Seventeen years can be a long time between trips to the College World Series in Omaha, especially when it is Oklahoma State, a school that in the 1980s and '90s virtually had a permanent reservation for Omaha in June. Time to delight the crowds at Rosenblatt Stadium and enjoy the tailgating outside the venerable and massive minor league ballpark.
It was always a time to renew rivalries with fellow baseball powers like Texas, Miami, Wichita State, and Arizona State. The games were classic and the names of Incaviglia and Ventura became part of Omaha lore.
A lot has changed since the Cowboys were heading north to Omaha for a College World Series. The event is now played in downtown Omaha at T.D. Ameritrade Park. The teams, at least this year, will be somewhat different with the likes of UC Santa Barbara, Coastal Carolina, and fellow Big 12 comrades TCU and Texas Tech all heading to the largest city in Nebraska.
One thing has not changed, the last name of the head coach leading the Pokes to the CWS. It was Tom Holliday the last time in 1999 as the long-time assistant to Gary Ward kept the program going for a stint into the Big 12 where it was tougher competition and more difficult to get on the road to Omaha.
Now as the Cowboys return the head coach is again named Holliday – Josh Holliday, Tom's son and a Cowboy hero as a player. He is doing it with another familiar name – Walton. Rob Walton is the Cowboys pitching coach and maybe the very best teacher of pitchers in the collegiate ranks. But there is another Walton, shortstop Donnie, who came back to OSU for his senior season to help Josh and his "Pops" make this progress and return to a College World Series.
It is no surprise as the Cowboys returned Monday night to a crowd of adoring fans in Stillwater. Josh Holliday is pointing all the credit to his players, his staff, the support crew, and even the fans. Holliday is not an attention taker, but a credit spreader. He explained his feelings to Robert Allen on Triple Play Sports Radio on Monday.