East Central CC head baseball coach Neal Holliman recently collected career win No. 400. Holliman has been the head coach at EC since 2007 and had an immediate impact on the program in his very first year at the helm. Holliman won the 2007 MACJC conference championship and was also named MACJC coach of the year. How's that for an introduction? Holliman also won conference titles in 2013, 2016, and again in 2017.
This season his Warriors are in the hunt yet again. EC has an overall record of 19-9 and are 14-4 in conference action. "Good players make good coaches. Finding guys buying into our vision is what we are all about. I want people who take college baseball seriously and have that drive to move onto the next level. Team chemistry and cohesiveness have been key attributes to our success at EC," said Holliman.
Throughout his coaching career, Holliman has remained grounded and humble. "First, my parents taught me a strong work ethic, " he said. Holliman added, "I'm not about personal accolades. I am very appreciative that EC kept up with these records. Bottom line for me, to get to this point is due to a lot of work put in by many people. I've had great assistants, tremendous community support, and self-sacrifices were made by plenty of people of which I am very grateful for." Former EC baseball skipper Jamie Clark is one of those people. Clark was East Central Community College's head baseball coach from 1988-2001. "Jamie Clark is a person who is very special to me, he gave me my first opportunity, and he coached here and really put East Central baseball on the map."
Mississippi JUCO baseball continues to be respected on the national landscape, and has been for a long time. Each year, multiple programs are nationally ranked and perform well on the national stage. "Our league is very good and very competitive. We have outstanding coaches that do an outstanding job. The grind that's put in by everyone in this league, the recruiting, the commitment to facilities, the fundraising is remarkable," said Holliman.
Holliman's career record stands at 404 - 298 as he works in his 15th season as the head coach in Decatur. East Central is currently ranked No. 16 in the country in the latest NJCAA Division II Poll.
By: Mike Frazer
Photo courtesy of East Central Sports Information