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Butch Davis hopes head-coaching role still lies ahead


Butch Davis says his coaching days aren't finished.

One year after the University of North Carolina fired the former head coach amid an embarrassing NCAA investigation, Davis finds himself entrenched with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, serving as a "special assistant" to Greg Schiano. It's helping to pay the bills, but Davis wants back in the coaching ranks.

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"I would love to think that the things we've accomplished over 37 years, that this one particular deal will not define me as a man nor as a coach," Davis, 60, told The Associated Press.

Davis, who's still involved in a public-records fight over the UNC allegations, coached the University of Miami before taking over as coach of the Cleveland Browns from 2001 to 2004, a stint littered with highs and lows, but essentially a disappointment. Davis remains the only coach to take Cleveland to the playoffs since the Browns' return to the NFL in 1999, but his exit was tumultuous. He resigned during the 2004 season as Cleveland spun out of control.

Davis left town with some questioning his integrity. The North Carolina meltdown didn't help on this front, but Davis insists he wants to be "someone that people can believe in, somebody that people can trust."

"To me, past and previous experiences have an awful lot to say about what you've done," he said. "I would like to think that people would look at the successes and the things we did with the program at Miami. I am regretful that things got out of hand here. I wish that I would've been able to have prevented it."

Another chance as an NFL head coach appears unlikely. A university program isn't a leap, either, but stranger things have happened in college football. For now, Davis remains tucked away inside the Bucs' organization. But he doesn't see that as a final stop.