Mike Holder sat front and center as Oklahoma State president Dr. Kayse Shrum, new athletic director Chad Weiberg and Larry Reece spoke during Weiberg’s introduction.
Before the crowd gathered inside of the O’Club of Gallagher Iba departed, Reece asked for one last round of applause for Holder, the now former athletic director. The crowd of media, family, coaches and friends began to clap, and then rise to their feet to celebrate Holder.
“I hope he can’t fire me today,” Reece said.
In 1966, Holder walked onto the OSU campus as a member of the Cowboy golf team. In 1973, Holder took over the program as the head coach.
It has been more than five decades of hard work, phone calls, coaching and playing, but Holder’s time in Stillwater is drew to an end Thursday, at least in an official capacity.
Holder established a new standard of dominance in the golf program, taking it to another level. Holder led the team to eight NCAA team championships and five individual championships.
In 2005, Holder took over as the Athletic Director of his alma mater. As athletic director, Holder led OSU to six more team championships, 60 Big 12 Championships and 200 All-Americans.
Holder also oversaw an overhaul of OSU athletic facilities. He was integral in the building and renovations of Karsten Creek, Boone Pickens Stadium, Gallagher-Iba Arena, the Sherman E. Smith Training Center, Track and Field Complex, Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center, Cowgirl Stadium, Neal Patterson Stadium, OSU cross country course, Equestrian facilities and O’Brate Stadium.
“Coach, with Robbie by your side, thank you for everything you have done for our alma mater," Weiberg said. "There is not an athletics program here that isn't infinitely better because of your leadership as A.D. these last 16 years."
Holder, who was named a 2013 SportsBusiness Journal National Athletic Director of the Year finalist, was a main force in securing donations from Pickens, who gave more than $600 million to OSU.
Holder leaves OSU as the third-longest tenured athletic director in school history, and he will now hand the keys to Chad Weiberg.
"Thank you, Coach, for all you have done for our student-athletes, our coaches and our fans. Thank you for all you have done for me; I am forever grateful,” Weiberg said.