Sometimes, the relationship between a head coach and a program has simply run its course, and that seemed to be the case with Chad Holbrook and South Carolina.
Holbrook did some nice things in Columbia, such as leading the team to three 40-plus win seasons and two super regional appearances, but there were also some low lows, at least by South Carolina standards. In two seasons, 2015 and 2017, his team failed to get into a regional, and let’s not forget that five seasons without a trip to Omaha is a long time for that program, even if some may consider that an unrealistic standard.
At the end of the 2017 season, South Carolina was looking to make a change, and perhaps the pressures of one of the most high-profile jobs in college baseball, and the expectations that come with it, had worn on Holbrook as well.
Now, after a somewhat strange coaching search that saw Charleston select Holbrook as head coach only to go back on that choice briefly after a group led by former players very vocally supported Scott Foxhall for job, Holbrook is at the helm.
In a recent podcast, Andrew Miller of The Post & Courier mentioned that the reaction to Holbrook’s hiring has been overwhelmingly positive, and understandably so. He had very successful stints as an assistant coach at two of the region’s most successful programs, North Carolina and South Carolina, and even if his time as head coach with the Gamecocks ended abruptly, he did have his successes there and just the experience of having been a head coach before can be invaluable.
For their part, College of Charleston, too, was looking for a bit of a fresh start. After being so successful under Monte Lee for a number of years, the team had struggled over the last two seasons under Matt Heath. Then, at the end of the 2017 season, Heath was fired amid allegations of abusive behavior toward his players.
With all of that behind them, the Cougars will get a fresh start with Holbrook on board, and the new head coach will have the benefit of a veteran team in his first season, giving College of Charleston a chance to be more competitive than teams often are in their first season under a new head coach. And that makes them worth watching in 2018.