ASHEBORO – The Asheboro Zookeepers are excited to announce the hiring of former UNC player Korey Dunbar as manager and N.C. State grad assistant Josh Pike as pitching coach for the upcoming 2023 Coastal Plain League season.
UNC and N.C. State have been one of the top rivalries in all the South. Now, two coaches with ties to each of these Atlantic Coast Conference rivals will band together to lead the ZooKeepers. Both are considered by many head coaches across the country as being outstanding young mentors with very bright futures.
Dunbar played for UNC from 2012-15, which included a trip to the College World Series in 2013 and he was nominated for the Johnny Bench Award, the honor given to the nation’s top catcher.
“I am extremely grateful and excited for the opportunity to lead the Asheboro ZooKeepers for the 2023 season,” said Dunbar, who spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach at Barton College where he was the head developmental coach, the recruiting coordinator and camp director. “I can’t wait to make an impact on the incoming talented players, the Asheboro community, and the entire ZooKeepers fan base. I am also very excited to work alongside Melissa Godwin and the entire front office to create something special here in Asheboro.”
Dunbar, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 39th round out of
high school and again by the Marlins in the 20th round after his playing days at UNC, was a member of the CPL’s Wilson Tobs in 2013 and played in the Cape Cod League in 2014. While at UNC, Dunbar was a Carolina Leadership Academy member, a CREED mentor and he was a Rising Stars Leadership Program participant.
Josh Pike is considered one of the brightest young pitching coaches in the country. Pike spent one season with the Wolfpack as a player but, because of an injury, transitioned into coaching. He’s been very impressive.
“I have been very fortunate to work alongside Josh Pike for the last three years at N.C. State,” said Wolfpack pitching coach Clint Chrysler. “Josh has an incredible mind for pitching and for the teaching of young men. He develops relationships based on trust and understands the importance of organization, work ethic and attention to detail. The ZooKeeper pitchers are very fortunate to have Josh as their pitching coach this summer.”
Pike, who is set to graduate in May and leave his position at N.C. State, had a tremendous prep career at Northern Guilford, finishing 5-0 with a 0.97 ERA in helping to lead the Knighthawks to the state 3-A championship. He struck out 46 and walked 10 in 36 innings of work.
He was the USA Collegiate National Team bullpen coach in 2022 after a year of being the team’s pitching technician. Pike, who went to the College World Series with the Wolfpack in 2021, is well-versed in analytics.
“Having the opportunity to coach in the CPL is something I will not take for granted,” Pike said. “I can’t thank the ownership and management enough for their support and passion for the game of baseball. This summer, we are going
to create an exciting baseball environment that breeds from a competitive culture while being conducive to player development. I’m more than excited to get the ball rolling and win as a ZooKeeper.”
In closing, co-owner Doug Pugh stated, “We are super excited to have Korey and Josh to lead our team in 2023. They are both great additions to our organization and no doubt will add lots of excitement to the product on the field. Can’t wait to get started!!!
Stay tuned to the Zookeepers!!!