Robin Ventura, the legendary Oklahoma State baseball player who also spent five seasons as manager of the Chicago White Sox, will join his alma mater’s coaching staff as a student assistant.
Ventura, 52, will attend classes at OSU to complete his college degree while assisting Josh Holliday’s program. The two-time MLB All-Star selection played for Oklahoma State between 1986-88 and still holds a Division I record with a 58-game hitting streak during his junior season.
“I’m really excited to do this,” Ventura said in a statement. “For me, I could do quite a few things, but Oklahoma State and Cowboy baseball is special. I wanted to do and be somewhere that meant a lot to me, not just the baseball part — I love baseball and coaching and being a part of that — but being at Oklahoma State adds an extra layer of specialness to me.
“The people here are family to me, this place means a lot to me and the program means a lot to me. All of it came together with Josh’s help and Josh’s wishes and being with this staff and guys who I’ve known a long time makes it very exciting to be back here.”
Ventura becomes the second former OSU player with major league ties to join the program. Holliday’s younger brother Matt Holliday — a seven-time All-Star selection — will serve as a volunteer assistant in the 2020 season.
Josh Holliday often mentioned his heroes while growing up around the OSU program. The son of former OSU assistant and head coach Tom Holliday, Josh Holliday idolized Ventura while a young boy.
Now he’s excited to work alongside him.
“Robin Ventura will enhance the lives of our players — his experiences inside the game of baseball as a college player, major league player and major league manager provide rare and unique perspective to all of us inside the program,” Josh Holliday said. “When Robin expressed interest in coming back and finishing his degree and joining our coaching staff, it was exciting. In addition to being an amazing player, Robin is an amazing person, teammate and leader who understands people and what a successful organization is all about. He brings people together and has a love for OSU that led him back to campus.
“What a statement about the value of finishing your degree and giving back to the school that helped launch your career. We have a very special coaching staff that will provide our players an amazing experience and a perspective on the game unlike any other in the country.”
Ventura, a member of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, was a first-round draft selection by the Chicago White Sox in 1988. He played 16 seasons in Major League Baseball and retired in 2003.
The Cowboys open the season at Grand Canyon University on Feb. 14. The home opener is Feb. 21 against UT-Rio Grande Valley.
Oklahoma State will open the new O’Brate Stadium with a three-game homestand against TCU beginning on March 20.