The Chad Holbrook era of Gamecocks baseball has come to an end.
Celebrating downfalls is something that I personally loathe, so don’t expect that here. If you want to celebrate this, go right ahead…but I will not.
Coach Holbrook has been with the South Carolina baseball program for 9-years and was a very important part of both of the Gamecocks’ national title runs. Holbrook finished his tenure as head coach with a record of 200-106 with an SEC record of 81-67.
The expectations that Holbrook inherited were incredibly high, but he knew that when taking the job. After all, he was in the dugout watching Ray Tanner set that level of expectation for a few years before taking over for the legendary coach.
Some have said that Gamecocks’ fans are just too critical, some even say that our expectations are impossible and that we think that winning championships is a birthright. Well, as many have stated online today, winning titles isn’t…but playing postseason baseball should be.
The Gamecocks baseball program is one of those powerhouse type programs. Maybe not the Alabama of baseball per say, but pretty darn close.
The proof is in the reasons why Holbrook’s tenure was underwhelming.
Losing a home regional for the first time since 1976, losing a home Super Regional for the first time in Founder’s Park, never making it to Omaha and missing the tournament completely for two out of the last three years is inexcusable in Columbia.
To a lot of programs, this would be looked at as just coming up a little short. For this program, it’s a failure and that’s actually a good thing.
As a fan, you want to see your team succeed and as Gamecocks fans, we can’t say this about any other sport except for Women’s hoops, but only since Dawn Staley took over. Having lofty expectations makes folks look silly when it isn’t justified…but these ones are.
We all know that following a legend isn’t easy and the Holbrook era of Gamecocks baseball is concrete evidence of that fact.
In his 5-seasons as Carolina’s head coach, Holbrook averaged 40-wins per season, earned two Super Regional births and hosted both a Regional and Super Regional. You take that kind of track record to a lot of other schools and there’s no way Holbrook is on even the hot seat let alone stepping down.
At South Carolina…it’s just not good enough.
So where do we go from here?
The speculation has already begun all over the Twitter-sphere. Some insiders have interesting ideas, others just seem to be listing the best names in college baseball…regardless of their current situation.
I, for one, am not going to speculate.
It would be amazing to see a huge name leave a good job for what some consider one of the best jobs at SC. I personally don’t see Monte Lee or Greg Lovelady as legitimate options, but some of those insiders have listed them as possibilities.
If you want to hold out hope for those options, go right ahead. I just don’t personally expect it.
For now, I’m just going to have faith in the man who helped grow this program into what it is today. Whether he goes out and gets the big splash you’re hoping for or not, it doesn’t change our role in this.
Our job (as fans) is simple. Show up, cheer, support.
On to the next chapter.
Forever to thee.
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