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Holmes leaving SWCC for D-III job

Published: Thursday, July 10, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

The Mike Holmes regime in Southwestern Community College men’s basketball is over.

Holmes announced this week he has accepted the position of head men’s basketball coach and assistant athletic director at NCAA Division III University of Maine at Presque Isle in northern Maine.

Jim Casciano resigned from those positions in April to become head men’s basketball coach at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, N.C. Casciano had a record of 22-45 in his three years, The Owls were 8-14 last season.

Holmes, also a physical education instructor at SWCC, coached the Spartans for six seasons. He entered his sixth campaign with a 72-70 mark, including two nationally-ranked teams as well as setting the school’s all-time mark for defensive efficiency (57.9 ppg).

However, last year the Spartans struggled through an 8-22 campaign including 1-13 in the conference, while battling injuries and personal situations that depleted the roster. That left the six-year mark at 80-92.

SWCC was Holmes’ first collegiate coaching experience after 19 years in high school coaching. Holmes was athletic director at Indianapolis Ritter before coaching at Ottumwa just prior to starting at SWCC, and he said he looks forward to returning to administrative work at a four-year college.

“The administrative position makes for a little more flexibility than classroom instruction,” Holmes said. “The other thing is, it’s a four-year institution, and for our system and complexity, that’s important. It makes the system that much better to have players in your program for four years.”

Holmes and wife Leeanna, an elementary teacher in Creston, will be moving to northern Maine soon with their 2-year-old twins, Greyson and Bronwyn.

“This is a good time to make a move with the twins not being in school yet with a lot of friends they’d be leaving behind,” Holmes said. “The SWCC experience was awesome. It was my first college gig. We had a lot of good guys in our program and it was a chance to coach in a very competitive league. This is where our children were born. I take a lot of good things from Creston in my head and my heart.”

Bill Krejci, SWCC athletic director, is in Mexico this week serving as general manager for the USA Baseball 12-and-under team competing in the Pan American Games. He said applications are being reviewed for the men’s basketball head coach and assistant coach positions.

“We’ll be moving forward with that process quickly,” Krejci said. “Mike Holmes always took care of his business. He was very professional.”

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