Joey Holcomb was promoted to the post of assistant coach and recruiting coordinator in July of 2015, and will enter his fourth season in the same position in 2019. He previously served three seasons as UNCG's volunteer assistant coach.
2018 saw the Spartans earned a 39-15 record, marking the third-straight season of 36 or more wins for the first time in program history. Holcomb worked with the hitters and catchers, helping the offense finish with a .326 team average, ranking second in the nation.
Holcomb helped the Spartan offense record 624 hits and drove in 345 runs during the year. In 54 games, UNCG led the Southern Conference hits per game, averaging 11.56 per contest. The Spartans went for double-digit hits in 35 games, going 30-5 and were 12-0 when scoring 10 or more runs.
Under Holcomb’s guidance, UNCG had three players make appearances behind the plate. The catcher position was the only position to not record an error during the 2018 season. Ryan Clinch, Ryan Caveness and Jake Kusz each logged innings behind the dish, 575 errorless chances. Thee three combined to throw out 16 attempted base stealers and picked off five base runners.
Holcomb helped facilitate an offense that stole 86 bases during the year, ranking second in the SoCon and 30th nationally. UNCG ranked 29th in stolen bases per game, averaging 1.59 per game, led by Cesar Trejo’s 22. Dillon Stewart added 13 stolen bases, with Andrew Moritz swiping 12 and Tripp Shelton grabbing 10 bases. Holcomb waved home 394 runs as the Spartan offense ranked 13th in the nation, averaging 7.3 runs per game. The Spartans also led the country in triples for the second-straight season, tripling 30 times, averaging 0.56 triples per game. Moritz set a new school record by recording 10 triples this season. Six players earned multiple triples on the season. Trejo tripled six times tying for sixth-most in school history.
UNCG finished 2017 36-24, earning 36 wins in back-to-back seasons for the second time in school history. After finishing the regular season in third place, the Spartans won their first-ever Southern Conference Tournament Championship in Greenville, S.C., making the NCAA Regionals for the first time since the 1997 season.
The Spartan offense set a school record and led the NCAA, hitting 33 triples on the year, breaking the record set the season before. UNCG hit at or above .320 for the second-straight season, while driving in 400 runs and scoring an average of 7.3 runs per game.
Holcomb works as the Spartans third base coach and dedicates his time to working with the catchers defensively. After an injury to the starting catcher prior to the 2017 season, Holcomb worked to convert outfielder Ryan Clinch into the Spartans every day catcher. While working with Holcomb, Clinch earned a .992 fielding percentage, committing four errors on the season. Clinch threw out 14 runners attempting to steal finished off UNCG's second-ever triple play against VMI on May 7th. After two errors in the first nine games, Holcomb's catchers recorded just two more errors over the final 51 games of the season.
2016 was a monumental year for the Spartans. UNCG ended the regular season leading the NCAA in average, hits, doubles, triples, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. Holcomb also waved home a school record 492 runs serving as the team's third base coach, as UNCG set school records for average, hits, RBI, doubles, triples and on-base percentage during the year.
Along with setting school records, UNCG finished on top of the SoCon in several categories including runs, doubles, triples, RBI, total bases, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and sacrifice flies. The Spartans finished in the top three of the SoCon in stolen bases, fewest strikeouts, and at bats.
The Spartans finished 13-8 in the Southern Conference, tied for second, marking the school's best finish since the 2003 season. UNCG also earned 38 wins during the regular season, the best in the last 13 years of Spartan Baseball.
Holcomb worked with UNCG's catchers during the year, helping Jake Kusz earn a spot on the preseason Johnny Bench Award watch list. Under Holcomb's tutelage, Kusz earned a .996 fielding percentage while starting every game behind the plate. The junior catcher also threw out 11 potential base stealers and helped turn a pair of double plays.
With Holcomb's help, the UNCG offense compiled a Southern Conference-best batting average for two consecutive years from 2013-14. In addition to the stellar batting averages, the Spartans ranked in the top 50 nationally in numerous offensive categories. Holcomb helped lead the Blue and Gold to a fourth-place finish in the SoCon standings in 2015 – the squad's highest ranking since 2011.
In 2013, Holcomb mentored Cambric Moye who was selected by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. Moye hit .303 in 53 games while also tallying 59 hits, six home runs and 35 RBI. He was also named the Southern Conference Player of the Week after hitting .529 to help the Spartans to a 3-1 week that included a series win over No. 22 Georgia Southern.
During his second season with the program, Holcomb led the catching staff to a .980 fielding percentage as they snuffed out over 25 percent of all steal attempts.
Prior to his arrival at UNCG, Holcomb spent four seasons as assistant head coach at Huntingdon College. His on-field duties included working directly with Hawks' outfielders and catchers. Holcomb helped mentor utility player Grant Brown and catcher Joseph Odom to D3baseball.com All-South Region accolades. Odom became Huntingdon's first ever player to be drafted after three seasons. Odom was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 13th Round of the 2013 MLB Draft.
In 2012, the Hawks garnered a 30-12 record and captured the Great South Atlantic Conference title after falling in the title game in 2011. In 2013, the Hawks captured their first-ever top South Regional Seed as a result of Holcomb's recruiting efforts.
Holcomb's previous coaching experience includes one season as an assistant at Clay-Chalkville High School in 2008 and two seasons as a Huntingdon graduate assistant in 2006 and 2007.
In his season at Clay-Chalkville, Holcomb coached two All-State performers and helped the Cougars reach the Class 6A playoffs. In his two seasons as a Huntingdon graduate assistant, the Hawks were 59-26. Huntingdon finished in a tie for the Great South Athletic Conference regular-season title in 2007.
As a player with the Hawks, Holcomb enjoyed a successful career. As a junior, he earned All-Conference as a catcher. He graduated from Huntingdon in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in biology and later earned his master's in secondary education. In addition to his collegiate playing career with the Hawks, he also played two seasons at East Central Community College in Decatur, Miss.
Joey and his wife Brittany have two sons, Graham (3) and Reed (1).