UTC Head Football Coach Buddy Green is leaving Chattanooga to take a position as defensive coordinator at North Carolina State.
Coach Green has accepted a position under first-year Wolfpack Coach Chucky Amato, who recently moved from Florida State.
Coach Green said at a Wednesday afternoon press conference attended by many of his players, "I leave with a tremendous amount of pride that a solid foundation for tremendous future success for this program is in place."
UTC Chancellor Bill Stacy said, "We are sorry to see Coach Green leave. He's done a great job leading the Mocs and has positioned the program for success, but I know this is an opportunity for him to return to his home state of North Carolina.
UTC Mocs Head Football Coach Buddy Green
"Our attention at this time is focused on our players, our fans and our university.
"We plan to name a new head coach quickly and will make every effort to hire the best person for the job."
Chancellor Bill Stacy and Sharon Green
"I would like to thank Coach Green for the outstanding leadership that he has provided for our football program during his tenure at UTC," Director of Athletics Oval Jaynes said.
"There are many positive contributions that Coach Green and his staff have brought to fruition - the completion of Finley Stadium, upgrading our athletic facilities, the renovation of our weight room and locker room and, most importantly, his commitment to the academic success of the student-athletes, including an increase in our graduation rates."
Mr. Jaynes announced that current UTC offensive coordinator Donnie Kirkpatrick will serve as interim head coach while a national search for Coach Green's successor will begin immediately.
During his six seasons here, UTC was 27-39, including 5-6 this past season.
In 1997, he led the Mocs to a 7-4 record, the first winning season since 1991 and the team's first national ranking in the 1990s.
Officials said the 11 recruits who signed to play football for the Mocs last week had been notified of the coach's decision.
Coach Green said he is "extremely excited about the opportunity to return to North Carolina State to work with Coach Amato and the entire Wolfpack family.
"I have the highest regard for Coach Amato and I am confident that his leadership at North Carolina State will take the program to a level that will merit national recognition."
The Mocs are scheduled to begin spring practice March 22 and open the season Aug. 31 with a Thursday night home game against Samford.
North Carolina State compiled a 6-6 overall record last season including a season-opening win over Texas in the BCA Classic. The Wolfpack open the 2000 season Sept. 2 against Arkansas State.