Ray Tanner made clear two key things about the near and long-term futures of South Carolina baseball assistants Jerry Meyers and Sammy Esposito in the wake of Chad Holbrook’s departure from the program.
1. They will not interview for the full-time job.
2. “It’s not a perfect scenario,” Tanner said.
Both were fixtures with USC baseball, on Holbrook’s staff and Tanner’s before he ascended to the role of athletics director. Meyers was named interim head coach as the Gamecocks look ahead to finding Holbrook’s replacement.
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Tanner said Meyers’ experience as a head coach at Old Dominion helps as they look forward to the interim period. He added he never tells his coaches who to hire, so there is potential for Meyers and Esposito to stay on, but that decision belongs to the next coach.
So now, the coaches have to create some kind of normalcy.
“My message was, ‘Although coach Holbrook’s not here today, we move forward,’ ” Tanner said. “We move forward in a professional way and do the things that we would do normally.
“The communication is important with our current players and the recruits and what we’re doing. They’re professionals, and I have the utmost confidence they’ll do it the right way.”
In his meeting with assistants, Tanner said they also talked about communicating with recruits about the draft, with the plan of letting drafted commits talk to the new head coach before making a decision on their futures.
Meyers came to Columbia with Tanner in 1996, managing the pitching staff until 2004 and departing to take over Old Dominion after the Gamecocks’ run of three College World Series appearances. Following a 167-158 run over six years with the Monarchs, he returned to USC in time for another two runs to Omaha, including the 2011 national title.
Esposito joined Tanner’s staff in 2007 and worked primarily with catchers. His father, Sam Esposito, was the longtime coach at N.C. State and Tanner’s coach, boss and predecessor with the Wolfpack.
Although Tanner couldn’t guarantee those two will stick around, they’ve been big parts of an important run for USC baseball.
“They’ve meant a tremendous amount to this program,” Tanner said. “Coach Meyers and I, we served two stints together, if you will, and then coach Esposito and I go back a long ways. They’re continuing their work and they’re working right now.”