Vanderbilt hitting coach assumes head coach position at OSU

Friday, June 8, 2012 at 4:59pm

Josh Holliday is returning home.

After spending the last three years as the hitting coach for Vanderbilt, Holliday is assuming the post his father once held and taking over as the head coach of Oklahoma State’s baseball program.

“Opportunities like this sure are rare,” Holliday said Friday before he was introduced at a press conference in his hometown of Stillwater, Okla. “I’m really lucky and really thankful. I was at a great place before and that makes leaving the special people there pretty tough. But it’s where I’m from and home to me and home to my wife. It’s where I played. So I’ve got a lot of things here that I care about.”

Holliday, 35, becomes the first former OSU player to serve as head coach and takes over for Frank Anderson, who was fired last week after nine seasons. The Cowboys went 32-25 this spring and failed to make the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years. They made the postseason six times under Anderson with the last trip coming in 2011 in a regional at Vanderbilt.

OSU athletic director Mike Holder said Anderson was handcuffed for five years due to scholarship reductions as a result of “miscalculations by the compliance office.”

Anderson replaced Holliday’s father, Tom, who coached at OSU from 1997-2003 before his ouster and is currently the associate head coach at North Carolina State. Josh, whose younger brother, Matt, plays for the St. Louis Cardinals, played at OSU from 1996-99. He helped the Cowboys to the College World Series in 1996 and 1999. He ranks second in school history with 256 games played and had a .311 batting average over four years. In 2003, he was elected to the OSU Baseball Hall of Fame.

He was taken in the ninth round of the 1999 MLB Draft and spent two years in the Toronto Blue Jays organization before returning to OSU as an assistant coach. He served as an assistant at N.C. State, Georgia Tech and Arizona State before arriving at Vanderbilt prior to the 2010 season.

In his first year, the Commodores batted .310 and in 2011 improved to .315, which ranked in the top 10 in the country. This spring, after three position players were taken in the first 10 rounds of the draft, the team batted .267 and utilized small ball to reach a seventh straight NCAA Regional.

“Oklahoma State is very fortunate to have Josh and his family back in Stillwater,” Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said. “The community will experience a very positive and healthy culture because of his presence.”