A new era in Mean Green football is taking shape. Dan McCarney, who has more than 30 years of experience coaching college football, was announced as head coach Nov. 30. And construction on the new stadium “topped out” in October. Both milestones added momentum to the growing excitement surrounding the upcoming season.
McCarney, who spent the last three seasons as head defensive line coach at the University of Florida, will focus on recruiting for the Mean Green’s inaugural season in the new stadium.
UNT’s 18th head football coach spent 12 seasons as head coach at Iowa State University (1995-2006) where he had a 56-84 record after taking over a program that had enjoyed just three winning seasons in the 16 years before his arrival. He remains the longest serving (141 games) and winningest (56 wins) coach in Iowa State history. Even though McCarney is a new member of the Mean Green nation, he has ties to UNT’s history, having served on the staff of UNT Hall of Fame head coach Hayden Fry at Iowa from 1979 to 1989.
At the press conference announcing his hiring, McCarney named Mike Canales, who was serving as the Mean Green’s interim head coach, as his associate head coach and offensive coordinator.
During Homecoming, about 400 people gathered to celebrate the “topping out” of the largest building project in UNT’s history. The traditional commemoration of reaching the highest point of the new structure came right on schedule, 10 months to the day after construction began, and about 11 months before the first home game will be played in the bowl-shaped arena.
Alumni, donors and other invited guests, athletics staff and UNT administrators joined workers from Manhattan Construction to sign their names on a 32-foot-long beam that will become part of the infrastructure.
The new stadium, as verified in a report by consultant Chuck Neinas, adds to UNT’s state-of-the-art facilities and will contribute not only to the university, but also to the region as a venue for sporting and music events.
Through the excitement of what lies ahead, the Mean Green stopped to commemorate the long history of Fouts Field this season, recognizing the great moments and players of the past.