COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - When Ray Tanner assumed stepped away from the dugout to assume the role of South Carolina's athletics director in 2012, he knew some days would be a little easier than others
But one of Tanner's toughest days proved to be June 6, 2017, when his friend and Gamecocks head baseball coach Chad Holbrook resigned.
"It's difficult," Coach Tanner told reporters Wednesday during a news conference. "I'm not going to pretend that it's not. I love what I do. I've had 21 years at this university. I cherish that. I don't take that for granted. I took this job knowing that there were going to be some tough days and, certainly, the last few hours have been difficult. It would be difficult under any circumstances when you have a colleague, a coach in any sport, that's no longer with you because it is a lifestyle. It is a family. You're together a lot. You have a lot of dialogue. It's not an easy situation to go through, but I do understand that it's part of the job."
The South Carolina Athletics Department announced Tuesday night that Holbrook has resigned effective immediately.
"I want to thank our fans, players, coaching staff and everyone that touched Carolina baseball," said Holbrook in a statement released Tuesday night. "This will always be a special place for me and my family. Wearing that jersey, being a part of two national championships, and meeting so many great people are things I will always treasure. I will always be a Gamecock! At the end of the day, this was the best decision for us," continued Holbrook. "I wish Coach Tanner and this program I love so much nothing but the best. Forever to Thee!"
Tanner said pitching coach Jerry Meyers has been named interim head coach until the position is filled. However, Tanner noted that Meyers nor any other current assistant on the USC staff will be considered for the head coaching job.
"We had a lengthy conversation last night," Tanner said. "Coach Meyers has been a head coach. He's been here, as I mentioned, two different stints and my message was, although Coach Holbrook's not here today, we move forward. We move forward in a professional way and do the things that we would do normally. It's not a perfect scenario, but the communication is important with our current players and the recruits... They're professionals and I have the utmost confidence they'll do it the right way."
Holbrook was named as the head coach in July 2012. In five seasons, he was 200-106 at the helm of the Gamecock program.
It was a disappointing season for the Gamecocks baseball team who finished 35-25 overall, lost eight straight SEC series, and missed the NCAA tournament.
"We thank Coach Holbrook for his dedication and commitment to the program and wish him the best in his future endeavors," said Tanner. "He and his family were part of some great memories at South Carolina and we will miss them."