OSU baseball: With new coach Josh Holliday in place, it's time for supporters to walk the walk

The old guard got what it wanted in new coach Josh Holliday, the son of former OSU coach Tom Holliday. But to compete with the top college baseball programs, you've got to compete with the pocketbook, too.
by John Helsley Published: June 10, 2012
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Oklahoma State's baseball old guard got what it wanted Friday: one of their own to coach the Cowboys.

And by all accounts, Josh Holliday glows as a good hire. Elite recruiter. Committed worker. Bleeds orange, to the point that he couldn't wait to get back to OSU, even after he and his dad were discarded in 2003.

Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin went so far as to call Holliday “the best of the very best.”

Even those of us in the hard-sell media were a bit wowed by the time Holliday's impassioned and emotional news conference had concluded a series of from-the-heart and from-the-hip responses. As far as hiring announcements go — and they typically go quite blandly — Holliday delivered.

So, OSU's coaching situation is settled.

Now, one item remains.

You in the old guard, that group claiming to be “influential supporters” of the program, it's time to walk the walk.

Complaining about wins and losses via the armchair isn't influential enough. Show up at the ballpark with or without a formal invite (the coach will be a bit busy to concern himself with social calendars). Dig into the wallet like you've never done before, literally.

For all the grumbling about OSU baseball's recent struggles — and Frank Anderson leaves as the program's second-winningest coach all-time — those so-called family and friends to the program have regularly failed when it comes to financial support.

And it wasn't just an Anderson thing. Even when Josh's dad, the popular Tom Holliday, was in charge, the lack of real backing was embarrassing.

In case you somehow haven't heard, Allie P. Reynolds Stadium and the program's operating budget for recruiting, etc., aren't in line with the program you envision.

To compete with Texas and Baylor and now TCU, you've got to compete with the pocketbook, too. You've already spoken that fourth-place finishes aren't good enough.


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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Unified front?

While OSU folks were mostly unified on their desire for a Cowboy to come back as baseball coach, yet within the family there were factions who felt strong allegiances to different candidates with school ties.

A review of the options:

Josh Holliday: OSU decision makers felt like they had two outstanding final candidates, with Holliday obviously one of them. He lacks head coaching experience, yet has lived his entire life around the game and some of its top minds, can clearly recruit and loves the university. Hard to argue with the choice.

Rob Walton: The other finalist, Walton, to some, offered more of a known commodity because of his outstanding work and sustained success at Oral Roberts. Walton knows the area, has managed a ball club and a budget and a staff and shares a love for the university as a former player.

Rocky (and Gary) Ward: Rocky, Gary's son, wanted the job in a bad way. And he would have brought the man who built the Cowboys' '80s and '90s empire with him, as Gary has been on Rocky's staff at New Mexico State, where they've constructed a winner out of nothing. They definitely would have brought offense.

Robbie Wine: A former Cowboys player and assistant, Wine has worked hard to move Penn State up the pecking order in the Big Ten. It hasn't been easy at a school with little baseball tradition, but there's been progress.

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