Chad Holbrook’s time at South Carolina did not end as he would have liked.
Holbrook resigned as the coach at USC on June 6 after the Gamecocks missed the NCAA tournament for the second time in three seasons.
But Holbrook will look back on his nine years at South Carolina fondly, and he holds no ill will toward anyone in Columbia, including Athletics Director Ray Tanner.
“I take nothing but great memories. It was an incredible nine years and a lot of fun,” Holbrook told The State in an exclusive interview. “A lot of great relationships, lifelong relationships built. Obviously winning two national championships is something that will be with me forever, and those relationships with those players, coaching staff, our donors, the people that supported our program, those things are just priceless for a coach… It was an incredible nine years for me and my family, and we’ll be forever grateful.”
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Holbrook served as the coach of the Gamecocks for five seasons, leading USC to three NCAA tournament appearances and two Super Regional appearances, and he was an assistant at South Carolina for four years, including the 2010 and 2011 national title seasons.
Holbrook met with Tanner after the conclusion of the season and resigned to “pursue other opportunities,” according to a release from USC.
As he prepares for whatever is next in his coaching career, he won’t hesitate to lean on Tanner. USC’s AD hired Holbrook from North Carolina to serve as the Gamecocks’ top assistant beginning in 2009 before promoting him to South Carolina’s head coach in 2013 when Tanner moved into the AD role.
“I owe everything to coach Tanner. He’s taught me so much. He’s the No. 1 mentor in my life from a professional standpoint. I’ve sat here and had a great coaching career and experienced things that only a few coaches get to experience. I owe that all to coach Tanner, and I’ll be forever grateful to him and the opportunity he gave me,” Holbrook said.
“Coach Tanner will always be at the top of my thoughts when it comes to who’s the person you look up to the most and who’s the person who taught you the most and who’s the person that if you need advice in a professional situation, who’s the first person you call. For me, that will always be coach Tanner.”