Oklahoma State (2004)
Experience: Third Season at Vanderbilt
Josh Holliday, one of top young assistant coaches in the country, is in his third season at Vanderbilt.
The Commodores made the school's first-ever trip to the College World Series in his second season. The team's offense improved throughout the season finishing the year leading the Southeastern Confernce in batting average (.315), on-base percentage (.401) and runs scored (459) while finishing in the top three in the conference in 10 other categories. The Dores' offense averaged nearly seven runs per game over the season and scored an average of 7.8 runs per game in league play hitting a league-best .331 against SEC teams. Vanderbilt's team average of .315 was the highest since a school record .324 in 2007 and Aaron Westlake's 18 home runs were the most by a Commodore since Dominic de la Osa's 20 in 2007. With Holliday's guidance freshmen Tony Kemp and Conrad Gregor blossomed into Freshmen All-Americans with Kemp earning the school's second-ever SEC Freshman of the Year honor. Westlake and Jason Esposito were recognized as All-Americans before being part of the Dores' SEC record 12 players selected in the major league baseball draft in June. Esposito and Westlake, both third round picks, became the highest drafted position players at Vanderbilt since Pedro Alvarez was selcted second overall in 2008.
On the recruiting trail, Holliday helped land the No. 1 ranked recruiting class in the country bringing in 13 players for the Commodores. Pitcher Tyler Beede and catcher Chris Harvey highlight the class. Beede was the only first round pick in the 2011 draft not to sign a professional contract and Harvey graduated high school one year early to attend Vanderbilt.
In his first season on West End, Holliday helped land the No. 12 recruiting class in the country and coached the hitters to a .310 batting average, including Freshman All-American Anthony Gomez's team-best .379.
Prior to joining the Commodores, Holliday was the recruiting coordinator at Arizona State and helped bring in the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation in 2008.
The former Oklahoma State All-American catcher has a wealth of postseason experience, having played in two College World Series (1996, 1999) and coaching in three more while at Georgia Tech (2006), at ASU (2009) and with the Dores in 2011.
Holliday has served as an assistant coach for 11 seasons at the Division I level, having spent three years at Georgia Tech (2005-07), a season at North Carolina State (2004) and four seasons at Oklahoma State (2000-03) before joining the Sun Devils in 2008.
In his first season at Georgia Tech, Holliday helped the Yellow Jackets win the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and tournament championships (2005). Tech led the ACC and ranked fifth in the nation with a .333 team batting average, and the Yellow Jackets ranked second nationally by averaging 9.3 runs per game. He was a part of Georgia Tech's 2006 College World Series team, and had at least one player earn All-America honors in each of his three years with the Yellow Jackets.
The son of former Oklahoma State head coach and current N.C. State University pitching coach Tom Holliday, Josh had a distinguished playing career at Oklahoma State from 1996-99, and then coached with the Cowboys from 2000-03.
Holliday capped his four-year playing career at Oklahoma State by batting .290 with 15 homers and 65 RBI and leading the Cowboys to the 1999 College World Series. He was drafted in the ninth round by the Toronto Blue Jays in June 1999 and played professionally for two seasons before retiring in the summer of 2000. He served as a student assistant coach at Oklahoma State in 2000 and was named a full-time coach in the fall of 2001.
Holliday ranks among Oklahoma State's career leaders in numerous categories, including home runs, runs, walks and hit-by-pitches. He fared well off the field as well, receiving conference academic and athletic honors after each of his four seasons in Stillwater. He was named Oklahoma State's Male Student-Athlete of the Year in 1999 for his achievements on-and-off the baseball diamond.
In 1998 Holliday was named first-team All-Big 12 after hitting .309 with a team-leading 18 homers and 60 RBI. He was named to the NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament team and earned second-team National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Super Team plaudits. He was an Academic All-Big 12 honoree with a sparkling 3.69 GPA in the classroom. In 1997 he was a second-team All-Big 12 selection after batting .323 with 14 homers and 60 RBI.
In his first season at Oklahoma State in 1996, Holliday was the Big Eight Freshman of the Year and also earned Mizuno Freshman All-America and Academic All-Big Eight honors. For the season, he batted .320 with six home runs and 52 RBI. Following his career with the Cowboys, The Daily Oklahoman named Holliday to the Oklahoma State University All-Century team. In 2003, he was elected to the Oklahoma State University Baseball Hall of Fame.
Holliday was the USA Today Gatorade Player of the Year for Oklahoma and a Mizuno/Collegiate Baseball High School All-American in 1995, and was drafted in the 14th round by the Minnesota Twins in 1995. He was co-valedictorian of his graduating class.
In 1994, Holliday played in the U.S. Olympic Festival, and in 1997 he competed in the senior Team USA trials.
Holliday's younger brother, Matt, is an All-Star outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, while his uncle, Dave, is a scout with the Colorado Rockies. Holliday, 33, is married to the former Jenny Moore on Dec. 21, 2002. The couple has two children, Olivia and Brady.