“Mark has a great reputation for developing players and forming relationships with players,” said Bunting. “He has good character, and other coaches that I have spoken with have nothing but high praise for Mark. His familiarity with Frank and the offense here will help with the transition, and we can be better faster because of his knowledge.”
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work for a man with the character, integrity and reputation of John Bunting,” said Weber. “We’re very fortunate to be moving to the great community of Chapel Hill and to be working at one of the finest universities in the country.”
“Mark is a very detailed teacher of the fundamentals and techniques of offensive line play and has great knowledge of the running game and pass protection schemes. He has a proven ability to develop outstanding linemen and mold the offensive line into a cohesive unit,” said Cignetti. “Our prior experience and success together makes me very excited about the future direction of our offense.”
During his coaching career, which also includes stints and UCLA, UNLV and Oregon State, Weber has mentored the likes of Fresno State All-America Logan Mankins, a first-round pick of the New England Patriots who started all 16 games as a rookie this past season, and Kris Farris, who won the 1998 Outland Trophy and earned All-America honors at UCLA.
“He’s an outstanding technical coach,” said Farris. “He helped me go from a very mediocre player to an All-America at UCLA. He’s a great motivator, and I think he’s one of the top college coaches out there. The bottom line is he can make good players great.”
Weber joins the Carolina staff after coaching some of the top linemen in Fresno State history in 2004 and 2005. Last season, the Bulldog line helped pave the way for a 1,000-yard rusher, a 3,000-yard passer, nearly 38 points per game and produced freshman All-America guard Cole Popevich and first-team All-Western Athletic Conference picks Dartagon Shack and Kyle Young.
In 2004, guard Ryan Wendell was a freshman All-America selection, while Mankins earned All-America and first-team All-WAC honors under Weber’s tutelage. That season, Fresno State averaged 52.8 points over the last six games and became just the sixth team in NCAA history to score 50 or more points in four consecutive contests. The Bulldogs finished 9-3, led the WAC in average yards per carry (5.4) and scored 65 touchdowns. Fresno capped that season with a 37-34 win over Virginia in the MPC Computer Bowl.
The Bulldogs went to bowl games in each of Weber’s two seasons.
Weber spent seven seasons at UCLA (1997-2003) prior to his stint at Fresno, helping guide the Bruins to five bowl appearances, including the 1999 Rose Bowl and a pair of Pac-10 titles. At UCLA, he coached two first-team All-Americas, including Farris, three freshmen All-Americas and six players who garnered All-Pac-10 honors.
Additionally, Weber was a part of some record-setting offenses at UCLA, including the 1998 squad that put up a school-record 5,947 total yards and the 1997 team that scored a UCLA-record 447 points. The Bruins posted a 20-game winning streak over the 1997-98 seasons and finished ranked in the nation’s top 10 both years.
Before coaching at UCLA, Weber was UNLV’s assistant head coach and offensive line coach from 1994-96 and served in the same capacity at Nevada in 1993.
He also coached Oregon State’s offensive line from 1987-90.
Weber got his coaching start as an assistant at Los Angeles Valley College in 1979 before spending two seasons as a graduate assistant at Idaho State from 1980-81, as the Bengals captured an NCAA Division I-AA national championship. He has also made coaching stops at Snow College (1982), Eastern New Mexico (1983-84), West Texas State (1985-86) and Missouri Western State College (1991).
The 48-year old Weber is a 1980 graduate of Cal Lutheran and also earned a master’s degree in physical education in 1981. He played offensive guard for two seasons and was named an honorable mention Small College All-America.
Weber and his wife, Kathryn, have two daughters, Alexandra and KaCee.