Jan. 27, 2011
By Andrew Kitick
Assistant Media Relations Director
Columbia, S.C. – ESPNU & ESPN The Magazine has named South Carolina associate head baseball coach Chad Holbrook the No. 10 recruiter in all of college sports. The list was put together in conjunction with three dozen experts who were asked the question: Who are the top 20 recruiters in college sports? Holbrook is the only baseball coach to make the list.
Holbrook is entering his third season as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the baseball program. Holbrook, serves as hitting instructor, oversees the Gamecock offense, including base running and the short game and is the third base coach. He also works with the outfielders. Holbrook came to the Gamecock program in July of 2008 after serving 15 seasons as a member of the University of North Carolina coaching staff.
Holbrook’s offensive prowess has made an immediate impact on the South Carolina baseball program in his first two seasons. His guidance was instrumental in helping the Gamecocks to the 2010 national championship and helping in the development of 2010 All-SEC selection and College World Series Most Outstanding Player, Jackie Bradley Jr., as well as Freshman All-America Christian Walker and SEC All-Freshman Evan Marzilli. Holbrook helped to oversee an offense that peaked in the postseason with a .309 batting average in 12 postseason contests. Marzilli, was the team’s top postseason hitter with a .419 average (18-for-43) with Walker right behind him at .389 (21-for-54) and Bradley hitting .348 with four HR and 17 RBI. Carolina finished the season with a .300 team batting average as well as a .392 on-base percentage. The squad’s 734 hits was second highest in the conference with the team also tallying 298 walks, 14th highest in the country. In 2009, Holbrook’s first season, the Gamecocks finished with a team batting average of .310 on the year, the highest average in the last eight seasons, along with an improved on-base percentage of .394 and a .528 slugging percentage. Carolina was fifth in the nation with 109 home runs. Among the players he tutored that first year was Freshman All-America Jackie Bradley Jr. and 2009 All-SEC selections, Justin Dalles, Nick Ebert, Bobby Haney and DeAngelo Mack.
Prior to joining the Gamecock program, Holbrook worked for 15 seasons on the North Carolina coaching staff. While at UNC, the the Tar Heels made 11 NCAA Tournament appearances including four NCAA Super Regionals and three trips to the College World Series. The 2007 squad also captured an ACC championship, the first in Chapel Hill since 1990 when Holbrook was a freshman player.
At UNC, Holbrook mentored several top players including 2008 second-team All-America outfielder Tim Fedroff, third-team All-America first baseman Dustin Ackley and third-team All-America second baseman Kyle Seager. Ackley also earned third-team All-America honors in 2007 and was both Baseball America & Collegiate Baseball’s Freshman of the Year. Ackley was recently drafted No. 2 overall in the 2009 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners.
In addition, Holbrook was instrumental in recruiting current Major League Baseball players Daniel Bard, Chris Iannetta, Andrew Miller and Kyle Snyder to UNC.
As recruiting coordinator for the North Carolina program, Holbrook put together consecutive top 10 recruiting classes seasons that helped the Tar Heels in making three consecutive College World Series appearances. From 2006-2008, North Carolina led the nation in wins with 54 in 2006, 57 in 2007 and 54 in 2008. PG Cross Checker ranked his last UNC recruiting class No. 3 in the nation. Holbrook’s 2007 class ranked fourth in the nation by Baseball America with his 2006 class selected eighth in the country. Baseball America also ranked his 2004 class 11th in the nation with the publication naming the Tar Heels recruiting class of 2003 as the No. 1 group in the country. That 2003 class also tied for first in Collegiate Baseball’s recruiting rankings with South Carolina.
Under Holbrook’s eye, UNC batted .324 as a team in the 2008 season and posted six of the top seven hitting seasons in Tar Heel history. The Tar Heels led the nation in hits in 2007 as well with 820 to finish the year.
The school record for batting average in Chapel Hill was also set under Holbrook’s direction in 2002 when the Tar Heels finished with a .325 mark.
Holbrook served as undergraduate assistant coach in 1994 and was promoted to full-time assistant in the fall of 1994. Holbrook served as assistant coach up to 2007 when he earned a promotion to associate head coach. Holbrook also worked one summer in the Cape Cod League as head coach of the Harwich Mariners in 1997 where he led them to the league’s Eastern Division championship.
Before joining the North Carolina staff, Holbrook played for the Tar Heels from 1990-93. He was a second-team All-ACC selection as a senior when he .353 at the plate. He also earned all-tournament team honors in 1993 at the NCAA Central I Regional in College Station, Texas, where he hit .565 (13-for-23) with three doubles and two triples in five games. Holbrook sits second all-time on the UNC list for triples with 14 in his career as well as 40 stolen bases. His stolen bases record was broke by Brian Roberts, who played for UNC from 97-98 before transferring to South Carolina.
Holbrook is a 1994 graduate of North Carolina with a degree in physical education. He is the son of Eddie Holbrook, former head men’s basketball coach for Gardner-Webb and Furman.
Holbrook and his wife, the former Jennifer Hilliard, were married in August of 2000. They have two sons, Reece, who was born on May 4, 2002, and Cooper, who was born on June 14, 2004.
ESPNU & ESPN THE MAGAZINE’S TOP 20
1. Pat Henry, Texas A&M men’s and women’s cross-country, indoor and outdoor track
2. Anson Dorrance, UNC women’s soccer
3. Ed Orgeron, USC football assistant
4. Chris Dailey, UConn women’s hoops assistant
5. Missy Meharg, Maryland field hockey
6. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke men’s hoops
7. Russ Rose, PSU women’s volleyball
8. Burton Burns, Alabama football assistant
9. Jay Clark, Georgia women’s gymnastics
10. Chad Holbrook, South Carolina baseball assistant.
11. Dan Jordan, Alaska rifle
12. John Calipari, Kentucky men’s hoops
13. Mike McGraw, Oklahoma State men’s golf
14. Jovan Vavic, USC men’s and women’s water polo
15. Thad Matta, Ohio State men’s hoops
16. Kelly Inouye-Perez, UCLA softball
17. Mike LoPresti, Fairleigh Dickinson women’s bowling
18. Tosh Lupoi, Cal football assistant
19. Kelly Amonte Hiller, Northwestern women’s lacrosse
20. J Robinson, Minnesota wrestling
South Carolina is the defending national champion in college baseball after winning the title at the 2010 College World Series. South Carolina has nine College World Series appearances including four in the last nine years under head coach Ray Tanner. Under Tanner’s leadership South Carolina owns the fourth highest win total in the last 11 years in the nation with a 522-217 record. South Carolina is one of eight schools to appear in the NCAA Regional every season in the last 11 years including eight NCAA Super Regional appearances in that span, one of only six schools to accomplish the feat.
Carolina owns more overall wins than any SEC team in the last 11 years and more conference wins than any SEC team in the last 11 years with a 200-129 conference record. South Carolina is the only SEC school to record 40 or more wins each season from 2000-present and the only SEC school to reach the NCAA Regional every season in the last 11 years. The Gamecocks also have the most NCAA Super Regional appearances of the 12 SEC schools in the last 11 years.
Head coach Ray Tanner is the second winningest coach in Southeastern Conference history with a .692 winning percentage in 14 seasons at the helm of the Garnet & Black.