High School Sports

Butch Davis, Bill Renner set to coach each other's sons at QB

Posted August 4, 2010

In Chapel Hill this football season two men will be coaching each other's sons. Both of the sons play quarterback - one at the University of North Carolina, and the other at East Chapel Hill High School.

"It's kind of an unusual situation," admits Butch Davis, head football coach at North Carolina and the father of Wildcat starting signal-caller Drew Davis.

"[It's an] unreal experience," the younger Davis said. "You don't see it very often, but it's pretty cool."

The gridiron marriage all stemmed from a friendship between Bryn Renner, now the backup quarterback to T.J. Yates for the Tar Heels, and Davis' son.

"Bryn and I are real good friends," said Drew Davis. "We've been friends for a couple years now."

Before taking the head job at East Chapel Hill, Bill Renner was a successful high school football coach in Virginia where he coached his son, Bryn.

When Bryn enrolled at North Carolina, Bill decided he couldn't keep commuting between states to watch his son play.

"It was sixteen straight weeks of either traveling on the road to watch Carolina or driving down here to watch them," the elder Renner recalled. "I just knew that physically, I wasn't going to be able to do that for the next four years."

But Bill wasn't ready to give up coaching. It didn't take long for him to find a home on the sidelines.

"Lo and behold, Bryn called me," Bill Renner remembered. He said, 'Hey, Drew was talking to me and he said East Chapel Hill was open.'"

"When the position came open, I didn't even know that he and my son, through Bryn, had started talking about it," said Butch Davis at the ACC Football Kickoff in Greensboro in late July. "When he got it, it was like, 'This is pretty cool.'"

Like Butch Davis, Bill Renner has the reputation of rebuilding teams. At East Chapel Hill, where the program has failed to win more than one game in a season since 2004, he'll have to do one of his better rebuilding jobs yet.

Butch Davis is in year four of his own rebuilding effort at North Carolina, but if he starts senior T.J. Yates behind center this year instead of his Bill's son Bryn, would Bill bench Drew Davis out of protest?

"No. Absolutely not," Bill Renner said with a laugh. "That's not a consideration."

One can't help but ask the most common question in this most unique circumstance.


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