By R.L. Bynum

There are no changes in the Tar Heel Sports Network radio crew for football except for Friday’s opener — because of Brian Simmons’ other job.

Simmons, entering his sixth season as the analyst on the THSN, will miss the broadcast of the Virginia Tech game (6 p.m., ESPN) because he is the head coach of the Windmere Preparatory School football team in Florida.

While the Heels are playing in Blacksburg, Va., his Lakers will try to go 2–0 with a road game against The First Academy. In Windmere’s opener on Saturday, Windmere rolled to a 20–7 home victory over Orangewood Christian in Simmons’ debut as head coach.

Simmons, a consensus All-American linebacker in 1997 as a senior at UNC in the last season of Coach Mack Brown’s first stint in Chapel Hill, played 10 seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Simmons began as a THSN analyst in 2016 when he shared the duties with William Henderson and only worked four games that season.

With Simmons missing the opener, usual sideline reporter Lee Pace will be the analyst and host Dave Nathan will double-up as the sideline reporter.

After the Virginia Tech game, it will be back to normal on the network for Simmons, who only worked games within driving distance of his Orlando-area home last season. Pace will be back to reporting on the sidelines for the rest of the season, with Nathan as the host.

This will be Jones Angell’s 11th season as the Voice of the Tar Heels.

The broadcast can be heard on the TuneIn, Sirius XM, The Varsity Network app (a new app from THSN syndicator Learfield) and the 62 Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates which, in the Triangle, are Raleigh’s WPTF (AM 680 and FM 98.5) and Chapel Hill’s WCHL (AM 1360 and FM 97.9). Fans at Friday’s game will likely be able to tune in to the broadcast either on WPTF’s AM 680 signal or the 1110 AM signal of Charlotte’s WBT.

Network coverage starts at 5 p.m.

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