Holliday named Auburn baseball associate head coach

Tom Holliday (Source: Auburn Athletics)
Tom Holliday (Source: Auburn Athletics)

Tom Holliday, who has helped lead teams to 15 College World Series appearances and two national championships, has been named associate head coach and pitching coach at Auburn, head coach Sunny Golloway announced today.

In addition to his duties as associate head coach and pitching coach, Holliday will serve as Auburn's recruiting coordinator.

"We're very excited to have Tom Holliday and his wife, Kathy, join our Auburn baseball family," Golloway said. "Tom comes to us with a tremendous wealth of knowledge and history of success in college baseball. His College World Series coaching experience speaks for itself, but what is even more impressive is Coach Holliday's ability to teach and relate to student-athletes.  We are very excited for not only our pitching staff but all of our student-athletes who have the ability to work with Coach Holliday."

Holliday comes to Auburn after spending the past eight seasons as associate head coach at North Carolina State, where he most recently helped lead the Wolfpack to the 2013 College World Series and groomed ace pitcher Carlos Rodon into the No. 3 overall MLB Draft pick in 2014.

"Quite frankly, I'm excited. It's a great opportunity," Holliday said. "I feel like when you've been in college baseball as long as I have, you develop opinions about leagues and challenges. It's the first time I'll get a chance to coach in the SEC. When Sunny called me, it was like the lights went on, and I thought, 'Wow, what a great challenge and what a wonderful opportunity.' I've coached in the Pac-10, ACC, Big 12/Big 8. I love challenges, and I thought that the way Sunny presented the job opportunity to me was exciting.

"The concept of getting to the College World Series is what drives me, and I know it's been a while since Auburn has been there, but Auburn has great baseball tradition. My conversations with Sunny have been outstanding. It's great to feel like you're wanted, and it's great to feel like somebody needs you. And it's great to talk with someone that likes to talk baseball 24 hours a day."

In seven seasons as NC State's pitching coach, Holliday coached five All-ACC pitchers and four All-Americans. He had 15 hurlers selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, including a first-rounder, second-rounder, a fifth-rounder, a sixth-rounder, two eighth-rounders and an 11th-rounder.

Holliday, who began his coaching career in 1976, has known nothing but success as a college coach. He owns a 281-150 record as a head coach and has a combined record of 1662-665 in 37 years as an assistant and head coach in the college ranks. In all, Holliday has coached with 15 teams that participated in the College World Series in Omaha, including two that won the national championship.

Holliday began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Miami, in 1976. After one season with the Hurricanes, Holliday went to Arizona State University for the Sun Devils' run to the 1977 national championship. He has been with winning programs ever since. After one season at Arizona State, Holliday spent the next 26 years at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., the first 19 as the Cowboys' pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. He was the Cowboys' head coach from 1997-2003.

In Holliday's 26 years in Stillwater, Oklahoma State made 11 College World Series appearances, including seven in a row from 1981-87. The Cowboys played in the CWS championship game in 1981, 1987 and 1990. He took Oklahoma State to Omaha as head coach in 1999, finishing the year with a 46-21 record and ranked No. 8 in the country. The Cowboys won 50 games or more eight times while Holliday was on the staff, including 61 victories in 1988, and averaged more than 47 wins per season. Holliday coached 10 first-team All-Americans and 27 total All-Americans at Stillwater, 92 all-conference performers, seven Freshman All-Americans, two U.S. Olympians and six U.S. National Team members, 52 academic all-conference honorees, and 155 players who went on to careers in professional baseball, including nine who were first-round draft picks.

Holliday worked with numerous Oklahoma State players who went on to major league careers, including Pete Incaviglia (Baseball America's Player of the Century), Robin Ventura (Baseball America's Player of the Decade for the 1980s), Jeromy Burnitz, Mickey Tettleton, Doug Dascenzo, Scott Williamson, Mike Henneman, Luke Scott, Scott Baker, Matt Smith, Jeff Salazar and Josh Fields.

Holliday was the pitching coach at the University of Texas from 2004-06. The Longhorns were NCAA runners-up in 2004, his first year in Austin, then won the national championship in 2005. Collegiate Baseball magazine named him its 2005 National College Pitching Coach of the Year. Each of Holliday's three Longhorn pitching staffs ranked among the nation's leaders statistically, and three of his pitchers at UT earned All-America honors. Seventeen members of Holliday's three Texas pitching staffs went on to play professional baseball, and three -- Sam LeCure, J.P. Howell, and 2005 American League Rookie of the Year Huston Street -- reached the big leagues.

A native of Uniontown, Pa., Holliday and his wife Kathy, have two sons, Josh and Matt. Josh is currently the head coach at Oklahoma State, and Matt is the starting left fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals and a six-time National League All-Star.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Auburn Athletics Department