Oklahoma State baseball: Coach of the Year Josh Holliday pulls the right strings in delivering Big 12 title

Cowboys coach Josh Holliday regularly made the most of his lineups, too, getting contributions from those 14 and more in a delicate balance of roster management that became OSU’s strength in a run to the program’s first regular season conference title since 1996 and its first during the Big 12 era.
by John Helsley Published: May 19, 2014

Down the stretch in the Big 12, Oklahoma State’s projected weekend lineups routinely listed as many as 14 possible position players.

And that was just for the starting spots.

Cowboys coach Josh Holliday regularly made the most of his lineups, too, getting contributions from those 14 and more in a delicate balance of roster management that became OSU’s strength in a run to the program’s first regular season conference title since 1996 and its first during the Big 12 era.

Holliday, delivering the championship in just his second season as Cowboys coach, is The Oklahoman’s Big 12 Coach of the Year.

“He’s done a fantastic job,” said Cowboys outfielder Zach Fish. “He’s used guys in perfect situations, to where he knows they’re going to be able to do something to help the ball club. He always says if you work hard and you train hard, when you meet an opportunity, you’re going to be able to succeed.

“And you’re seeing that. We’re getting a lot of guys into ball games in different roles — guys coming off the bench and playing good defense, getting timely bunts and hits, young guys logging big-time innings …

“Everybody has a role. And the big thing for us, everybody’s embraced those roles. Coach Holliday has done a good job of putting everyone in positions to succeed.”

And succeed they have, reeling off seven straight league series wins to stand 41-14 overall entering Wednesday’s opening of the Big 12 Tournament at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Cowboys reliever Vince Wheeland, The Oklahoman’s Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, played a hefty role in OSU’s success, going 8-0 with a team-best 1.32 earned run average. Seven of his wins came in conference play.

TCU outfielder Boomer White is the Player of the Year, after sparking a once-scuffling Horned Frogs’ offense through April and May. Oklahoma third baseman Sheldon Neuse is the Freshman of the Year, after batting .290 as an everyday player for the Sooners.

Holliday played and served as an assistant coach at OSU, before a resume-building detour brought him back to Stillwater for his first head coaching gig last season. His first team went 41-19 and finished second in the Big 12 standings.

Now the Cowboys are the champs.

And collectively, truly, although directed by Holliday.

“He thinks your strength is in the depth of the team. And it really is,” said Cowboys senior Saulyer Saxon. “That’s something we have.

“This is the best team I’ve ever been on, in terms of chemistry and the quality of guys. Everybody’s buying in. Nobody’s selfish. Nobody’s pouting when they’re not getting their opportunities. Everybody’s happy. And it’s going pretty well for us right now.”


by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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