Former big leaguer Steve Holm, previously the associate head coach at Sacramento State, joined Purdue baseball as the program's new pitching coach in July 2016.
Holm played professionally from 2001 to 2012, making his MLB debut with the San Francisco Giants in 2008. He joined the Sacramento State coaching staff for the 2013 season and was promoted to associate head coach the following year. He helped the Hornets win 40 games and a pair of Western Athletic Conference titles in 2014.
Holm was an All-American shortstop at Oral Roberts, winning Mid-Continent Conference Player and Newcomer of the Year honors in 2000 after batting a school-record .437. He was drafted by the Giants in 2001 and made the transition to catcher in pro ball. He was part of the Giants' 2008 opening-day roster and also played in the big leagues in 2009 (Giants) and 2011 (Twins). The Sacramento native was also selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1997 MLB First-Year Player Draft after his senior season at McClatchy High School.
In Holm's first season at Purdue, pitchers Ross Learnard (NCBWA Second Team All-American) and Gareth Stroh (Third Team All-Big Ten) both earned notable postseason honors while helping lead the Boilermakers to a 19-win improvement. Learnard (0.58) eclipsed the team's minimum 30 innings ERA record that had stood since 1965 after having a consecutive scoreless innings streak of 35 2/3. Stroh (90 1/3 IP, 1.30 WHIP) teamed with Friday starter Tanner Andrews (8-4, .258 B/Avg.) to give Purdue its most consistent weekend rotation since 2012. Both workhorses won Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, an award a Boilermaker had not won in five seasons. Dalton Parker's six saves eclipsed a team freshman record that had stood since 1993. Purdue's team totals for ERA (5.27 to 4.91), WHIP (1.61 to 1.43), batting average against (.295 to .265) and strikeouts per nine innings (5.8 to 6.7) all improved.
Under Holm's guidance, the Hornets' team ERA dropped from 5.25 in 2012 to 3.63 during his first season and remained below 4.00 for three straight years. The 2015 pitching staff ranked third nationally in WHIP (1.09) and fewest walks per nine innings (2.07) while establishing school records for ERA (2.97) and batting average against (.235). It was the third straight season in which the staff set a new benchmark for batting average against.
Sacramento State won at least 30 games in each of Holm's four seasons as an assistant coach, good for a combined mark of 137-103 (67-41 WAC). Prior to 2012 and 2013, the Hornets had not won 30 games in consecutive years. The 2014 team posted victories against Oregon State, Arizona State, Texas A&M and Fresno State on its way to a program-record 40 wins and its first NCAA Regional appearance. Sacramento State recorded wins against Texas, UC Santa Barbara and LSU as well during his tenure.
Holm also worked with the catchers and infielders along with providing hitting instruction. The Hornets' 2016 MLB draft picks included pitchers Tyler Beardsley and Sam Long as well as catcher Gunner Pollman. Numerous other Sacramento State players developed into MLB draftees after excelling under Holm's tutelage. That list was highlighted by three-time All-WAC honoree and all-time wins leader Brennan Leitao as well as all-time saves leader Sutter McLoughlin. Long and McLoughlin were both Freshman All-Americans to begin their collegiate careers.
Holm played in over 700 games during his 12 pro seasons. He was an All-Star in the Double-A Eastern League a year before making his big league debut with the Giants. As a collegiate standout at Oral Roberts, he was a two-time first team all-conference shortstop. He was named a second team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America during his breakout 2000 season, during which he collected 104 hits and ranked seventh nationally with the .437 batting average. He led ORU with 21 doubles and 46 RBI the following year. The Golden Eagles were a combined 97-28 those seasons while qualifying for two NCAA Regionals as the Mid-Con champions. He graduated in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in recreation administration.
Holm was inducted into the Oral Roberts Hall of Fame in 2014. In the fall of 2016, he was part of McClatchy High School's Hall of Fame class along with former teammate and longtime big leaguer Nick Johnson as well as their coach Brian Loforte.
Holm and his wife, Lindsey, were married in the summer of 2013 and are the parents of a daughter, Annika.