UNC football is losing two assistant coaches to Wisconsin

Robert Willett/rwillett@newsobserver.com

New Wisconsin coach Luke Ficknell plucked two coaches from North Carolina’s staff to join him.

Phil Longo, who has served as North Carolina’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach the past four seasons under Mack Brown, is leaving to take a similar position with the Badgers, The News & Observer confirmed on Wednesday. Offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr., who was the offensive line coach the past year, will join him according to Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, who was the first to report the news.

Longo led a high-powered offense that has ranked in the top 15 in total offense nationally every season he has been in Chapel Hill. He also helped developed two quarterbacks that are rewriting the record books at UNC in Sam Howell, who ended his career as the all-time leading passer, and Drake Maye, who was named the ACC’s Player of the Year last week.

Bicknell brought a pro-style approach to the offensive line thanks to his background in the NFL. The Tar Heels primarily used their starting five to play the majority of snaps all season with very few substitutes. They allowed 38 sacks on the season, which was an improvement after giving up 49 sacks last season.

Longo had signed a three-year contract with UNC that paid him $900,000 in base salary that began in March of 2021. Bicknell signed a two-year deal in March of last year worth $575,000 in base salary.

For those wondering if Maye is going to join Longo and Bicknell in Madison, he both tweeted a response and posted on his Instagram account, “Could never leave this place, I’m a Tar Heel.”