COLUMBIA – South Carolina associate head baseball coach Chad Holbrook has withdrawn his name from consideration to become Tennessee’s next head coach.
“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,” Holbrook said in a statement issued by USC. “Tennessee is a great institution with a great athletic program, but, at this point in my career, I belong here at South Carolina.”
Holbrook interviewed Tuesday in Knoxville and informed UT officials this morning that, according to a source familiar with the situation, he did not feel comfortable enough with the school’s in-transition athletic department to remain interested in the job.
Sources said UT officials asked Holbrook to take more time to weigh everything, until they could interview Cal State Fullerton coach Dave Serrano, but Holbrook had ultimately made his decision.
Considered for a week to be a two-man race between Holbrook and Serrano, the job is seemingly Serrano’s to take or leave at this point.
Stability was a concern for Holbrook. Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton resigned last week amid turmoil from NCAA violations within the men’s basketball and football programs. With no AD in place, women’s AD Joan Cronan had taken over in the interim. Cronan, though, is nearing retirement, as is associate AD in charge of baseball, Carmen Tegano.
Holbrook, too, had to consider his family in the decision. His wife, Jennifer, is from Columbia and her parents still live in the Midlands. The couple likes having family nearby for their two children, Reece and Cooper. Reece, now in remission, was diagnosed with leukemia in September 2004.
Holbrook is considered the favorite to replace USC coach Ray Tanner, when Tanner decides to retire and move into an administrative role. But no timetable has been set for that, and Holbrook has been given no concrete assurances by USC that he would be hired for the job.