ECCC baseball coach Neal Holliman reflects on 400 career wins
DECATUR, Miss. (WTOK) - East Central Community College baseball coach Neal Holliman didn’t know Saturday’s sweep of Mississippi Delta Community College would hand him career win No. 400.
“I had no earthly idea to be honest with you,” Holliman said. “I got a call from Dr. Gregory asking me to call him and I thought ‘Well that’s odd’. I called him and that’s when he told me.”
At the start of the season, Holliman had an overall coaching record of 385-289, leaving him only 15 wins shy of 400. He said when he arrived in Decatur 15 seasons ago, his goal was to improve the program.
“The goal was never to win a certain amount of games, it was simply how much can we help the program grow,” Holliman said. “We’re very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish as a program but we’re also not satisfied...we still have higher ambitions of what we want to achieve.”
In 2007, his first season as head coach, Holliman led the Warriors to an MACJC Championsip and a 31-23 record. In recognition of his team’s success, he was selected as the MACJC’s Baseball Coach of the Year.
The Warriors won two more state championships under Holliman in 2013 and 2016. They finished the 2016 season as runners-up in the NJCAA Region 23 Division II Baseball Tournament.
Pitcher Gage Tufnell said Holliman’s understanding of the game is what impresses him most about his head coach.
“He’s very smart. Sometimes he does some crazy things and he’ll say ‘Just trust me on it’ and it somehow works,” Tufnell said. ”He’s just always got that gut feeling and always knows what he’s talking about.”
Catcher Kade Turnage said he admires Coach Holliman’s drive to be successful.
“He’s a winner...he’ll do anything to win and I really respect that about him,” Turnage said. “He’s one of the hardest working men I’ve ever met.”
The Warriors currently have a 16-8 record and are No. 16 in the NJCAA Division II Poll.
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