Gene Chizik is preparing to finish up his second season as North Carolina’s defensive coordinator.

The Tar Heels showed some improvement on defense this past season, but it wasn’t enough to get back to the ACC Championship Game or get to 9 regular season wins. Chizik’s future with the program is still in-doubt as the Tar Heels prepare for their final contest in 2023.

Chizik met with reporters on Monday afternoon to help preview UNC’s Mayo Bowl matchup against West Virginia. The embattled defensive coordinator was asked if he expects to be back in Chapel Hill in 2024. Chizik gave a thoughtful, honest and non-committal response.

“It’s a fair question,” Chizik said. “Just for me, I’m probably different than almost every coach maybe in America. Or at least there’s a few that are in my spot. I’m very blessed to be able to look at every season, and after every season decide what is the best for me, what is the best for the university, what is the best for everybody. And then the universities have to do the same thing. They have to look at the overall picture, right, and they’ve got to decide what’s best for them.

“So to answer your question, I don’t know all of what will happen at the end. We know that this is a big man’s sport, so everybody’s got to assess and evaluate. And in the end, we will come up with whatever’s the best for the university. We’ll come up with whatever’s the best for this program, and it’s all good. One way or the other, it’s all good. But we’ve got great kids here. I think we’ve got a great future here. And we’ll attack all of that stuff after the last game, and we’ll do what’s best for the university.”

Chizik said if it was solely up to him, he’d prefer to be back as Carolina’s defensive coordinator in 2024. However, it seems as though a final decision will be made on Chizik’s status after the bowl game.

North Carolina’s defense gave up 5.52 yards per play this season, which ranked 10th amongst ACC teams. The Tar Heels lost four of their final six games to end the regular season.

UNC will take on West Virginia in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl on Dec. 27.