STILLWATER — Perhaps that’s what made Holt’s decision to leave the program so unusual — and tough.
“You sit back there and every year you think, ‘Man, I can’t leave now,’” Holt said. “When Alex was a senior, I thought that might have been a time to get out but I wasn’t really ready. Then I looked at the next year’s kids. I had Corey Hassel, Parker Zimmerman and some kids I’ve known since they were little and said, ‘Well, I can’t leave those guys.’ ... The problem is that I’m going to feel that way every year. You just have to make the decision and go. There’s no doubt that I’m going to be sad missing Jon Littell’s senior year and this big class that we have coming through next year. We have a huge class, they’re great kids and I’m going to be sad missing their senior year, but the reality is, if I do that then I’m going to think that way every year because right behind them are some more kids.”
Holt may be getting ready to hang up his jersey for the last time July 15, but doesn’t mean he will be too far away. He has already given Barnard some suggestions about who would be a good fit as his successor — advice that didn’t necessarily fall on deaf ears.
“I have a lot of respect for Tony and (his successor) was definitely something we discussed,” Barnard said. “We talked about whether or not he might have people that he would like to recommend or somebody he thought should be lined up for the job. Obviously, that recommendation is not the determining factor, but I did want to know if he had people that would be interested in it and he thought were qualified. Tony’s put a lot into this program and has definitely earned that.”