Josh Holliday Has Done An Outstanding Job

STILLWATER - Josh Holliday hasn't had too many problems since taking over the Oklahoma State Cowboys baseball program. He grew up around the program during its glory years in the '80s and '90s while his dad was first an assistant coach for Gary Ward and then as the head coach. The last time OSU went to the College World Series Tom Holliday was the head coach and Josh was a starter on that team.

Holliday did show one weakness during the regional last weekend and that is he can't seem to talk much about himself. Others, however, are more than willing to talk about the job Holliday has done.

Cal State Fullerton coach Rick Vanderhoof said Josh had rekindled the Oklahoma State "attitude." Now the opposing head coach for this weekend, Hall of Famer in 20-year USC head coach and seven-year Cal-Irvine head coach Mike Gillespie said Holliday has done a good job and most importantly has proven to be a good guy.

"I had met Josh (Holliday) previous to this. It's not like I knew him very well, but I was very familiar with the reputation that he was earning while he was an assistant at Arizona State and then at Vanderbilt," Gillespie said in answering this reporter's inquiry.

"I do know Tim Corbin (Vanderbilt head coach) very well, and when Tim Corbin hired him it really set in that this guy was a really quality guy. The roles he had in both of those jobs, he was one of those guys that the reputation was built quite quickly and quite justifiably. My perception of the brief time that he's had here is the same perception that everybody else has. It's clear to me that he is a really good guy.

"He, and everybody that we've met in the brief time we've been here, has treated us like gold. Because we got here so early yesterday, we hadn't worked out at home," Gillespie said of the his experience since arriving. "I called Josh and asked if we could have access to their facilities. There was no hesitation and they did everything they could to accommodate us.

"He came out and spent time with us while he was scouting us. It's clear that he is a really, really good guy. I am familiar with both of his assistant coaches who also have a great background. They form a No. 1 staff. I certainly wasn't familiar with their personnel when they took over but this is not a shock to me. In my view, they're here to stay."

Holliday is steeped in the tradition of this program and steeped in family, so those things are important. In fact, he said having former Oklahoma State All-American, Major League star and now Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura take time to come watch the Cowboys play in Arizona was a highlight for him this season.

"Robin Ventura, to have a big league manager take time out of what he's doing to text or call," Holliday said adding that Ventura sent a text of congratulations last weekend on the regional win.

"He watched us in Arizona. He was at our Manhattan game and we were down 8-0 and we rallied back to win and I went up to talk to him and he said, "Aw, they're young. You guys will get better.' He's followed us all year and for that guy to do that, he's my hero."

Among his other heroes are his parents, both of them in Tom, his dad and coach, and Kathy, his mom and the backbone of the family.

"Our family, you don't have to talk about it to know what's going on," Holliday added. "I know they're proud. Usually, when they call they want to know how their grandkids are. They are excited to see Brady picking up bats or Olivia up in the stands.

"I'm lucky to have a family that is always with us, whether it is in the season or out of season, whether you are having success or when you are not having success. They are always with you no matter what. I know they are proud and that's enough for me."

Then there is Matt, the St. Louis Cardinal All-Star left fielder who like Josh grew up on Stillwater values, Oklahoma State baseball, and many times competing with each other and against others. His interest, obviously, means a lot to his older brother.

"He's pretty daily," Holliday said of Matt. "He gets bored in those hotel rooms late at night and he is reading and following. I would be surprised if he didn't roll in here in a private jet if they got a game over soon enough just to see this. He's thrilled because you know this is his home too. He's really happy and impressed with what is going on here."

Holliday may not talk about himself, but he will talk about others that talk about him and understand the outstanding job he has done in Stillwater at Oklahoma State.<./p>

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