The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday August 18th

Mike Fox, UNC baseball's head coach for 22 years, announces he is retiring

<p>Sophomore Michael Busch (15) shakes hands with head coach Mike Fox as he runs the bases after a home run against Florida State on March 23, 2018.</p>
Buy Photos

Sophomore Michael Busch (15) shakes hands with head coach Mike Fox as he runs the bases after a home run against Florida State on March 23, 2018.

Mike Fox, the North Carolina baseball team's head coach for the last 22 years, announced Friday that he is retiring. Fox was the winningest active head coach in all of D1 baseball, and the first coach to lead a team to four consecutive college world series. 

"From playing in the College World Series as a Tar Heel senior, to winning a Division III national championship at N.C. Wesleyan, to leading Carolina to Omaha seven times as the Tar Heels' head coach, Mike's impact on college baseball has been legendary," Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement. 

"He has connected generations of players and fans to Carolina baseball, and his commitment to his students in and out of the dugout is highlighted by the scores of players who have returned to Chapel Hill after professional careers to earn their degrees."

Fox will be replaced as head coach by Associate Head Coach Scott Forbes, who has been on UNC's staff for 19 seasons. Forbes will become the 25th head coach in school history, and just the fifth head coach since 1931. 

Fox graduated UNC in 1978, and finishes his coaching career with a 1,487-547-5 record and a winning percentage of .731. He is seventh in all-time wins and 15th in career winning percentage, and led the NCAA in both categories among active coaches in 2020. 

"Serving as the head baseball coach at my alma mater for the past 22 seasons has been one of the greatest blessings of my professional life," Fox said in a statement. "I have been in love with the University of North Carolina since I was a young boy. To see my dream of becoming a Tar Heel student, player and coach is hard for me to even comprehend." 

Fox started his UNC career as a true walk-on in 1974, played in a College World Series in 1978, and became head coach of UNC's team prior to the 1999 season. His teams at UNC went 948-406-1, won three ACC Championships in 2007, 2013 and 2018, and advanced to the College World Series in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2018. Both the 2006 and 2007 teams advanced to the championship round in Omaha. 

Fox retires as the winningest coach in UNC history, and coached seven of the school's 11 College World Series appearances. He played in or coached in all of UNC's 18 College World Series victories. Fox was Baseball America's National Coach of the Year in 2008, ACC Coach of the Year in 2018, and he was selected as the Atlantic Region Coach of the Year three times. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. 

Under his tenure, UNC averaged almost 45 wins per season before the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season, and posted five 50-win teams, along with setting a program-best 59 wins in 2013. His players have been selected for first-team All-ACC 37 times, and for All-American honors 32 times. 

Two of his players, Andrew Miller (2006) and Dustin Ackley (2009), were named National Player of the Year, and Ackley set the all-time record for base hits in College World Series history. Three of his players, Ackley (2006), Colin Moran (2011) and Aaron Sabato (2019) were named National Freshman of the Year. His players have also been selected twice for ACC Player of the Year, four times for ACC Pitcher of the Year and six times for ACC Freshmen of the Year. 

@bg_keyes

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.



Comments

The Daily Tar Heel Victory Paper for March 7, 2022

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive