COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH/AP) -- South Carolina's Chad Holbrook is ready for everything as the Gamecocks' new baseball coach, even the enormous expectations to match the success of his old boss Ray Tanner.
Holbrook was named the program's first new coach in 16 years last summer, promoted when Tanner became the school's athletic director. And Holbrook says rarely has a day gone by when he hasn't been reminded that Tanner had the program peaking with College World Series championships in 2010 and 2011, and a runner-up finish in Omaha last summer.
"The anxiety level that I have right now is a little bit different than what it was at this time last year," said Holbrook. "The responsibility is mine. It's my responsibility to have this team ready to compete at the highest level. A lot of people care about South Carolina baseball and our program."
That statement could have been pulled from any number of Tanner's news conferences over the years, as Holbrook, a long-time Tanner assistant, has clearly pulled more than a few pages from his boss' gameplan.
"There's small differences just in their personality, but their general philosophy and how we get after it and get our work done is pretty much the same," said third baseman L.B. Dantzler. "The small, like, changing some bunt defenses and a little different hitting philosophy, but other than that it's pretty much business as usual."
He plans to stick with Tanner's guidelines of being aggressive on the field and giving maximum effort each day.
Holbrook and the Gamecocks began practice for the 2013 season Friday, the first time NCAA Division I programs could start preseason workouts.
They plan to scrimmage Saturday and Sunday afternoon at 1:30 at Carolina Stadium. Both scrimmages are open to the public.