Southern Mississippi coach Larry Fedora has agreed to become North Carolina's next football coach, according to a report.

Inside Carolina first reported on Tuesday that Fedora had a deal in place with North Carolina ahead of the Tuesday night deadline, but that the deal hadn't been finalized. The Winston-Salem Journal, citing three sources, reported Wednesday that Fedora agreed to the deal Tuesday night with UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham and that a formal announcement could come later on in the day.

The Fayetteville Observer reported Wednesday that Fedora was highly recommended to Cunningham by former UNC coach Mack Brown, who currently coaches at Texas.

Fedora, who led the Golden Eagles to a Conference USA championship, replaces interim coach Everett Withers who guided the Tar Heels to a 7-5 record in 2011. Withers took over as coach after Butch Davis was dismissed for NCAA violations stemming from illegal contact between a NFL agent and some of his players.

Davis brought in strong recruiting classes and generated considerable interest in a football program that is usually ignored in favor of Roy Williams' basketball team, but the scandal proved to be more than the school's administration was willing to handle. But Davis' tenure at UNC proved that the basketball-centric was capable of supporting a viable football team.

Fedora has a 33-19 record at Southern Miss and has guided the school to four straight bowl games. His best season was this past year with an 11-2 record that netted the school an appearance in the Hawaii Bowl.

The 49 year-old was also a candidate for the Arizona State, Kansas, and Texas A&M coaching openings. Fedora was born in College Station, where Texas A&M is located, but it's unclear just how much interest his hometown school had in him. Fedora met with A&M's athletic director, Bill Byrne, in New York and was considered a surging candidate, but ended up deciding on the Tar Heels.