North Texas was only two days removed from the end of the second season of the Dan McCarney era Monday, and the Mean Green’s head coach was already well into a process he has talked about over the past few weeks.
His evaluation of where UNT stands and where it is headed is in full swing.
McCarney met Sunday with each of the 21 players who will be seniors next season and talked Monday with the 17 seniors who completed their college careers in a 25-24 loss to Western Kentucky.
UNT’s second-year head coach will also meet with each of his assistant coaches in the next few days while evaluating what went right and what went wrong in the program’s final season in the Sun Belt. UNT finished 4-8 and continued to show signs of progress under McCarney, who led the Mean Green to its second consecutive winning season at home.
Despite some milestones along the way, UNT won one fewer game than it did in its first season under McCarney and will head into its first season in Conference USA riding a streak of eight consecutive losing seasons.
“What I do is evaluate everything that has been done,” McCarney said. “I evaluate myself as a head coach, all my coordinators, the assistants, the GAs [graduate assistants], the interns, our strength staff, our equipment staff, really everything. You are trying to critique and improve.”
One of UNT’s top priorities is recruiting. McCarney said he and his assistants would hit the road in the hope that they can improve the Mean Green’s talent level with a solid 2013 class.
What McCarney did not address is if he will make any changes to his coaching staff.
UNT had two assistants take jobs with other programs after last season. Defensive coordinator Clint Bowen left for Kansas, while linebackers coach Anthony Weaver took a job with the New York Jets.
“I don’t talk about things like I am going to shift this guy or this guy is coming or this guy is leaving,” McCarney said. “We all know that right now there is a lot of movement in college football. I have a tremendous staff around me. I hope we can keep it intact.”
Those coaches are already preparing for a series of official visits by high school players this weekend, which will make McCarney’s schedule a little hectic.
“As I head out for recruiting, I will meet with my coaches, sometimes in a car, sometimes in a hotel, sometimes in my office,” McCarney said. “There will be a lot of communication and evaluation.”
2 no longer in UNT’s plans
While McCarney has yet to determine if he will make any changes in his coaching staff, he did acknowledge that two players who were on the roster last season are no longer in UNT’s plans.
Wide receiver Chaz Sampson will leave the program at the semester break, while linebacker Mike Stojkovic will not have a chance to return.
Sampson was a highly regarded wide receiver from Mansfield Timberview who never worked his way into a playing role with the Mean Green.
He is likely to transfer to a Football Championship Subdivision school.
Stojkovic pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor assault in September and received 15 months of probation.
He briefly rejoined the team as a walk-on but left the program a short time later. Stojkovic posted 48 tackles and two sacks as a freshman in 2011.
BRETT VITO can be reached at 949-566-6870. His e-mail address is email@example.com.