USC's Holbrook staying put

Chad Holbrook (Source:
Chad Holbrook (Source:

COLUMBIA, SC (TheBigSpur/WIS) - South Carolina associate head coach Chad Holbrook has withdrawn his name from the vacant head coaching position at Tennessee, according to

The third-year assistant met with the Volunteers' brass on Tuesday afternoon and into the early evening but after returning to Columbia, Holbrook, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations, has decided to stay with the Gamecocks.

"I am flattered by the interest of the University of Tennessee but am withdrawing my name from consideration for the head coaching position in Knoxville," said Holbrook.  "Tennessee is a great institution with a great athletic program but at this point in my career I belong here at South Carolina. My family and I love the University and Columbia and we look forward to continuing to build on the championship program we've been so fortunate to be a part of. 

"I want to thank Dr. Pastides, Eric Hyman, and Coach Tanner for their support throughout this process," continued Holbrook. "They have been incredible and I can't thank them enough.  We're excited about returning to the College World Series and hope to see plenty of Garnet and Black in Omaha. Go Gamecocks!"

This marks the third time in three years that Holbrook was considered for a head coaching position. He was being courted by Wake Forest after the 2009 season and Winthrop last year. This is the first time, however, that Holbrook has had a formal interview before withdrawing his name.

According to a source, the primary reasons that Holbrook decided to pull out of the running for the job are the support for baseball at South Carolina both by the administration and the fans. He also has a strong family support system in Columbia and this is where his family wants to be.

"I'm not in a hurry to be a head coach," Holbrook said last week in an interview with SportsTalk. "I am not in a rush to be a head coach. I can be as happy as a pig in mud here at South Carolina the next eight to ten years as an assistant. I mean that sincerely. I love it here."

Another factor in the decision is the stability of the South Carolina program in the present, past, and in the future. There is an excitement around the program this year and also going forward with the current commitments, which includes his nephew, infielder DC Arendas.

Instability within the Tennessee athletic department also played a part in Holbrook withdrawing his name from consideration for the job.

Tennessee and former head coach Todd Raleigh parted ways at the conclusion of the regular season and it didn't take long for Holbrook's name to surface as a potential candidate. The USC assistant was one of the top two candidates, along with Cal State Fulllerton head coach Dave Serrano. The Titans lost in the Regional round of the NCAA tournament and Serrano is scheduled to interview for the opening today.

There were third party contacts between Holbrook and Tennessee very early after Raleigh's departure but the Volunteers waited until after the NCAA Committee of Infractions meeting before scheduling any official interviews. GVX247 has also reported that Troy head coach Bobby Pierce and former Tennessee All-American Chris Burke are also on the list of candidates.

Holbrook is currently in the first year of a three-year contract as an assistant at South Carolina. He makes $160,000 per season with three different incentive clauses. He receives one month base salary should the team be selected to participate in the NCAA tournament, $5,000 if USC advances to the College World Series, and another one month of base salary if the Gamecocks win the CWS. So far this season, Holbrook has already earned $18,333.33 in bonus money.

Holbrook is in his third season as associate head coach with the Gamecocks 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.

Tennessee is prepared to offer its new head coach a contract approximately five years between $400,000 and $500,000 per year. By staying at South Carolina, Holbrook is expected to receive a new contact that gives him greater job security and also a slight increase in salary but that is unofficial at this point. A head coach in waiting title is not expected to be part of any package to stay at South Carolina.

South Carolina will continue its preparations for the College World Series on Wednesday afternoon with practice at Carolina Stadium. The team will depart Columbia on Thursday morning and there will be a send-off party at 10:30 at the field.

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