Mack Brown has emerged as a front-runner to return to North Carolina as head coach, and the two sides are engaged in talks to try to finalize a deal, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Inside Carolina reported Monday that UNC had reached a deal with Brown, who coached the Tar Heels from 1988 to ’97. But multiple sources told ESPN that as of Monday morning, the deal has not been finalized.

Brown, 67, is 244-122-1 in 30 seasons as a head coach. He is part of the 2018 College Football Hall of Fame class and won the 2005 national championship at Texas.

Brown, who has served as an ESPN college football analyst for the past five years, was 69-46-1 at North Carolina during his first stint and led the Tar Heels to winning seasons in each of his last eight years, including top-10 finishes in the polls his last two seasons in 1996 and 1997.

Brown would replace Larry Fedora, who was fired Sunday after going 45-43 in seven seasons at UNC.

ESPN’s Chris Low and Adam Rittenberg contributed to this report.