USC Gamecocks Baseball

Bobby Richardson surprised by Holbrook departure

Perhaps no one can empathize more with Chad Holbrook than Sumter native, former New York Yankee great and former USC head coach Bobby Richardson, who’s been close friends with Holbrook for a number of years.

“I was hoping he would get another year,” Richardson said. “I felt like that he had been on a ball club with (former USC head coach and current athletic director) Ray Tanner that had won those national championships, and I really felt like the players hadn’t performed to what their real capabilities were.

“So I was a little bit surprised. I told everybody I thought Ray would give him another year, but I guess their conversation was such that perhaps mutually they decided it might be best. I understood the decision, so hopefully it will work out well for both parties.”

Richardson said he called Holbrook not too long ago to offer words of encouragement after a trying season, and will likely pick up the phone again in the near future.

“I wanted to encourage him because I’ve been there,” Richardson said. “…That’s the way it is with coaching. Certainly when you get to a place like Carolina, they expect you to win. …That’s the way it is in the world of athletics where circumstances force you to move. I ended up at Liberty University (in Virginia) and finally retired in 1990.

“This is a busy time for him, but hopefully we’ll be able to get together and have lunch some time soon.”