Regents approve McCarney extension

North Texas coach Dan McCarney kisses the Heart of Dallas Bowl trophy after leading the Mean Green to a win over UNLV on New Year's Day. The UNT board of regents approved the parameters of a contract extension for McCarney on Thursday. (Associated Press//Mike Stone)

The UNT board of regents unanimously approved the parameters for a contract extension for Dan McCarney this morning.

I am out in West Virginia for tonight’s UNT-Marshall men’s basketball game, but our higher education reporter Jenna Duncan was there when the vote was taken.

There were no details on the deal provided at the regents meeting and UNT has been playing it close to the vest in terms of what the deal will entail.

I was told that the deal should take McCarney through the end of his coaching career. McCarney is 60, has been in the coaching business a long time and has more than enough money to walk away any time he wants to.

With that being said, Mac has more energy than your average fifth grader after a Red Bull. And he keeps himself in great shape.

About the only way I see McCarney deciding to hang it up any time soon is if his health does not allow him to keep coaching. McCarney had a stroke, a heart attack and bypass surgery over the course of just over a year not too long ago.

McCarney has bounced back well each time, but there is always a chance that something else goes wrong that convinces him it’s time to hang it up. That is true of just about anyone, though. It’s hard to tell what life will hold.

UNT had better hope that McCarney stays with it. He has been great for UNT. He led the Mean Green to just its fourth bowl win in program history, a victory over UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on New Year’s Dat. And that is just the start of the story when it comes to what McCarney has done. He has also connected with UNT’s students and fans.

He has made a habit of meeting with all he incoming freshmen during orientation. That has really helped build enthusiasm around the program.

When UNT finalizes the deal it will also show recruits that McCarney and his staff will be around for a while. That makes a difference for players. They all want to know who they will be playing for when they sign on with a program.

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