Now in his 18th season as head coach at the University of North Carolina, Mike Fox has guided his alma mater to the most successful period in school history and firmly established the Tar Heels as one of the nation's preeminent college baseball programs. Capped by six trips to the College World Series in the last 10 years, Carolina has made 15 appearances in the NCAA tournament and posted a 763-325-1 record in Fox's 17 seasons in Chapel Hill.
Fox, who ranks among the game's all-time leaders in career winning percentage and career wins, has been recognized by several outlets as one of the nation's top coaches in recent years. Baseball America honored Fox as its national coach of the year in 2008, and Fox's peers - the American Baseball Coaches Association - selected him as the Atlantic Region Coach of the Year three times.
Fox's leadership and vision were instrumental in the construction of the $25.6-million Boshamer Stadium, which opened in 2009 to rave reviews as one of the finest collegiate baseball facilities in the nation. The stadium has been consistently upgraded over the last several years with concourse improvements and the installation of a new video scorebard.
Associate Head Coach/Pitching Coach
Collegiate Baseball newspaper's 2008 National College Pitching Coach of the Year, Scott Forbes is in his 11th season mentoring North Carolina's pitching staff and his seventh as the Tar Heels' associate head coach.
Forbes, who has totaled a record of 795-338 in 18 seasons as an assistant coach, has been an instrumental part of the Tar Heels' run to the College World Series in six of the last 10 seasons.
Under his guidance, the Carolina pitching staff has ranked among nation's top 50 in earned run average in eight of the last nine seasons, including the fourth-lowest ERA in the nation in 2012.
Former standout first baseman Jesse Wierzbicki returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach in August. Wierzbicki was a two-year letterwinner at Carolina following two successful seasons at Walters State. In his senior season at UNC, Wierzbicki helped lead the Tar Heels to the 2011 College World Series. After three seasons in the Houston Astros system, he returned to Chapel Hill to serve as an undergraduate assistant for the 2015 campaign. Upon receiving his bachelor's degree, Wierzbicki spent the 2016 season as an assistant at Elon.
"Jesse was a tremendous player for us in 2010 and 2011, helping lead us to Omaha as a senior," Fox said. He was known for his toughness and relentless winning attitude as a player, and he brought that same attitude as an undergraduate assistant coach in 2015. I could see then that Jesse had a passion for coaching and our players responded to him immediately. He will be a great addition to our staff and our current players are all excited about him returning to Chapel Hill."
"It's a honor and blessing to be back in Chapel Hill working with the Carolina baseball program," Wierzbicki said. "To receive an opportunity to coach at my alma mater is a very proud moment. I'm very appreciative of Coach Fox and the rest of the coaching staff for bringing me on board. I'm looking forward to the beginning of the school year and meeting the team."
UNC career wins leader Robert Woodard returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach in August. The all-time winningest pitcher in program history, Woodard posted a career record of 34-5 over four seasons as a Tar Heel. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Woodard was a three-time All-ACC performer and the 2006-07 recipient of the Patterson Medal, Carolina's highest athletic honor. Following his professional playing career in the San Diego Padres system, Woodard spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons as an assistant at UNC before serving as the pitching coach at UNCW in 2013 and at Virginia Tech from 2014-16.
"No player in my tenure at North Carolina has had more of an impact on the program than Robert Woodard," Fox said. "His career numbers speak for themselves. Finishing his time here as the winningest pitcher in the history of Carolina baseball and never losing a home game are simply incredible accomplishments. But more importantly, Woody elevated our program with a sense of urgency and total belief. He not only pitched but, along with a core of outstanding teammates, helped will our team to Omaha in both 2006 and 2007. He then helped us do the same thing in 2011 when he was on our staff. I am so excited to have him back in our program once again and look forward to working with him."
"To say today is a special day for my family and me would be an understatement," Woodard said. "As far back as I can remember, I've been passionate about the University of North Carolina, its programs, its tradition and the amazing people I have met who make this university so great. It is hard to put into words what it means for me to rejoin this coaching staff with Coach Fox and Coach Forbes, two of my closest friends and mentors for almost twenty years. I am thankful for the support of former players, teammates, fellow coaches and mentors, friends and family both in and outside of baseball. This opportunity would not be possible without you all. I'm excited to meet the team and get going toward the goals we all have as Tar Heels!"
Director of Baseball Operations
Dave Arendas, a former All-ACC second baseman at North Carolina, is in his 11th season as director of baseball operations with the Diamond Heels. He is the program's first full-time employee in this position.
Arendas, who has been a key member of the UNC staff during its recent College World Series trips, handles a variety of administrative duties, including team travel, equipment purchasing, game day organization, special events coordination and community outreach. He is also heavily involved with Carolina's Old Leaguers and played a key role with the Boshamer Stadium renovation project.
Arendas, who graduated from UNC in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics, was a four-year letterwinner from 1987-90. He helped lead the Tar Heels to the 1989 College World Series and the 1990 ACC title. Arendas was a second-team All-ACC choice in 1990 and ranks among the top 10 on Carolina's career lists for at-bats, runs, stolen bases and walks.