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UNC Football Coaching Staff
Dan Disch
Defensive Coordinator / Cornerbacks

Dan Disch (pronounced DISH) enters his second season as North Carolina’s defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach.  

In 2012, Disch was responsible for a secondary that finished second in the ACC and 20th in the country in interceptions.  All but two of the interceptions were made by the defensive backs. Safety Tre Boston and cornerback Tim Scott tied for the team lead with four each.  

Boston was an honorable-mention All-ACC pick and it was his interception return for a touchdown that sealed a victory at Virginia.  Boston also led the team in tackles, while cornerback Jabari Price was second.

Disch served as defensive coordinator and secondary coach under head coach Larry Fedora in 2011 at Southern Miss where he installed his brand of the 4-2-5 defensive scheme.

That season, the Golden Eagles improved from 75th nationally in pass efficiency defense to seventh, and were ranked 22nd in rushing defense, allowing just 112.6 rushing yards per game.  Disch’s defense set an NCAA record with eight interceptions returned for touchdowns.  

Overall, USM ranked 29th in total defense and 28th in scoring defense as the Golden Eagles won the 2011 Conference USA championship over previously unbeaten Houston and then won their school-record 12th game over Nevada in the Hawaii Bowl.  In the final regular season top 25 polls, Southern Miss was No. 21 in the USA Today Coaches poll and No. 22 in the Associated Press poll.

Before arriving in Hattiesburg, Disch spent six seasons at Illinois, where he served as the special teams coordinator/outside linebackers coach (2005), special teams coordinator/linebackers coach (2006), co-defensive coordinator/linebackers (2007-09) and linebackers coach (2010).  He served under Ron Zook for seven seasons, including one year at Florida (2004) where he coached the secondary.  Fedora also was a member of the Gator staff in 2004.

At Carolina, Disch is working again with Vic Koenning and Keith Gilmore who were all on the Illinois staff in 2010.

Disch’s linebackers were a strong point of the Illini defense in 2010, as Martez Wilson collected 112 tackles, tied for fourth in the Big Ten. Wilson also ranked among Big Ten leaders in tackles for loss. In 2009, one of Disch’s linebackers again led the team in tackles and ranked among the Big Ten leaders as Ian Thomas racked up 95 stops.

In 2008, for the third-straight season, Illinois’ middle linebacker led the Big Ten in tackles and was a first-team All-Big Ten selection. After J Leman in 2006 and 2007, Brit Miller averaged 11.0 tackles per game. The Illini also led the Big Ten in tackles for loss and sacks, in which Miller was also the team leader.

Disch’s 2007 Fighting Illini defense was one of the best in the Big Ten, led by consensus All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selection Leman. The heart of the Illini defense, Leman finished sixth on the Illinois career tackles list and ranked fifth in all-time tackles for loss.  Illinois finished 20th in the AP top 25 poll and played Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl, the school’s first appearance in the Rose Bowl since 1984.

In 2006, Disch’s linebacking corps helped the Illini make a large improvement in total and rushing defense. The team bettered its numbers from the 2005 season by over 160 total yards. Leman earned first-team All-Big Ten honors as well as honorable mention Sports Illustrated All-America honors. He led the Big Ten with 12.7 tackles per game and ranked 10th in the nation in TFL per game.

As the special teams coach for the Illini in 2005, Disch tutored All-Big Ten and All-America punter Steve Weatherford who, with a 42.6 average, became the school’s all-time leader in punting average. 

In 2004 at Florida, Disch rebuilt a secondary that lost all four starters from the previous year, yet his new group still recorded 16 interceptions. The production came from a group that entered the season with just four career picks. Safety Jarvis Herring ranked third in the SEC in interceptions per game, while corner Dee Webb was fourth in passes defended.

Prior to entering the collegiate ranks, Disch spent 22 years coaching high school football in the Jacksonville, Fla., area, including 16 seasons as the head coach of Ed White High School, where he posted a record of 122-55 to become the school’s all-time winningest coach. While under Disch’s lead, Ed White made 11 playoff appearances, won seven district and six conference championships, and reached the state quarterfinals four times. Ed White also was ranked in the Top-10 of the state’s final football poll eight times. Additionally, five of Disch’s high school assistant coaches went on to land head coaching jobs.


Disch is a 1981 graduate of Florida State University. He was born in Jacksonville, Fla., and has three daughters: Chandler, Erica and Virginia.

Position: Defensive Coordinator / Cornerbacks
Experience: 3 Years
Phone: 919-966-2575
Email: disch@uncaa.unc.edu
UNC North Carolina Football