Former Evans and Greenbrier baseball coach Terry Holder decided to take the vacant head baseball job at Thomson on Friday, ending his 1999 retirement from baseball coaching.
Former Evans and Greenbrier baseball coach Terry Holder took the Thomson baseball job Friday. He had been out of coaching since 1999, when he retired as the winningest coach in state history.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Holder, 59, told the McDuffie County Board of Education in May that he wasn't interested in devoting the five years he thought it would take to rebuild the Bulldogs baseball program. He changed his mind after hearing from Thomson's fans.
"A number of people in the community told me that they really wanted me to take the job," Holder said. "I was really touched by the people that wanted me to take the job. I originally said that I didn't want to coach five years, but they said they just wanted me to get the program headed in the right direction."
The job opened up after fourth-year coach Brad Smith was relieved of his duties in early May.
Thomson also pursued current Bulldogs softball coach Jason Osborne, Oglethorpe County baseball coach Taylor Brooks and Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis. Sources said Lewis and Brooks turned down the job early last week, before Holder contacted Thomson with his renewed interest.
Holder, who won 527 games and was the winningest coach in Georgia history when he retired, won five state championships at Evans and three more at Greenbrier. He is a Hall of Fame inductee of the Georgia Dugout Club, Georgia Athletic Coaches Association and Brewton-Parker College.
"I don't really care about how people see my legacy," Holder said. "You don't coach high school sports to worry about things like that. You do it to make a difference in kids' lives."
The hiring will introduce a number of interesting storylines to area baseball.
Holder will renew his longstanding rivalry with Lewis, who coached the team that ended Evans' 61-game winning streak, seven games shy of the national record. Thomson and Harlem are both in Region 3-AAA.
Holder also will coach against Evans coach Ricky Beale and Greenbrier coach Ed Williams, his former players, for the first time.
"I've loved coaching all of those guys and I'm sure I'll love coaching against them," he said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.