Taking the UNC job after a few years out of coaching, heading into his first year back in Chapel Hill, Mack Brown didn’t have the luxury a lot coaches have of playing an FCS program and a bottom-tier Group of Five program to open the year.

Instead, the Tar Heels opened the new Mack Brown era with a game in Charlotte against South Carolina of the SEC and then at home against Miami (FL).

A veteran coach with a distinguished resume like his, Brown knew how important a fast start could be for his team in those two games, and to do that he’d have to get his guys to play for each other. How do you do that as a coach? You get them to understand each other, and build trust.

Mack recently shared what the Tar Heels did during their critical training camp period to build trust, and said they were able to do it quite fast.

“In the preseason meetings, where everyone told their life story, and it let us all understand each other better, at a faster pace.”

“So many times, when a new coach comes in, they say it takes two or three years to get to know each other. Well we don’t have two or three years anymore, and that’s not fair to the seniors.

“We felt like the only way for us to get to know each other is for guys to get up and say who they are, and what has happened in their life, and who are the people in their life that have changed their life.”

“I’m telling you now. There are some wonderful stories, heartbreaking stories, but these kids are incredible kids, and some of them to overcome what they have overcome. For them to stand up there and say those things, to us. It just made us, as coaches, want to get up there and say things that we may not have told them about us either.”

“It has really made a huge difference for us in communication.”

Mack and the Tar Heels are sitting at 2-0 after those really closely contested match ups with South Carolina (24-20) and Miami (28-25), and head to Wake Forest to take on the Demon Deacons Friday night.

See Mack’s full comments in the video below.

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Content manager - Doug took the reins in 2011 and the website has been better ever since. A former college player and small college coach, Doug now serves as the head coach at Ravenna HS (MI).