Ray Tanner on Future of USC Baseball

COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) - USC athletics director Ray Tanner spoke with media Thursday afternoon about the departure of head coach Chad Holbrook and the future of the program.

Associate head coach Jerry Meyers will serve as interim head coach until a new coach is named, according to Tanner.

Meyers recently completed his 14th year with the Gamecock baseball program, according to GamecocksOnline. Meyers, who served as an assistant at South Carolina from the 1997-2004 seasons, returned to USC in August of 2010 to coach the pitchers following six years as head coach at Old Dominion.

Tanner said there is no set timeline for hiring a new head coach. He also noted that there is a lot of activity with amateur play and recruiting during the summer, which may complicate the process.

"I have the utmost respect for Chad and for who he is, and I am confident that he will be successful in the future," Tanner said of his longtime colleague and friend. "He did things the right way, with character and integrity."

"This is not an easy situation to go through," Tanner said of Holbrook's departure. He added that several colleagues had reached out to share similar experiences and offer encouragement. "That meant a lot," he said.

On the subject of harsh criticism directed at Holbrook over the course of the season, Tanner said it goes with the territory. "Look, we want we people to care. We want people to care, and we want them to come to the games."

Despite being asked several times, Tanner would not say if he had offered to keep Holbrook on when he received his resignation. Likewise, he did not reveal details about Holbrook's compensation, noting it was a negotiated settlement.

With respect to the search itself, Tanner said, 'We will not be hiring a search firm," noting that he had maintained his contacts and his relationships within the sport since assuming the athletics director position. "Whoever we hire will have the autonomy to hire their own staff," he continued. 

In typical Tanner form, he noted, "We have lots of challenges. But we also have a lot of opportunities ahead of us." (One could almost see the hashtags #WinAnyway and #battle wrapped around his comments.)

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