Allen Mogridge, a Tar Heel letterman from 1996-99, returned to Carolina in February of 2009 to join the Carolina staff as tight ends coach. Mogridge, a native of East Tennessee, was chided by former head coach Carl Torbush, then at Mississippi State, that it was good Mogridge was coming back South just in time. There wasn't much cracker drawl left, and in its place was the whiff of New Yawkese.
"It's great to be back, to come home to a place I love and sell this program," Mogridge said at the time. "The feeling today is no different from the first day I walked on campus. I'm from a small town in East Tennessee, and I came here and felt like I never met a stranger. People looked you in the eye and said hello. And I tell you, there's not a better venue in the country to watch a football game than Kenan Stadium with the trees and backdrop and natural beauty."
Twenty months later, Mogridge is adding to his job responsibility. He was named as the Tar Heels' recruiting coordinator on Thursday, Oct. 7, by head coach Butch Davis.
"I am absolutely elated and excited," Mogridge says. "It's a great opportunity, it's a great challenge. Hey, this is the University of North Carolina. I played here. I had the fortunate privilege to be a member of this team and to grab a degree from this place. I'm humbled that Coach Davis sees the ability in me to continue to allow North Carolina to rise to where I think we can. It's definitely a privilege. This is a great place. Despite everything that is around us, we will persevere. This is an awesome opportunity to be able to sell the place where you went to school and to tell young people what a great place this is."
Make no mistake, the head coach is always in charge of a school's recruiting operation and every assistant coach is involved. The coordinator's job is to help organize all the staff's efforts in terms of travel, scouting, tape evaluation, correspondence, official visits and other logistics. And it certainly doesn't hurt when that guy has bled Carolina blue himself.
"I tell kids all the time, 'When you see our place, I won't need to say another word,'" Mogridge says. "When they get here, they get it. The light goes on. This is a different place. The campus, facilities, the people-they all make a great impression."
The Tar Heels have 18 verbal commitments in the current recruiting class and by all accounts those prospects are hanging tough with the program as it goes through its current off-the-field issues.
"We're excited about it," Mogridge says. "We've been able to get some guys to jump into the boat and buy in what we are all about. The big thing is just filling out the class and finishing on a strong note."