As of this writing, Mike Fox's Diamond Heels are an incredible 30-2 and ranked as the nation's top team in multiple polls. As Fox has elevated the program to the national elite, much of its success has been built on the foundation of stellar starting pitching. That's true again this year, as Kent Emanuel is Carolina's Friday night anchor. In this month's issue, Turner Walston profiles Emanuel's rise from recruit to ace.
Our May issue also contains plenty of spring football coverage, including Romar Morris's attempt to transition from track speedster to football tailback, a reshuffling of the Tar Heel coaching staff that could have familiar--and hopefully positive--results, and much more.
We think you'll also enjoy a collection of quotes on Dean Smith from those who knew him best, plus the former-player perspective of Mike Ingersoll on football (this month, Mike writes on the benefits of spring practice) and Jawad Williams on basketball (who says farewell to the 2012-13 Tar Heels).
If it's possible to overlook a national championship, 1993 might be Carolina's most overlooked NCAA title. 1957 was undefeated and beat Wilt. 1982 had Michael Jordan. 2005 was Roy Williams bringing the program back to prominence. 2009 featured Tyler Hansbrough.
And 1993? Well, all they did was go 34-4, win one of the most remarkable comebacks in Tar Heel basketball history (storming back to defeat a very good Florida State team) and beat one of the most storied college collections of talent ever, Michigan's Fab Five. In our April issue, we take a look back at Dean Smith's second national championship on the 20th anniversary of the team's achievement.
One of the highlights of the issue was gathering Phil Ford, Bill Guthridge and Eric Montross to let them share their memories about the team. It was originally supposed to be a 15-minute interview, but it turned into an hour of laughs and stories. We ended up with so much material that we couldn't use it all, so we're also planning a special 1993 issue of Tar Heels Today.
All the content in this month's issue is devoted to the 1993 team. Other features include a Freddie Kiger piece on the club's chemistry, Woody Durham's first-person recollection of the season and much more.
Even now, there are times she feels like she needs to break down the parts again, get back to fundamentals, and she’ll send her assistants on the road and conduct practice by herself. Senior point guard Tierra Ruffin-Pratt said that those tend to be teaching practices. “She does a lot more talking. It’s more teaching, but we’re just learning by listening to her,” Ruffin-Pratt said.
In addition to Lauren's story on Hatchell, you'll also find an extensive Q&A with Tar Heel athletic director Bubba Cunningham on UNC's new strategic plan, an infographic on Dean Smith's coaching tree and a column from Jawad Williams with some behind-the-scenes insight into the UNC-Duke basketball rivalry.
When we were deciding how to best depict the women's soccer dynasty on our cover, it didn't seem right to go with an individual player shot; the program is about much more than just one person. Anson Dorrance has already been on our cover. So there was really just one simple way to show off Carolina's women's soccer prowess: trophies. Lots and lots of trophies.
The semifinal matchup with overall top-seeded Stanford was personal. Dorrance often goes head-to-head with the Cardinal for recruits, and has yet to win one of those battles. On the pitch, however, the Tar Heels have never lost to Stanford. Cardinal freshman Laura Liedle, a San Diego native, was featured in a newspaper article on the day of the game. She’d committed to Carolina before changing her mind.
In a recent conversation with several people involved in Carolina football, we reached two conclusions:
When the first Tar Heel name is called in the 2013 NFL Draft, it's entirely possible that it might be someone unfamiliar to a large portion of the Carolina fan base. That's because one of the UNC players most eagerly sought-after by professional scouts is Jonathan Cooper, the left guard from Wilmington, who plays a largely anonymous position.
He is not anonymous, however, to the Carolina coaches or to the pro scouts that have raved about him during his senior season this fall. One scout tweeted that Cooper was the best guard prospect he had ever scouted, meaning there's a strong likelihood Cooper will be selected at least on the first day of the draft, and possibly even in the first round. What makes Cooper an even more impressive prospect is his off-field profile, where he has been a model citizen. Our Turner Walston spent some time with Cooper for our December 2012 issue. As he wrote:
Hoggard High head coach Scott Braswell and Cooper are in regular contact, so the high school coach knows what his former player has dealt with over the past five years. “He’s the type of guy the University of North Carolina needed in their football program, to see the program through that rough patch,” Braswell says. “I have tried to encourage him to hang in there through some of those hard times and to assert himself as a leader. He’s probably too humble to realize just how much people respect him and think of him. I’ve encouraged him as always to make good decisions, and I think he’s done that.”
