WKU baseball coaching update

3 07 2011

I ran this in Saturday’s Daily News, but forgot to toss it up on here. My apologies – here’s an update.

A source with knowledge of the situation told the Daily News on Friday that two new people have interviewed for the vacant Western Kentucky baseball coaching position.

In addition to 2010 WKU associate head coach Matt Myers, Louisville native and former Houston Astros player Chris Burke and former Oklahoma State head coach Tom Holliday have interviewed for the job.

WKU declined to make any official comment on the hiring process.

The position became available when former coach Chris Finwood left for the same position at Old Dominion.

After prepping at St. Xavier High School in Louisville, Burke went on to play at the University of Tennessee before beginning a professional playing career that saw stints with the Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres. Perhaps his most memorable moment came during Game 4 of the 2005 National League Division Series, during which he blasted a walk-off home run to take the series – ending a game that lasted 18 innings.

Holliday – the father of current St. Louis Cardinal Matt Holliday – spent last season as the associate head coach at North Carolina State, a position he’s held since 2008. Prior to that, Holliday served as head coach at Oklahoma State from 1997 to 2003.

Myers, during his time at WKU, tutored two Sun Belt Pitchers of the Year in Matt Hightower and Matt Ridings, and has been instrumental on the recruiting trail.Prior to arriving at WKU, Myers spent time as an assistant coach at Auburn with Finwood. Before that, he spent four years as a head coach at UNC-Asheville, earning Big South Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2003 as one of the youngest head coaches in college baseball.

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15 responses

4 07 2011
Jerry Zulli

WKU has found the perfect guy in Tom Holliday. It is a NO brainer!!!

Tom Holliday is an outstanding coach with a very successful winning record at OSU. He has coached at big time programs and he knows how to win. He is also one of the best recruiters in the country.

Matt Meyers is a HUGE risk. He has never been a H.C. at a major program, he is a pitching coach who knows little about the hitting side of the game or how to coach position players, and he is not a good recruiter. Finwood did all the high profile recruiting, not Meyers.

Ross needs to get this right or WKU returns to the bottom of the SBC. This is high recruiting season for baseball and a mistake here will be a big one.

Hire Holloiday!!!!

4 07 2011
Jerry Zulli

Nothing to modify

4 07 2011
Bill Miller

All points above are valid. Hopefully, Coach Holliday is headed to BG sooner rather than latter.

5 07 2011
Former Fan

Mr Zulli
I agree that Holliday would be a good choice, but you are way off on your comment about Finwood!

My Son was recruited by WKU, received a nice scholarship offer from WKU and played for WKU, and I can tell you that Coach Finwood was NOT heavily involved in the recruiting process.

Finwood did not communicate well with his team and was not all that popular with the players.

Ask any current or former player, and you will hear the same thing.

9 07 2011
Funnyfan

I think I will ask Wade Gaynor, Chad Creager, Matt Rice, Matt Payton, Matt Ridings, Terrance Dayleg , Logan Robbins, Chris Bullard, and Kess Carter.

5 07 2011
Topper Joe

Like you I care about WKU baseball. I know there have been a lot of bad things going on with this staff, the way they treat the kids, and the numerous wrong things they have done on and off the field.

As a result there is a NEED for a H.C. from outside the current staff and a clean sweep. Matt Meyers is NOT the answer!!!!!

The Chris Finwood era was by no means the pretty picture painted by WKU.
The kids are glad to see him go and I welcome a new staff to clean up the mess Finwood left behind.

Hopefully, this will not drag out and a good decision will be made quickly.

5 07 2011
Former Fan

Again, I do think Holliday is a good choice. I also think Myers is capable of leading this program.
To say there were “a lot of bad things going on with this staff” is not a fair statement.
Matt Myers and Blake Allen did a great job, in my opinion, but they had virtually no authority. Finwood was a moody, controlling type, and alienated several of his players. He backed off on his disciplinary policy for certain players, and that was not well-received by the team or by the other coaches.

It’s unfortunate if Myers and Allen are perceived as Finwood disciples. They are both fine young men with integrity, which Finwood sorely lacks.

9 07 2011
Funnyfan

You really don’t know what you’re talking about. You sound like a dad whose kid wasn’t good enough to play for WKU. The good thing is the majority of people do not share your view. Sour grapes.

11 07 2011
Former Fan

I know exactly what I’m talking about!

This has nothing to do with my Son’s ability.
I have not or will not ever complain about playing time for any player. That is and should be the Head Coach’s decision.

The issue here is integrity, or rather, the lack of it.

No need to embarass the program any further with examples.

5 07 2011
Baseball Booster

The best thing to do is start fresh with a new staff. Way too much risk in the Myers and Allen team. Whatever Finwood said they supported and carried it out regardless if they thought it was wrong. That is why a NEW coach from the outside is the best thing for everybody.

You know as well as I that kids got mislead and screwed by Finwood and his staff. So don’t say they were good guys because there is nothing good about college coaches who hurt kids. They did not do things the right way and the results the last 2 years speak volumes as they lost the kids respect across the board.

5 07 2011
Former Fan

As an Assistant Coach, you report to the Head coach, and you do what you are told by your boss, just like in any job.

Contradicting your boss usually results in termination.

To hold Myers and Allen responsible is just not fair, in my opinion.

It is painfully obvious that your Son didn’t get the playing time you thought he deserved.
Our personal experience with Myers and Allen was very positive. In fact, both of them went out of their way to encourage and support our Son, both when he was at WKU and since he has left.

Neither you nor I is in involved in this hiring decision, so the question of their capability to lead this team is merely conjecture.

But, I believe you will find that the majority of current and former players are hopeful that Myers and Allen return because they are good guys who care about the kids.

You will NOT convince me otherwise!

6 07 2011
WKU Dave

Not trying to change your mind at all. You have your thoughts and I have mine. My son started at WKU for 2 years and played all the time. It is not about my son it is about the other kids who were treated unfairly. It happened every year and that is why Finwood had such I high transfer rate.

Over 80% of the kids Finwood signed never finished their playing career at WKU. A direct reflection on the coaches, not the kids. Either they are all bad players/kids or the coaches cannot evaluate talent. One way or the other it was a problem that did not happen at other D1 schools.

6 07 2011
Former Fan

Is Baseball Booster and WKU Dave the same poster?

Kinda confusing?

In any case, I hope this decision will be made soon.

As I said earlier, I think Holliday is a good choice.

I do have questions about him, though?
Not concerns, but just curiousity.

Anyone know why he left OSU?

Why has he not been selected for any of the several jobs that have been open the past few years? Did he not interview for the UT or ASU positions?

I have heard nothing but great things about him as a coach and as a person.

Has there been some change in his personal situation that makes the WKU job attractive?

6 07 2011
BGsandman

I agree that Holliday is logical choice here. Matt plays in St. Louis which is not that far from BG, and Josh is an asst. at Vandy. That may play a roll in Tom’s desire for this position.

9 07 2011
Funnyfan

Dear Topper Joe , Please post facts to back up your claim that Finwood and staff did numerous bad things on and off the field.

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