North Carolina’s first football season was way back in 1889. Their coach, Hector Cowan, led them to a 1-1 season. The football schedule was so short because the food services department did not order enough cups to last a full season. “They ran out of cups at halftime of the second game. We just made our hands into a little bowl and they poured Coca-Cola into it,” a fan said.
Hector Cowan was also an ordained minister. In his undergraduate days playing for Princeton, he liked to call plays using Bible citations: “John 3:16, Genesis 1:1, Romans 8:28, hut, hut, hut.”
Coach Carl Snavely, known as the “Grey Fox” for the dapper grey suits and fedoras he wore on game day, led the Tar Heels in 1934-1935 and also 1945-1952. His playbook was based on the single wing offense. He took the single wing a step further by using an actual airplane wing. Blockers would run down the field holding the wing of a B-29 Superfortress, easily creating a huge clearing for a running halfback to gain massive yardage. The impact of the wing would knock some defensive backs straight into the bleachers. “You’ll love this little story,” a former team member said. “We had the wing on top of our team bus. A sudden strong gust of of wind lifted up the whole bus and dropped us in a lake. Good times, good times.”