Statements from UNC

As expected, North Carolina defensive line coach Brian Baker has accepted an assistant coaching position with the Dallas Cowboys, the school officially announced on Wednesday. Baker, who was hired by the Tar Heels on Jan. 10, will coach the Cowboys’ defensive line.

Statement from coach Butch Davis:

“I appreciate what Brian gave to our program, even though he was here just a short amount of time. If you have outstanding assistant coaches, they are going to be desirable by other programs and by NFL teams. You don’t want to lose coaches, but I always want to help our assistants build their careers and achieve their goals. Brian is regarded as one of the top defensive line coaches in the country and in the month he was on our staff, he had several other opportunities to return to the NFL. The Cowboys’ job was a position he could not pass up.

“Our players and staff know we will find an outstanding coach to teach our defensive linemen. Every time you lose an assistant, I feel it’s an opportunity to go out and find the best person who can elevate the program and continue to build upon the success we’ve had over the last three seasons.

Statement from Brian Baker:

“Although I was only in Chapel Hill for a short time, I appreciate everything Butch Davis, Dick Baddour and the University of North Carolina did for me. North Carolina is a special place and Coach Davis is building a tremendous program.

"After accepting the UNC job, I turned down other offers to return to the NFL. While this was a difficult decision for me and my family, the Dallas Cowboys provided an opportunity I couldn’t refuse.

“I have so much respect for Coach Davis, and this is a similar career path he took as he moved through the ranks to become a college head coach, which is still one of my goals. I feel for the young men I leave behind and wish them all the best. I know Coach Davis will find an outstanding replacement.”