Fox Named National Coach Of The Year

DURHAM, N.C. ---­ North Carolina head coach Mike Fox, who guided the Tar Heels to a third straight trip to the College World Series in 2008, was named national coach of the year Monday by Baseball America.

A two-time ABCA Atlantic Region Coach of the Year, Fox is the first UNC baseball coach to claim national coaching honors and the first Atlantic Coast Conference skipper to be honored by Baseball America.

Fox's club posted a 54-14 record this year for its third straight 50-win season. The Tar Heels hosted and captured NCAA regional and super regional titles at Cary's USA Baseball National Training Complex and then went 3-2 in Omaha to earn a third-place finish. UNC has posted top-three national finishes in each of the last three seasons.

With its home field under construction, Carolina played all 36 home games and practiced at the Cary facility, logging a 30-6 record. Fox's club will begin play in 2009 in the state-of-the-art Bryson Field at Boshamer Stadium, which is in the midst of a multi-million dollar renovation.

UNC also went 22-7 in ACC play and did not lose an ACC weekend series for the first time since the league went to its three-game weekend series schedule in 1990. Carolina was ranked in the nation's top five for the entire 2008 season and earned the first consensus No. 1 ranking in program history following a series victory at then-No. 1 Miami to close the regular season.

Fox also guided sophomores Dustin Ackley, Tim Fedroff, Kyle Seager and Alex White to All-America honors, giving the Tar Heels four All-America selections for the first time in school history. White was also named ACC Pitcher of the Year, as he headlined a UNC pitching staff that statistically ranked as the nation's best.

Fox, who owns a 451-190-1 record in 10 seasons in Chapel Hill, has led Carolina to unprecedented success in the last three seasons. The Tar Heels have posted the top three victory totals in school history (54, 57 and 54) and lead the country with 165 wins from 2006-08.

UNC has hosted an NCAA regional in each of the last three years and joined Florida State as the only ACC clubs to make three straight trips to the CWS while a member of the league.

The Tar Heels have won 11 games at the College World Series over the last three years, and Fox, who is one of just six men to play in Omaha and then coach his alma mater back to the CWS, has been a part of all 13 UNC victories at Rosenblatt Stadium. He was a member of the Tar Heels' 1978 CWS club.

Fox, who has coached for 25 years at Carolina and North Carolina Wesleyan, owns a 982-331-5 career record and needs just eight wins to reach the 1,000-victory plateau. He has guided the Tar Heels to seven consecutive 40-win seasons and seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances.

In addition to Fox's honor, freshman right-hander Matt Harvey was named to Baseball America's Freshman All-America second team. The Mystic, Conn., native went 7-2 with a 2.79 ERA and 80 strikeouts as a rookie.

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