South Carolina AD begins search to replace baseball coach

Holbrook had been at SC since the 2009 season, serving as recruiting coordinator and associate head coach for four seasons before taking over as head coach after the 2012 season.Holbrook resigned following a meeting this week with SC athletics director (and former Gamecock baseball coach) Ray Tanner, who hired him as an assistant coach and hand-picked him as his successor following the 2012 season.Holbrook twice reached the NCAA Tournament’s super regional round, losing at North Carolina in 2013 and a year ago, falling to Oklahoma State at home.”I want to thank our fans, players, coaching staff and everyone that touched Carolina baseball”, Holbrook said in a statement.And yet, in meeting with reporters the day after being left out of the NCAA Tournament, Holbrook hardly sounded ready to quit.Wednesday, Tanner steadfastly declined to divulge whether Holbrook had changed his mind, refused an option to stay, or was forced out. “If those are the numbers in baseball that we’re dealing with based on experience and their resume, then I can tell you that’s a possibility”.But Tanner was effusive in his praise for Holbrook, a USC assistant for four years before taking the head coaching job. “I’m very grateful for that”.Tanner said he received messages from a few other athletic directors expressing empathy and counseling him to keep his head up. Pitching coach Jerry Meyers and assistant Sammy Esposito will keep the program running and give nervous recruits friendly faces to speak with as Tanner looks for a head coach.The Gamecocks finished 35-25, losing their final eight series in the Southeastern Conference. He bore the brunt of criticism from fans unhappy with the direction of a program that had once made the NCAAs for 15 consecutive seasons.”I haven’t lost the connections that I’ve had over the years, and being a part of the NCAA selection committee has enhanced that in a lot of ways”, Tanner said.”Certainly the last few hours have been hard”.”This would be hard under any circumstances when you have a colleague, a coach in any sport who’s no longer with you”, Tanner said.Tanner believes Holbrook won’t be on the sidelines for long. Tanner brought Holbrook from North Carolina as his lead assistant and the two have become not only colleagues, but friends – making the situation tough on both men. “So I wouldn’t be surprised if he had some opportunities in the near future”.