or anything, unless it's one of those 'head-coach-in-waiting' deals. It's pretty likely that Baker hadn't even gotten a final contract to sign yet.

No biggie. I hear UNC already has his replacement lined up and it'll be a good one.

Posted by: Authority | Feb 8, 2011 6:30:46 PM

College assistants are usually on one-year contracts. There probably isn't a buyout or anything, unless it's one of those 'head-coach-in-waiting' deals. It's pretty likely that Baker hadn't even gotten a final contract to sign yet.

No biggie. I hear UNC already has his replacement lined up and it'll be a good one.

Posted by: Authority | Feb 8, 2011 6:30:46 PM

I used to really like this guy, but now I find it kinda hard to. I mean on one hand I can't really blame him for taking an offer worth more money, but then again it just it comes off like he's only concerned with number one...and that's not his players or his football team as a whole. When he was out recruiting was he telling the recruits, "Hey, come to Carolina. You know, unless USC or somebody offers you a scholarship. Heck, I could be gone tomorrow if something better comes along. Who cares that I just took this job a month ago." I doubt it. It's different for a guy like Pete Carrol. I mean, there was nothing left for him to achieve at his previous position, really, so he decided to take on a new challenge...fine. But this guy bolted for another opportunity before his first season even started. If you think that players aren't going to be aware of that, even at the pro level, I think you're wrong. And if some college decides to consider him for head coach someday, you think they won't remember this. I think they will. Baker might have just shot his career in the foot with this move if it doesn't work out. By the way, one playoff win in 14 years is an anomaly now? LMFAO...That's a long anomaly.

Posted by: OBXsurfer4 | Feb 8, 2011 6:37:23 PM

So Butch had a rent-a-coach to help with recruiting.

Goes right with the UNC-Ch motto: "To seem, rather than to be."

Posted by: WTNY | Feb 8, 2011 6:51:08 PM

Sleazy. Lying and misrepresenting things to recruits. Baker has slime all over him from his short time at Cheater Hill. In his favor though, who can blame him for wanting to get the heck away from Cheater Hill ASAP?

Posted by: james reed | Feb 8, 2011 7:09:25 PM

I mean it's Dallas or Bust ! Go get em Brian and do not let the door hit you where it counts. It's the star dude ! That ship will sink quick so you better bring a life raft bra!

Posted by: spanky | Feb 8, 2011 7:32:17 PM

ALL you UNC haters can go **** yourselves!

Posted by: hellfish | Feb 8, 2011 7:40:24 PM

Obviously the world was out of whack cause they played like crap. Including their in place QB.

Posted by: John | Feb 8, 2011 8:29:49 PM

I fail to see how Dallas is a "special franchise". Special in a Special Oympics way,maybe.

Posted by: djfoams | Feb 9, 2011 8:07:34 AM

Have the facts changed again?

Posted by: Holden Thorpe | Feb 9, 2011 9:29:03 AM

More fuel The North Carolina Tar Heels will use to win the BCS National Championship!!!

Posted by: Fan | Feb 9, 2011 1:40:29 PM

My 75K has run out! I need me my ca$h money Butch. Pay up!

Posted by: John Blake | Feb 9, 2011 2:03:35 PM

My 75K has run out! I need me my ca$h money Butch. Pay up!

Posted by: John Blake | Feb 9, 2011 2:03:36 PM

My 75K has run out! I need me my ca$h money Butch. Pay up!

Posted by: John Blake | Feb 9, 2011 2:03:36 PM

My 75K has run out! I need me my ca$h money Butch. Pay up!

Posted by: John Blake | Feb 9, 2011 2:03:36 PM

Brian: You have your priorities all screwed up. I mean...we're talking UNC here!

Posted by: Zenmeister | Feb 9, 2011 2:06:08 PM

Why can't I sing a better recruiting haul like dam Butch. I mean, i had my first winning season in 4 years and I have the personality of an old cucumber, but I should be getting more of these talented NC players. What is wrong with me. hmmmm...maybe the NCSU rep isn't all that they told me it was when I got pushed out the door at BC and had to take a 3rd tier job in the same conference.

Posted by: Tom O'Brien | Feb 9, 2011 3:56:31 PM

and what happened to all those hairy dudes in pickup trucks that used to drive by my house the past 3 years and give me that one fingered hello? they always looked so mad until this year. now they are calling me a "program builder", which is cool, but i am really worried that my little lucky season might not be sustainable now that Chuck's recruit, Russell Wilson, is leaving me. what am I to do?? oh darnitall

Posted by: Tom O'Brien | Feb 9, 2011 3:59:33 PM

I really hate UNC cuz I couldn't get in. thezz jus a bunch a Cheaters!! and us NCSU grads make more money than them anyhowss. been proven. yep. mowing lawns pays better n them stupid wall street jobs, Dr jobs, and lawyer jobs that all those UNC grads get. beeen proven. yep.

Posted by: Sorry_Woofie | Feb 9, 2011 4:04:45 PM

Well, a special thanks to the UNC-Cheat graduate bagging my groceries at the HT today! Your degree really paid off for you. CONgratulations! Go Devils!

Posted by: UNC-CHeat | Feb 9, 2011 4:23:08 PM

shoot, you'ns talking bout baggin groceries?? I be talking bout being a landscape architect. I gots taughted how to put together the best grass seed blends in the lower 48. quit wasting my time UNC-CHeat talkin bout baggin groceries.

go devulls

HearmeHowl!!

Posted by: HearMeHowl | Feb 9, 2011 4:32:04 PM

Breaking News. Shaun Rodger got Release.. Panthers should get him.. That would be Sick Nick Fairley and Rodger playing Together.Panthers please Tag William.. we can't let Second player to walk away Just like Peppers Did.

Posted by: Al-King | Feb 9, 2011 6:36:15 PM

Breaking News. Shaun Rodger got Release.. Panthers should get him.. That would be Sick Nick Fairley and Rodger playing Together.Panthers please Tag William.. we can't let Second player to walk away Just like Peppers Did.

Posted by: Al-King | Feb 9, 2011 6:36:15 PM

Breaking News. Shaun Rodger got Release.. Panthers should get him.. That would be Sick Nick Fairley and Rodger playing Together.Panthers please Tag William.. we can't let Second player to walk away Just like Peppers Did.

Posted by: Al-King | Feb 9, 2011 6:36:15 PM

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