How great have the past few years been for Oklahoma State athletics?
Mike Gundy has made the football program a perennial threat for the Big 12 title, Travis Ford is bringing in star talent and has just put together the best team in school history, and now head baseball coach Josh Holliday, as he enters just his second year on the job, has the Cowboys' baseball program trending way upward.
According to Baseball America's 2013 recruiting rankings, Oklahoma State has the fourth best recruiting class in the country this season, the highest they've ever been ranked since BA started publishing these rankings in 2000. Baseball America also says that OSU's 2014 recruiting class could be even better.
Left-handed pitcher Garrett Williams, right-hander Thomas Hatch (ranked as the 30th prospect in the country by ESPN; had offers from LSU, UNC, OU, UT and Stanford), right-handed pitcher Trey Cobb (originally an LSU commit that chose OSU when Holliday was hired) and infielder Andrew Rosa highlight the class, giving the Pokes a ton of pitching depth and some talent at the skill positions. Williams, Hatch and Rosa were all drafted in the MLB's First-Year Player Draft in June.
Holiday has kickstarted the program that his father once managed a decade ago in the right direction, turning things around in less than a calendar year, leading the team to a 41-19 overall record in his first year while building a strong base for the future. Holliday, as well a current OSU recruiting coordinator Marty Lees, was a stout recruiter during his stints as a recruiting coordinator with Vanderbilt and Arizona State, and he's translated that into one of the top recruiting classes in the country for the Pokes.
Lees, who deserves a lot of credit for putting this class together as well, gave Baseball America a couple of interesting quotes about Holliday and the program:
“We’ve got arms—the kind you need to be a national-caliber team,” said Lees, who also played an early part in putting together Oregon State’s fifth-ranked 2013 class. “When Josh and I are comparing kids, comparing what teams should look like, we looked at teams we created at Vanderbilt and Oregon State, and I would put (this class) up there with any of them. I feel like it’s that good.”
“Josh Holliday is an incredible leader,” Lees said. “He’s got a different vibe than a lot of coaches in the country. He’s a very hard worker, he’s fair to kids, he treats them really well. I think with the three of us together, kids and parents really feel like we’re going to take care of them, and they’re going to get better because we’re going to work with them.”
Whether you love the up-tempo style of Gundy's spread offense, the athleticism and skill of the ballers under Ford's leadership or the prosperous combination of talent and fundamentals that Holliday's program is becoming known for, Oklahoma State seems to have all of your sporting needs covered.
It's a great time to be a Cowboy.