August 8, 2012
Innings with Josh Holliday
By Phil Stanton
Holliday was hired in June to become head coach at Oklahoma
State, the first alumnus to lead the program. He played for the
Cowboys from 1996-99, helping OSU reach the College World Series
in 1996 and 1999.
Holliday, 35, has been an assistant coach for the
past 11 years at schools such as OSU, NC State, Georgia Tech,
Arizona State and Vanderbilt. He was an assistant for the past
three seasons with the Commodores. He has worked with three
College World Series squads: Georgia Tech in 2006, Arizona State
in 2009 and Vanderbilt in 2011.
His father, Tom, was an assistant at OSU from
1978-96 and head coach from 1997-2003. He is now associate head
coach at NC State. Holliday’s younger brother, Matt, is an
outfielder with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Former Oral Roberts head coach Rob Walton has
joined the staff as pitching coach, while long-time Oregon State
assistant Marty Lees has joined the Cowboys as well.
Holliday recently took time to answer our
First Inning – How does it feel to be a head coach at the age
of 35? Is your youth an advantage in some ways?
I haven't really thought about my age. We really haven't had
time to think since we got hired. Our entire staff has been
working to catch up and prepare for the upcoming year. My youth
has certainly benefited in terms of energy. It takes a lot of
hours and energy to build a program that meets our vision.
Everyone here is driven by the idea of reaching our goals.
Inning – Describe the feeling of becoming head coach at your
There is no way to describe what this feels like. It's kind
of like finding a prize possession that you lost for a while and
now that you have it back, the whole world feels right again.
That is about the best way I can describe it, to be able to wear
these colors and share the love of our school and program with
others is such an amazing deal. Our entire staff feels the same
way. It's that feeling that drives you each day to protect and
build this program.
Third Inning – What do you remember most from your playing
days with the Cowboys?
I remember the people, the teammates, the relationships, the
moments, the friendships. The life lessons I took with me have
been the foundation for my beliefs in baseball and life. The
past 10 years have given me a chance to go learn from other
wonderful coaches, players, and universities so that we can
bring back something new to what has been great in the past.
Fourth Inning – How familiar are you with the current teams
in the Big 12?
I'm somewhat familiar with the current teams, but our staff
will certainly become more educated on the other teams as we
progress towards that point in the year. We have tremendous
respect for the other programs. There are some big-time coaches
and players in this league, so it will be a challenge. Before we
worry about the other teams, we have to take care of our own
house. That will be the biggest and most important challenge of
Fifth Inning – How valuable is it to have an experienced
staff with you at OSU?
Our staff is tremendous. We are lucky to have quality men,
men of character, guys who have served the game for years who
really care about kids and believe in development in phases. I
could not have gotten better people to lead our kids. Rob and
Marty are both fantastic teachers of the game and will serve as
great role models and mentors. We have a total of 12 trips to
Omaha on our coaching staff. That experience, along with the
unique personal qualities that each guy possesses, is of
tremendous value to our program.
Inning – How influential has your father been in your career?
My dad has been very influential on my entire life, my mom
as well. My parents showed my brother and I what it means to
raise a family, to invest in the development of others, and what
it means to be loyal to a school. I could not ask for a better
upbringing or education as a young man than the one I received
from my parents. I hope to raise a family and offer my children
the same lifestyle my parents offered us. If we do, life will be
a success because my parents put Matt and I both in position to
chase our dreams and live our lives to the fullest.
Seventh Inning – What did you learn most from Tim Corbin the
past three years at Vanderbilt?
Tim Corbin is a special person. He's more than a coach; he's
a mentor, a friend, a source of wisdom and ideas to motivate and
maximize the modern student-athlete. I can't even begin to list
the things I learned at Vanderbilt, Corbs and the entire staff
at Vanderbilt are like family to us. I will always be grateful
for three amazing years in Nashville. Those are without question
some of the greatest moments and friends that we have
experienced in life.
Eighth Inning – What was it like being a part of Vanderbilt's
first trip to the College World Series?
That group of kids that took us to Omaha at Vanderbilt are
everything that college baseball is about. They were totally
united, they loved each other, they were exceptional on and off
the field. They gave us as coaches a chance to see what it is
like to have everything come together. They won everything that
year except a National Championship. They were so special, and
to see Vanderbilt go to Omaha and be a member of that was so
Ninth Inning - How different was your
experience at the College World Series as an assistant coach vs.
as a player?
Omaha is Omaha. To be there and have a chance to
compete with the best for a National Championship is what drives
this journey-both as a player and a coach. Now it's time to go
to work and go win one! Go COWBOYS!
(photo courtesy of OSU Media Relations Office)