Game is first of two meetings between regional rivals this season
K-State hands OSU 3-2 loss
Fish and Saxon provide RBIs in eighth inning of comeback win
Rea homers twice, Hursh gets fourth win of season
Three-game series opens Friday at 7 p.m.
Josh Holliday returned home to take over the Oklahoma State baseball program when he was named the 15th head coach in program history on June 8, 2012.
The 35-year old Oklahoma State alumnus and native of Stillwater served the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt and established himself as one of the nation's top assistant coaches over the last decade.
"I'm very honored and very humbled to be given an opportunity to come back to OSU and return to a place that has meant so much to me and my family over the past 30-plus years," Holliday said. "I'm excited about the unique opportunity to build a future with a program that celebrates and recognizes its proud history, embraces the current players and works towards a future that everyone will be proud of and unite behind.
"Our goal is going to be to approach every day with a tremendous amount of pride and discipline in becoming the best we can be in every facet of our lives, as coaches, as players and anyone involved with our kids. We're going to work to win each day, and over the course of time we're going to work to win a national championship. We're going to do that together and do it in a way that enhances our players' lives academically, socially and athletically. I hope that plan of attack and approach is going to train our players with an approach that will stay with them the rest of their lives."
Holliday is the first former OSU player to serve as the program's head coach. A four-year letterwinner for the Cowboys from 1996-99, Holliday was a starter on Cowboy teams that made four NCAA Tournament appearances and reached the College World Series in 1996 and 1999.
For the last 11 years, Holliday served as an assistant coach at some of the nation's top baseball programs. He started his coaching career at OSU before serving on the staffs at North Carolina State, Georgia Tech, Arizona State and Vanderbilt. He coached on seven NCAA Tournament teams and three of those advanced to the College World Series (Georgia Tech in 2006, Arizona State in 2009 and Vanderbilt in 2011).
"We are obviously very excited to welcome Josh back home to Stillwater and Oklahoma State," OSU Vice President for Athletic Programs Mike Holder said. "He has seen Cowboy Baseball from just about every angle possible. He grew up at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium and was a terrific student-athlete at Stillwater High School. At OSU, he was an all-conference player and an Academic All-American and is a former staff member. He will bring the enthusiasm, energy, and a competitive fire that comes with being 35 years of age.
"He has built a strong national reputation over the years, and I expect him to be on the job as soon as the press conference is completed."
A four-year letterwinner who played in 256 games, which ranks second all time at OSU, Holliday compiled a career .311 batting average to go along with 53 home runs, 62 doubles and 237 RBIs. He was inducted into the OSU Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003.
Holliday's name is prominent throughout the OSU record book. He is OSU's all-time leader in base on balls with 225 and also ranks in the top five on the Cowboys' career lists in games, at bats, runs, hits, doubles, total bases, RBIs and hit by pitches. He also ranks seventh all-time in homers.
Holliday was a three-time All-Big 12 performer, earning first-team honors in 1998 (at catcher) and 1999 (at third base). He was a second-team selection as a utility player in 1997 and was named the Big Eight Conference Freshman of the Year and a Freshman All-American in 1996.
Also a standout in the classroom at OSU, Holliday was a first-team academic all-conference honoree in each of his four seasons, earning that distinction in both the Big Eight (1996) and Big 12 (1997-99) Conferences. He was named an Academic All-American and the OSU Male Student-Athlete of the Year in 1999.
Holliday was selected in the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft by Toronto in the ninth round and spent two years in the Blue Jays organization. Following his professional baseball career, Holliday returned to Stillwater and joined the OSU coaching staff, where he served as an assistant for three seasons. He was a student assistant in 2001 before joining the full-time staff the following year.
In 2004, Holliday joined the coaching staff at North Carolina State and helped that team reach an NCAA Regional.
Following that stint, he moved to Georgia Tech and in his first season was part of the Yellow Jackets' ACC regular season and tournament championships. During that 2005 season, Georgia Tech ranked in the top five nationally in batting average and runs per game. The following year, the Yellow Jackets reached the College World Series.
In 2008, Holliday was on the staff at Arizona State and helped bring in the top recruiting class in the nation, which helped the Sun Devils reach the 2009 College World Series.
Following two years in Tempe, Holliday joined Tim Corbin's staff at Vanderbilt and in three seasons as an assistant and the program's recruiting coordinator, Holliday was a part of three NCAA Tournament teams, including the Commodores' 2011 College World Series team.
Holliday once again proved his skill as a recruiter at Vandy as he landed the 12th-ranked incoming class in his first season and signed the top-ranked class in 2011 by bringing in 13 new players.
A prep standout on both the baseball diamond and gridiron at Stillwater High School, Holliday was drafted in the 14th round of the 1995 Major League Baseball Draft by Minnesota. He was the USA Today Gatorade Player of the Year in Oklahoma and a Mizuno/Collegiate Baseball High School All-American. He was also co-valedictorian of his graduating class.
Holliday is the son of Tom Holliday, who served as OSU's assistant coach from 1978-1996, and was the program's head coach from 1997-2003, and is now the associate head coach at North Carolina State. Holliday's younger brother, Matt, is an All-Star outfielder with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Holliday is married to the former Jenny Moore, and the couple has two children, Olivia and Brady.
Josh Holliday File
1996-99: Played at Oklahoma State
1999-00: Played in Toronto Blue Jays organization
2001-03: Oklahoma State assistant coach
2004: North Carolina State assistant coach
2005-07: Georgia Tech assistant coach
2008-09: Arizona State assistant coach
2010-12: Vanderbilt assistant coach
What They're Saying About Oklahoma State Head Coach Josh Holliday
Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin
"He's the best of the very best. He has rare qualities, is very smart but humble and is a tremendous teacher. He is in coaching for the right reasons. I love he, his wife and his kids. They are a perfect college baseball family. Oklahoma State is very fortunate to have Josh and his family back in Stillwater. The community will experience a very positive and healthy culture because of his presence. Personally, we will miss he, Jenny, Liv and Brady greatly."
Georgia Tech Head Coach Danny Hall
"Oklahoma State could not have made a better choice than Josh Holliday. He will be a superstar as a head coach. Josh was an assistant on my staff at Georgia Tech and did a tremendous job. He comes from a great baseball family, and the Cowboys are getting an outstanding young coach."
North Carolina State Head Coach Elliott Avent
"Josh is a tremendous coach, and I'm so happy y'all brought him back to Oklahoma State. That's a great, smart move. Baseball and people are his passion, and you couldn't have anybody with more pride in Oklahoma State than Josh Holliday. His work ethic is as good as anybody in the country, and he does things the right way. (OSU) recruiting will take off. OSU will have a coach in place and be very successful for a long, long time. The Holliday family is such a big part of that city. I know Josh loves Stillwater -- it's his home, was always his home."