The Lifetime Achievement Award for the Small College Basketball Alumni Association is presented each year to an individual who has demonstrated a continuous commitment to small college basketball including measureable, lasting and sustained leadership and service, as well as an impact on the game over a career or a lifetime. The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented each year at the Small College Basketball’s Celebration of the Game. Nominations for the award are made by members of the alumni association.
Larry Holley Named 2022 SCB Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Kansas City, MO – Small College Basketball is pleased to announce Larry Holley has been selected as the 2022 recipient of the SCB Lifetime Achievement Award. 2022 marks the fourth year that Small College Basketball has handed out the Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Jim Poteet, the Chair of the SCB Alumni Association National Committee had this to say about this year’s award winner:
“Larry Holley is truly a small college basketball icon,” stated Dr. Poteet. “He played at the small college level, coached at the small college level and constantly promoted the small college level. He has always been an ambassador for the small college game and uses his magnificent life-time platform to tell the story of players, coaches and colleges who have excelled at this level. I am pleased that Small College Basketball has chosen Coach Larry Holley for the Lifetime Achievement Award. His life has been an inspiration to all who know him.”
After 40 seasons as the men’s basketball coach at William Jewell, Coach Holley retired following the 2018-19 season. A graduate of William Jewell, Coach Holley led his alma mater to 11 HAAC regular season conference championships and 14 NAIA National Tournament appearances, reaching the Final Four on four occasions. Coach Holley was extremely honored to be named the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award winner.
“I first want to thank Small College Basketball,” stated Holley. “I am quite humbled and honored to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award. It is a huge recognition for a small guy from a small town who played at a small college and coached at three small colleges. I was fortunate to coach this great game for 51 years: one at a small high school, two as a small college assistant coach and 48 years as a small college head coach. I owe so much to so many with whom I share this honor: family, coaches, players, school administrators, friends and fans. Each has played an integral part in my journey.”
Coach Holley started his coaching career at Harrisburg High School in Harrisburg, MO. In his lone year at the high school level, Coach Holley led six teams (boys and girls varsity, JV and junior high), without an assistant coach. Coach Holley would go on to coach six seasons at Central Methodist and finish with a record of 61-93. In 1972, Coach Holley was named the Heart of America Conference’s first Coach of the Year. Coach Holley would move on to Northwest Missouri State, where he spent four years on the staff, including two has the Head Coach.
During his extraordinary career, Coach Holley collected 15 Coach of the Year Awards, with the final one coming in 2018 as the Kansas City Sports Commission Coach of the Year. In 1996 he was the first NAIA coach to be named the Sears/NABC NAIA National Coach of the Year. Coach Holley has been selected to five Hall of Fames including: Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, the NAIA Hall of Fame, the William Jewell College Athletic Hall of Fame, the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Legendary coach Tom Smith of Missouri Western University had this to say about Coach Larry Holley:
“Larry Holley epitomizes what small college basketball represents,” mentioned Smith. “He played at William Jewell, coached at Central Methodist, Northwest Missouri State, and won over 800 games at his alma mater, William Jewell. What stands out the most is that Coach Holley has positively touched so many lives, of not only the players he has coached, but all the fans, opposing coaches, and yes, even referees. He is liked and respected by all of us that have ever met Coach Larry Holley. No one can ever talk about small college basketball, without mentioning the name Larry Holley. Holley not only played at a small college, but completed his career with 900 plus victories, achieved at the small college level. What makes Larry special, in achieving this award, is that he is known by every high school and college coach, not only in the state of Missouri, but in many surrounding states. One of his greatest accomplishments has been his mentoring of many ex-players, who have gone into the coaching ranks.”
Coach Holley guided William Jewell to twenty-five 20-win seasons. Coach Holley finished his career at William Jewell with a record of 831-458. Over his 48 year career as a head coach, Coach Holley compiled a record of 918-577, which made him the winningest coach among four-year colleges in the state of Missouri. Coach Holley finished his career coaching 24 NAIA All – Americans, including six first team members and one NAIA-II National Player of the Year. Furthermore, twenty-six of his players were named NAIA Academic All – American.
“I credit John McCarthy who has devoted his time, energy, and heart into creating and building this Small College Basketball Program” mentioned Holly. “It provides a missing link for so many great players and coaches who might otherwise go less recognized. And thank you to the great game of basketball which has allowed me to live my dream.”
Coach Holley will be awarded the SCB Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Awards Show on Friday April 15th. This year’s National Awards Show will be held virtually via a YouTube Broadcast.
For more information on the SCB Lifetime Achievement Award and Small College Basketball head to smallcollegebasketball.com.