Posted on June 28, 2010 at 4:38 PM
FORT WORTH, TX - When TCU was eliminated from the College World Series Saturday, it meant the end of a great college career for Bryan Holaday.
"I'm probably going to remember just the guys," Holaday says. "I mean it's unbelievable how great of job coach Jim Schlossnagle has done bringing in just quality people. It just seems every year, I’m surrounded by my best friends."
Holiday returned to Fort Worth with his teammates on Sunday after leading the school to its first ever trip to the college world series. Holiday addressed the huge crowd.
"Thank you all so much for being here," he said. "It means so much to all of us and like coach Schlossnagle said, the community around here is what's best about TCU. So, thank you very much. We couldn't have done it without your support."
Some analysts dubbed Holaday as the best catcher in the nation of his senior class. He was a 6th round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers in this year's amateur draft and the first player chosen from TCU.
"It's going to be a great experience for me," he says. "It's going to be a challenge. It's going to be a grind and I’m really looking forward to all those things and everything that pro baseball is."
After Holaday left W.T.White High School in Dallas, he went to Gainesville, Texas to play for North Central Texas College as a third baseman. They moved him behind the plate as a catcher and the rest as they say is history.
"I think he's one of the greatest athletes to ever to be at TCU," Schlossnagle says. "I think his number should be retired with Sammy Baugh and Davey O'Brien for what he brought to our university."
Holiday's first stop will be Wichita, Kansas where he is one of the three finalists for the Johnny Bench award, given annually to the best catcher in division one.
"I've come a long way, from being the guy that was missing balls all the time to being one of the top three in the nation," Holaday says. "You know it's just great coaching. I was really lucky to come here and have the opportunity to start. I worked really hard and had great coaches that pushed me."
Schlossnagle says he'll be surprised if Holaday doesn't win the Johnny Bench award. "There is heavy competition," Schlossnagle says, "For everything you need a catcher to do, offensively and defensively, he does it at the highest level."