Kingston set to hire new assistant from Campbell

Joey Holcomb from this NC State days (Campbell Athletics)

USC baseball coach Mark Kingston had a lot of praise for the Campbell University baseball program when the Camels were in Columbia for the NCAA Regional earlier this month. Kingston liked what he saw from the Camels so much, he is hiring one of their assistants as the third fulltime assistant coach on his staff.

Sunday night on the SportsTalkSC Twitter page, we reported from a baseball source there was strong talk in college coaching circles that Joey Holcomb of Campbell would be joining Kingston’s staff. That information was confirmed today by John Whittle of TheBigSpur and Michael Lananna of The State.

Holcomb was at Campbell for two seasons. Before that he spent two seasons at NC State and seven at UNC-Greensboro. He worked with the hitters at Campbell and this season they set eight school records with 123 home runs, 133 stolen bases, a .561 slugging percentage, 587 runs scored, 527 RBIs, 1222 total bases, 351 walks and 146 hit by pitch.

Here’s the Campbell University bio on Holcomb prior to this season:

Joey Holcomb joined the Campbell staff in August 2021 as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. 

In his first year in The Creek, Holcomb helped guide an offense to some record-setting numbers. The Campbell offense blasted 118 home runs, setting a new program record and topping the previous mark that had stood since 1985. Campbell was the only team in the nation to hit 100+ HR, steal 100+ bases, and get hit by 100+ pitches. As a team, Campbell slashed .299/.410/.548.

The lineup could hit top to bottom, with the 118 HRs coming from a combined 14 different players leaving the yard, six with double-digit blasts and 11 batters with four or more homers.

A program-record eleven different Camels were named all-conference in 2022, with seven of the 11 being hitters. He also coached Zach Neto, the Big South Player of the Year and first-team all-American shortstop.

Holcomb came to Buies Creek after a two-year stint at NC State, where he helped them reach the College World Series semifinals in 2021. During his time in Raleigh, he served as the assistant offensive coach and worked with the catchers and outfielders. While there, he worked with eight MLB draft picks and the 2020 Johnny Bench Award winner for the nation’s top catcher. He helped guide the Wolfpack offense to sixth in the nation in home runs in 2021 while leading the ACC in team batting average, slugging percentage and home runs.

Of his eight position players drafted at NC State, six were selected in 2021 with three of those going in the top 10 rounds. 

Prior to his tenure at NC State, he spent seven seasons with the UNC Greensboro staff as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. In Greensboro he helped coach 16 MLB draft picks, eight all-Americans and 38 all-conference players. He guided the Spartans to leading the nation in triples in 2017 and ‘18, and to batting over .320 for three straight seasons from 2016-18.

“The addition of Joey Holcomb to our staff is very exciting,” head coach Justin Haire said upon Holcomb’s hiring. “Adding a coach that has a proven track record of development, recruiting, and winning is important to our growth as a program. Coach Holcomb has assembled championship-level recruiting classes, developed professional-level student-athletes, and has coached on the biggest stage in our game at the College World Series. His attention to detail, elite level work ethic, and loyalty to something bigger than himself will be a fantastic fit for our program.”

Holcomb hails from Locust Fork, Ala. and is a 2006 graduate of Huntingdon College, where he also coached for four years following his graduation. He lives with his wife Brittany and three sons, Graham, Reed, and Parker.

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