"Chad has been an instrumental part of our program as both a coach and a player over the last 19 seasons, and we wish him nothing but the best," said North Carolina head coach Mike Fox. "His dedication to Carolina baseball and this University has been unrivaled, and he has worked tirelessly to help build our program to where it is today. Chad was a tremendous help to me with my transition to Division I coaching when I returned to Chapel Hill, and it has been my pleasure to work with him over the last 10 seasons."
"I would like to thank Coach Fox, Coach Forbes, Coach McCay and the rest of the staff at North Carolina for all they have done for me during my time at UNC," said Holbrook. "I will miss coaching every single player on that team. I am very appreciative and thankful for the opportunity to coach them, and it was an honor to share the same dugout.
"This was such a difficult decision because of the generosity and support that Jennifer and I have received from the Carolina Family through some tough times with our son, Reece. While we move on to other professional opportunities, our hearts and souls will always be in Chapel Hill, and we'll forever be Tar Heels.
"This was both a professional and a family decision. Jennifer and I are excited about being able to give our sons, Reece and Cooper, more time to spend with family and grandparents that they have not had in the past. With Reece's situation that was important to us."
The Holbrook's six-year-old son, Reece, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2004. He is currently in remission, and the four editions of the Reece Holbrook Golf Classic have raised nearly $675,000 to fight pediatric cancer.
In addition to his duties as recruiting coordinator, Holbrook worked closely with the Tar Heels' outfielders and hitters. Under his direction, UNC hit .324 as a team in 2008 and has posted five of the top nine hitting seasons in school history - including four of the top five - since 2000.
In Holbrook's 15 seasons on the UNC coaching staff, the Tar Heels made 11 NCAA Tournament appearances and three trips to the College World Series. The 2007 team captured Carolina's first ACC title since Holbrook's freshman season of 1990.
Holbrook and the Tar Heels have enjoyed great success on the recruiting trail over the last few seasons, landing the nation's No. 1 class in 2004, the No. 11 class in 2005, the No. 6 class in 2007 and the No. 4 class last season. These classes have been the backbone of the Carolina's back-to-back-to-back College World Series clubs and have led UNC to a combined 165 wins over the last three seasons, which leads the nation.
Since 1999, Holbrook has helped to recruit and coach six first-round draft picks, including current major leaguers Andrew Miller and Brian Roberts. Carolina had six players selected in each of the last two Major League Baseball Drafts for its most selections since 2000. Additionally, 19 Tar Heels earned All-America honors during Holbrook's 15 seasons as a coach at UNC.
Holbrook's name appears often in the Carolina record book, as he ranks among Carolina's career leaders in hits, runs, games, at-bats and stolen bases. His 14 triples ranked No. 1 in school history until outfielder Adam Greenberg broke the mark in 2002. As Carolina's leadoff hitter, Holbrook set the single-season record for stolen bases with 40 in 1993, a record broken by current Baltimore Oriole all-star Brian Roberts in 1997. He was a second-team All-ACC selection who hit .353 as a senior.
"We are in the process of evaluating potential coaching candidates," Fox said. "I have no timetable for the hire as we search to find the best possible coach for the University of North Carolina. My top priority is finding someone who is the best fit with our staff and players."
Fox, the 2008 Baseball America National Coach of the Year, has guided the Tar Heels to three straight trips to the College World Series and an NCAA-best 165 wins since 2006. Carolina's 2009 team will be led by ACC Pitcher of the Year Alex White and two-time All-America Dustin Ackley, who owns the top career batting average in school history at .409.