Bert Holt, a former Fresno State player who coached the College of the Sequoias baseball team for 21 years and was a major league scout, died from complications of pneumonia Friday. He was 82.
COS hired Mr. Holt in 1965 to be an assistant in football and baseball. He became the head baseball coach in 1968 when Roy Taylor retired and what would become a storied career took off.
With the Giants, Mr. Holt won 423 games and four conference championships. His 1970 team captured the Northern California championship and was runner-up to Cerritos for the state title.
Really rare for someone to get to work their passion, and he’s definitely one of those guys. He had a passion for baseball.
current COS coach Jody Allen on legendary predecessor Bert Holt
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Four of his players went on to play in the major leagues: Jim Wohlford, Steve Stroughter, Bob Ojeda and Brad Mills. His No. 6 jersey has been retired at COS.
Mr. Holt would make his presence known at practices even after his retirement, making sure coaches and players remained on top of things by showing them how it’s done.
“Going through a drill and he’d look at me,” current COS coach Jody Allen recounted. “(It was) one of the nice things as a head coach, because it’s hard to watch everybody – 25 to 30 guys in a drill. Having a trained eye and a guy confident enough on other aspect of drills is beneficial.”
Mr. Holt, a 1992 California Community College Baseball Association and 2014 COS Hall of Fame inductee, began his coaching career at Redwood High in 1957 before going to Exeter from 1960-65.
423-343-3 Holt’s overall record in 21 seasons at Sequoias
263-196 Holt’s conference record with the Giants
As a player, Mr. Holt starred first at Greenville High, lettering in three sports. He attended a baseball clinic in Chico where Fresno State coach Pete Beiden was an instructor. Mr. Holt was hooked and became a Bulldog, lettering at Fresno State in 1956.
Learning from Beiden helped push Mr. Holt into coaching. He retired in 1988 but became an area scout for the Chicago Cubs, Montreal Expos and Colorado Rockies.
“Lived a great life,” Allen said. “Really rare for someone to get to work their passion, and he’s definitely one of those guys. He had a passion for baseball.”
Mr. Holt is survived by his wife, Sue, and four children, Dave, Darren, Teri and Sheila.
Services are pending.