Ron Holmes, a 1973 graduate from Van Horn High School, will serve as this yearâ€™s commencement keynote speaker. Since leaving Van Horn, Mr. Holmes has earned many high honors in his professional career.
He is a 1977 graduate of McMurry College with a Bachelor of Science in English and he earned a Masters of Education in Physical Education/Health in 1984 from Abilene Christian University.
While at Van Horn High School, he participated in football, track, band and UIL literary events. He was a state champion in 1971 in band as was designated as the Texas Music Educatorâ€™s Class A State Honor Band. Also in 1971, he was part of the state champion basketball team.
He coached at Clarendon High School for two years, leading the Broncos to a top 20 ranking and district championship. Holmes went onto Brownfield High School for six years leading his teams to the playoffs four years to include District Championships, Bi-District Championships, Area Championships, Two Region I-AAA appearances with one Region Finalist team and One Region Championship, plus a Final Four appearance in AAA.
Holmes coached on the collegiate level for 20 years at McMurry University with 15 of his teams making post season playoffs â€“ 3 Sweet Sixteen appearances â€“ One Elite Eight appearance. Ron Holmes coached the Indians to multiple 20 win seasons with his 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 squads being hailed as the most dominant back to back small college teams in Texas and McMurry basketball history as well.
These teams had a combined 51-6 record coupled with a 38 game conference record winning streak in the American Southwest Conference.
Mr. Holmes coached players and teams that still hold 51 school records, some of them national, with his 1999-2000 team that lead the nation in scoring. They averaged 103 points per game and a conference record 108 points per game. Coach Holmes recruited numerous all-conference players, academic all-conference players, with one academic All-American and 6 players that earned All-American status.
He was named “Coach of the Yearâ€ several times and South Region NCAA Coach of the Year once. His coaching success also allowed him to travel to Europe 3 times and Argentina once to coach USA Basketball teams for USA Athletes International.
His overall record coaching record is 512 wins and 244 losses. Holmesâ€™ winning percentage at McMurry still stands as the highest winning percentage in McMurry Menâ€™s basketball history.
Probably his greatest professional accomplishment occurred in January 2012 when McMurry honored Holmes by dedicating the Kimbrell Arena floor and recognizing his contributions to the university as a development officer, administrator, player, and coach by naming the floor “Ron Holmes Court.â€ Subsequently, he was inducted into the Hall of Honor at McMurry University.
Coach Holmes served on several national committees for the NCAA as well as the NAIA. Locally, he chaired conference committees for the American Southwest and Heartland Conferences as well many committees on campus at McMurry.
Since his retirement from McMurry, where he served as Athletics Director for six years. He now works for BML Oil in Abilene as a purchaser of crude oil. He is married to Leta Boswell Holmes and has two daughters; Rachael Holmes, who lives in Abilene, and Linsey Holmes Schwartz of Austin and her husband Derek.