Q&A with Scott Jackson, Part II

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Head baseball coach Mike Fox announced last week the hiring of Scott Jackson to his Tar Heel staff. Check out the second installment of Inside Carolina's exclusive interview with the new assistant coach and recruiting coordinator ...

What are the differences in recruiting in your other coaching positions and now at UNC?

"Obviously, first and foremost, we want to get the best kids in North Carolina and that is one of the things that's a little bit different from Liberty. Not a whole lot different from when I was at Wilmington, because our roster at UNC-W was 90-95 percent in-state players. So I am very familiar with the state of North Carolina.

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"Now when you go out and can land especially some big-time arms from out of state and guys that are high profile players that we want to get on campus and keep them on campus for three years, that is a different ball game. Obviously when you are at an institution like this with a lot of success -- three trips to Omaha and playing for the national championship for two years -- you can go into those kids' homes and discuss not only the University of North Carolina but some of the players like Andrew Miller and some of the other arms that came through there. There is a history that you are able to show those kids -- that we are going to be able to make them better and they are going to make it to the big leagues. The end of the road is going to be the same but we want it to go thorough Chapel Hill and for them to enjoy their experience here.

"It is going to be a great thing for me to be able to get out there and be able to relate to the kids and show them that this is the best place in the country because I truly believe that and want to get them on campus to show them that."

How do you and the baseball staff handle the contingency planning for recruiting and filling the roster with the impact of the MLB Draft?

"Sure we do. You kind of select guys and build your recruiting class knowing that there is a possibility that there are some kids that may not get here on campus. How do we know what the chances of them getting here on campus are? You have got to do your homework. You have to talk to other people that are around them a lot more than we are and know them better, that know what is important to them. If a kid has academics at the forefront and he has done pretty well in the classroom and it is important to him and his family, obviously that is a great place to start.

"Other factors go into the decision or the whole process. Financially that is one aspect you have to look at, whether it be a kid's family or how important that is to him. Is there life changing money -- is that extremely important and is it something that a player can not pass up? There are a lot of factors. That is where you start and glean through the process of building that recruiting class if you have a general idea of what you think will happen.

"It is not an exact science and you don't know how a kid is going to approach it once the draft gets there. You have to trust who you are talking to and you have to trust Coach Fox and Coach Forbes. They have done this for a while and they have a feel for exactly some of the elements that they have used to go in and bring guys like Andrew Miller and Matt Harvey onto campus. That is going to be important that we continue to do that."

How important in recruiting pitching prospects is the way that Coach Fox and Coach Forbes have utilized their pitchers?

"I think that is one of the best parts of our job. You are able to bring a player here for three or four years and you are able to help them in so many ways and watch them mature. The injury factor is so prevalent right now -- especially with the Tommy John type injuries. That is the biggest thing that I have noticed from the outside looking into this program, how well they take care of the arms in this program. That is because they build depth in this program. That is the only way you can take care of arms in that way: recruit and do things the right way and build depth in here so you have a chance to go to your bullpen and no one has to be overextended during the season."

Now that you have had a chance to get started at UNC and take a look at the rebuilding of Boshamer Stadium, what has that been like?

"I have said this a thousand times since I have got the job, but this is a dream come true for me to be recruiting student-athletes to the best place in the country. I was taking a campus tour with some recruits over the past few days and we keep going through the stadium -- it keeps getting better and better every time I do it. I have a feeling that it will keep going that way. Walking by the stadium and just being around Coach Fox on a daily basis has been something that is awesome. I think that is probably the most important thing, having a passion for this place, and I think I have that and it is only going to get deeper and deeper for me as I continue to get here and be here on a daily basis and continue to explore everything that this University is about."

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