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Tanner pursues Tar Heel assistant

While Monte Lee was being introduced Thursday as the baseball coach at the College of Charleston, USC coach Ray Tanner was moving quickly to find Lee’s replacement.

Tanner is scheduled to meet this weekend with North Carolina assistant Chad Holbrook, according to USC spokesman Steve Fink.

Tanner was sick Thursday and unable to speak to the media. Attempts to reach Holbrook were unsuccessful.

This is not the first time Tanner has pursued Holbrook, a North Carolina alum who has coached for the Tar Heels since 1995. Tanner spoke with Holbrook last year after Jim Toman became the coach at Liberty. Tanner ended up promoting Lee, who had been a part-time assistant for five years. Lee, 31, served as USC’s recruiting coordinator for one year before being hired at his alma mater.

“I thank coach Ray Tanner for giving me the opportunity to be on his staff for six years,” Lee said in a statement. “He had a lot to do with molding me into the coach and person that I am today.”

Lee is the third Gamecocks assistant to become a head coach in the past four years. Pitching coach Jerry Meyers left for Old Dominion after the 2004 season.

Tanner released a statement praising the hiring of Lee, who coached third base this past season.

“Six years ago, when coach Lee started working with me, I soon recognized that he possessed the characteristics to become a successful head coach,” Tanner said. “I am ecstatic that he was able to realize his dream of becoming a head coach at his alma mater.”

Holbrook has been North Carolina’s recruiting coordinator since 1999. He has played a key role in bringing in the players who have taken the Tar Heels to three consecutive College World Series, including championship game appearances in 2006 and ’07.

His wife, Jennifer, is an administrative assistant for North Carolina men’s basketball coach Roy Williams.

In 1993, Holbrook set UNC’s single-season record for steals, with 40. His record was broken four years later by Brian Roberts, who transferred to South Carolina.

Reach Emerson at (803) 771-8676.

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