I started the Coach4aday blog in 2014 and have done daily posts on one topic for each year. In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and in 2017 it was “Colleges and Universities”.
The one consistent piece of feedback I have received with this blog is the 2015 series on “A Friend of a Friend”. Readers and blog followers said please bring it back. The stats also back that up with the number of views each of those posts received.
So in 2018 two things will happen with the Coach4aday blog; One I plan to collaborate with a friend named John Rancke and revisit some of those 2015 “A Friend of a Friend” posts and do some new ones with a slightly different twist. I write the posts on odd-numbered days each month and John handles the even-numbered days.
In addition John and I will write about things we both are interested which will include basketball, food, people, music, our granddaughters, and great stories.
If you want to follow the blog via email go to the bottom right of the post and click the follow button.
My twitter handle is @coach4aday2 if you want to follow the blog that way.
John’s twitter handle is @johnrancke if you want to reach out to him.
Eddie Holbrook-Gardner-Webb University-Cleveland County
On Monday I was getting caught up on reading the Sunday Fayetteville Observer when I came across an article about the quality of life in Shelby and Cleveland County NC. One of the people quoted in the article was Eddie Holbrook, chairman of the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners.
I sure recognized the name but not for his role as an elected official. The Eddie Holbrook I knew was a heck of a college basketball coach at Gardner-Webb and Furman in the 1970s and 1980’s. Turns out they are the same person.
Eddie during his Gardner-Webb coaching days
Eddie Holbrook today as a county commissioner
Eddie Holbrook helped put Gardner-Webb on the intercollegiate athletics map by building an elite basketball program in the 1960s and 1970s. When he arrived the school was a junior college but transitioned to a 4 year school during his tenure. In 2015 Gardner-Webb honored Eddie Holbrook’s name on the University’s basketball court in Paul Porter Arena. They were recognizing his accomplishments as a coach and mentor.
I have a lot of respect for the G-W Vice President of Athletics Chuck Burch and he gave me lots of great advice when I was transitioning from college basketball coach to administrator in 1998.
The dedication of Eddie Holbrook Court, with a reception and a halftime program took place on Feb. 26, 2015 during the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ home game versus Charleston Southern and I am sure Chuck had a lot to do with that event.
Eddie Holbrook became the school’s basketball coach in 1964. He went on to win more than 300 games, coach five future National Basketball Association (NBA) players, lead four appearances in the NAIA national tournament, transition GWU from junior college to senior college status and begin a streak of 82 straight wins in Bost Gym. In 1978 he left G-W and went on to coach at Furman. He was replaced by Jim Wiles who coached at G-W from 1978-1990.
I remember that Bost Gym streak because as a second year assistant basketball coach at then Pembroke State (today UNC Pembroke) in 1978 I had to go scout Gardner-Webb play a first year program Winthrop University at Sullivan Middle School in Rock Hill, SC. That G-W team now being coached by Jim Wiles was loaded.
The next weekend Pembroke traveled to G-W and met them in the finals of their tournament and we helped keep their home court winning streak alive. I came away impressed with two G-W players that night Lew Young and Will Franklin. I also didn’t realize that one day I would be Winthrop’s Head Basketball Coach (1992-98) and in scouting Gardner Webb got to witness Winthrop play their first home game. I also would in 1989 convince John Haskins to leave Jim Wiles staff at G-W and join me at Pembroke. Best hire I have ever made.
Bost Gym on campus of Gardner Webb back in the 1970’s.
In 1980 I moved on to Western Carolina and our team got to compete against Furman in the Southern Conference. Coach Holbrook was at Furman for two seasons while I was at WCU. I remember those games in Greenville Memorial Auditorium. That floor had lot’s of dead spots.
Memorial Auditorium home of the Furman Paladians in 1970’s and 1980’s
Sometime after he stopped coaching at the age of 42-Holbrook pursued a number of different careers and he returned as vice president for athletics at G-W in the 1990s. Following his successful career at Gardner-Webb, he has served as a Cleveland County (N.C.) commissioner, as senior dean of development and governmental relations at Cleveland Community College in Shelby, N.C., and as co-chairman for the American Legion Baseball World Series, based in Shelby.
What is amazing about Eddie Holbrook coaching career is the man won over 400 college basketball games and stopped coaching at the age of 42. His son Chad is the former Head Baseball Coach at South Carolina and is currently in his first year of coaching of College of Charleston.