John Skladany spent years helping Dan McCarney rebuild the program at Iowa State as the Cyclones' defensive coordinator.
McCarney added his longtime associate to his staff at North Texas recently and officially announced the move on Friday.
Skladany replaces Clint Bowen, who left the Mean Green's staff after just one season to become the special teams coordinator at Kansas, his alma mater and where he has spent 12 years of his coaching career.
Skladany spent last season as the defensive coordinator at Central Florida. He will help coach UNT's secondary in addition to serving as defensive coordinator. Bowen coached the Mean Green safeties.
"To be able to add John Skladany to our coaching staff is an exciting proposition," McCarney said in a prepared statement. "He has a long history of developing successful defenses, including his Central Florida defense, which ranked in the top 10 nationally this season. We had great success at Iowa State together when he was my defensive coordinator, and I look forward to him continuing that here at North Texas. He will definitely be a big part of continuing to help turn this program around."
Skladany was Iowa State's defensive coordinator from 1997 to 2006 under McCarney.
UCF ranked ninth nationally last season in scoring defense (18.3 points allowed per game) and total defense (303.3 yards per game).
UCF head coach George O'Leary fired Skladany after the season despite the Knights' defensive performance.
McCarney snapped up his former defensive coordinator, who also has served as defensive coordinator at Ohio, Colorado State and Houston, when the opportunity arrived.
"Being back with coach McCarney is a privilege and an honor," Skladany said in a prepared statement. "He has done more for me and my family both professionally and personally than anyone that I have met in this business. I am excited about joining the Mean Green football family and helping build upon the foundation that Mac and his staff started last season."
Skladany will join a staff that helped UNT take what McCarney hopes are the first steps toward a dramatic turnaround. The Mean Green finished 5-7 last season - the highest win total for the program since 2004.
UNT had not won more than three games in any of the six seasons between appearing in the 2004 New Orleans Bowl and McCarney's debut.
The Mean Green finished sixth in the Sun Belt Conference in scoring defense last season after allowing an average of 30.7 points a game and ranked seventh in total defense with an average of 429.3 yards allowed per game.
Skladany will have several key returning players to build around, including linebacker Zach Orr, who was a second-team All-Sun Belt selection last season.
UNT will have several holes to fill, though, mostly in its secondary. UNT lost all four safeties on its depth chart at the end of last season to graduation, as well as three of its top four cornerbacks, including Royce Hill, a senior who was the Mean Green's most experienced player.
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is email@example.com.