The search is on for a new GHS varsity baseball coach after the recent decision by Trey Holloway to resign at the end of this current school year to take a job in Northwest Arkansas in the private sector.
But Holloway, who compiled a five-year record at Greenwood of 95-31, including a 6A state championship in 2018, is not leaving coaching behind, just changing its direction and focus.
The father of three young boys, the former Booneville High School football and baseball standout is taking a job with Paschal’s Heating and Air in Springdale to work alongside some of his former Razorback teammates, Nick Schmidt and Casey Rowlett.
But mostly he wants to dedicate his free time to teaching baseball to his own sons, Ty, Easton, and Beckett. His wife’s name is Kristen.
Missing Ty’s first game as a pitcher earlier this spring was a kick in the gut for Holloway, who also pitched at the University of Arkansas in Fort Smith and in Fayetteville.
As a prep athlete himself, Holloway won a football and baseball championship in the same school year (2001-02) at Booneville, a rare feat. When his playing days were done, he coached at Alma and Fort Smith Southside before coming to Greenwood, where he also served as coach for the bowling team.
“I missed Ty’s first game to pitch,” said Holloway. “I think that was one of the hardest things for me. We had a game against Ozark that day, and a fundraiser that night. I hated missing Ty’s first game.”
Holloway admitted that he considered getting out of coaching after last season’s successful state championship run. He and brother Josh, who coaches junior high football at Greenwood, have never known anything but coaching and working in education.
Their dad, Geral, was a longtime coach at Booneville, and their mom Angela was also a teacher.
“It’s been tugging [at me] for the last three years,” said Holloway, who is a man of deep faith.
“I feel like God’s been preparing me for this the last four years, just to be able to coach my own kids. That’s a big part of it. [Coaching] is all me and [Josh] have ever known. It’s going to be a leap of faith.”
Holloway spent five seasons as the Bulldogs’ head coach, and the 2018 squad was his best, led by Connor Noland and Peyton Holt. Noland is now playing for the Razorbacks and Holt is headed to Lousiana-Lafayette later this year.
“He was always a mentor before he was a coach,” Holt said of Holloway. “He wanted to teach you more about life and how to be a great man before being a great baseball player.
“We would read books [about] leadership – anything to make us stronger,” Holt said. “That’s the biggest impact he left on me, teaching me [about] adversity and how to be a leader.
“You can see how hard he works. He put so much time and effort in practice,” added Holt.
The departing coach released a statement explaining his decision.
It says, “After many prayers I have decided to step down as the head baseball coach at Greenwood. I have put my whole heart into Greenwood baseball, and it has been an honor to coach these young men the past five years. We won a state championship, we learned how to stick to the process, and to finish empty at everything we do.
“I will always cherish my relationships with each player, and I have loved each player like my own son. After listening to God, I know that it is time to coach my own sons, Ty, Easton, and Beckett. I want to spend more time instilling the attention to detail, high character, and hard work to my three boys.
“I have been blessed to work for some great people at Greenwood, and I want to thank them for the opportunity. We will be moving to NWA where I will be working at Paschal’s Heating and Air alongside former Razorback baseball teammates. I’m excited to see what God has in store for our family.”
Greenwood Athletic Director Dr. Dustin Smith will spend the early part of his summer searching for a suitable replacement for Holloway. He also offered some nice comments about the departing coach.
“Coach Holloway has done a phenomenal job working with our baseball players and bowlers to make them better people,” said Smith.
“He truly cares for all [the] student-athletes he was responsible for,” he added. “I can’t thank him enough for pouring all he had into our student-athletes. We wish him well in the new role for him and his family.”