Having played for three different coaches, blocked for eight different running backs and ridden out a scandal, Jonathan Cooper is well-equipped, on and off the football field, for wherever life takes him in the future. But as any good left guard would, he’s thinking play to play. “I’ll probably think about that more down the road,” he says. “I kind of use that to take lessons from each coach, each running back that I’ve had, and kind of add to my arsenal of skills and abilities. Now, I’m trying to focus on the present, and take from that what I need.”
Our December 2012 issue also includes an on-scene profile of Adam Greenberg and the next step in his storybook professional
Our expanded November 2012 issue is completely devoted to Carolina basketball. From the cover photo featuring Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald to Jones Angell's back page column on possible standouts for the 2013 Tar Heels, it's packed with must-read insight and history on your favorite college basketball program.
Roy Williams recently announced that freshman Marcus Paige would be the likely starter at point guard for the Tar Heels this season. In one feature, we examine the history of freshman point guards under Williams at Carolina, and provide some voices of experience--Bobby Frasor, Ty Lawson, Raymond Felton and Kendall Marshall--who offer some pointers for Paige in his first season in Chapel Hill. We also spotlight P.J. Hairston's attempt to rebound from a freshman season so disappointing that even his own mother calls it "mediocre."
For the longtime Tar Heel fans, we also have two historical stories. Eric Montross reflects on his role 20 years ago with the college select team that challenged (and on one occasion, defeated) the 1992 American Dream Team. And as Roy Williams enters his tenth season as Carolina's head coach, we look back at the iTunes-less and Tyler Hansbrough-less world in 2003 when he first returned to Chapel Hill.
Our October 2012 issue features a unique cover photo spotlighting Carolina's first 1,000-yard rusher, Don McCauley, along with the most recent UNC 1,000-yard rusher, Giovani Bernard. Turner Walston sat down with Bernard and McCauley for a roundtable discussion of the nuances of the running game and playing tailback at North Carolina. The Q&A includes this exchange:
Giovani Bernard: In the entire NCAA, you see changes every day. The changes are what make the game continue to have purity. It’s been able to keep changing but still have the family feel to it. Alumni are coming back. Last month was the first time I’d ever met Amos Lawrence, at the Letterman Dinner. You have a chance to meet the guys that did it before you.
Don McCauley: And you kind of size them up.
GB: Yeah, exactly. This was a guy they always talk about, so it was pretty cool to actually put a face to a name.
Our September 2012 issue is our annual football preview, with expanded coverage and complete insight into Larry Fedora’s first Tar Heel team.
Lee Pace examines some recent examples of overcoming adversity, and explains the challenges facing the 2012 team—and exactly how Fedora and his staff plan to deal with them. Mike Ingersoll, a Carolina letterman, looks at the mechanics of changing from Butch Davis’s pro-style system to Fedora’s up-tempo attack. “As fans, please understand that the only proper way for these adjustments to be made successfully will be on game day—at game speed,” Ingersoll writes. “Practice will only get you so far. A Division I football game in a major BCS conference is a little different than practice. Trust me, I know.”
In addition to position-by-position breakdowns of every slot on the UNC depth chart, the centerpiece of the issue is Turner Walston’s feature on middle linebacker Kevin Reddick. The middle linebacker has already been through plenty of adversity, as Walston writes:
“In the summer of 2010, a fire destroyed the apartment he shared with former teammate Michael McAdoo. “I was actually in the shower, and I heard a knocking noise,” he says. He’d ordered a pizza and thought the knocking was at his door. Shingles were falling off of the complex roof. “I looked out of the window and just saw flames going across the window, so I got out.” Reddick left his third-floor apartment with just his shorts, shoes, phone and keys. “No shirt, no nothing,” he says.
Among Reddick’s possessions lost in the fire were his iPad, with pictures of his daughter. “That was the most important thing I lost,” Reddick says, “but you can get pictures back easily.” UNC compliance worked with Quest Ministries to set up a relief fund to replace some of his possessions.
Reddick’s coping mechanism in rebuilding from the fire was to keep working. “I get paranoid about fire,” he says, “but that’s nothing. Now, I just keep grinding. I’ve got a big testimony that one day I’ll be able to give my daughter, or anyone. It can’t stop me, because I’ve been through so much.”
Ever wondered what is inside of the Tar Heel Monthly magazine. Now you can preview an issue and the behind the scenes coverage and insightful articles the magazine brings to your life. Check out the May 2012 issue and get to know Coach Fedora a little better.