Mike Holmes has been named Assistant Athletic Director and Men's Basketball Coach at the University of Maine-Presque Isle. Holmes comes to northern Maine from Creston, Iowa where he led Southwestern Community College (SWCC) for the past six seasons. In his time at the helm of the Spartan program, Holmes has twice had teams nationally-ranked in the NJCAA top 20. The hallmark of Southwestern basketball during the Holmes tenure has been tough, tenacious defense and a disciplined, team-oriented style of offensive basketball.
SWCC competed in the ultra-competitive Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) which regularly sports several of the finest junior college teams in the nation. This past season was no different, as the ICCAC had four members in the NJCAA Division I and II final Top 20 Poll.
"Our hiring committee was looking for a leader with vision and a technically strong basketball background. Mike Holmes was a standout in our search; he has administrative experience, a history of positively impacting his student-athletes and building strong basketball programs," said Doug Carter, UMPI women's basketball coach and a member of the coaching search committee. "We are all excited Mike has decided to join the Owl family."
Previous to his time at Southwestern, Holmes spent two decades coaching high school basketball, twice winning regional state-wide coach of the year honors. Holmes began his coaching career climbing the Iowa high school ladder, first coaching at the smallest school level at class A Allison-Bristow in 1989, later progressing to 2A Spirit Lake and then at 3A Waverly-Shell Rock from 1994-1996. In 1996, Holmes was named Northeast Iowa Coach of the Year.
In 2004, Holmes was named Southeast Iowa Coach of the Year as he directed his Ottumwa squad to the programs first-ever Class 4A Final Four state championship appearance. Before Holmes was appointed as head coach at Ottumwa, the basketball program had averaged 5 wins a year in the previous decade. Holmes also held the position of Dean of Students at Ottumwa from 2002-2008.
"When you have been in coaching for a long time, you find that certain places distinguish themselves with the people, vision and atmosphere. I believe the University of Maine-Presque Isle is such a place and feel blessed to be entrusted with responsibilities in the athletic department and with the men's basketball program," said Holmes. "I think it is an exciting time for the program and look forward to being a part of its evolution."
Holmes inherited a Southwestern program that had finished last in its league for eight consecutive years and developed a winning mentality that led to a 14 win season in 2009-2010, only his second season in Creston. That same year Southwestern went on the road and lost to NJCAA Division I national power Indian Hills by only six points, 63-57. Indian Hills has a 347-27 home court record in the last 20 years and have gone undefeated at home in nine of those seasons.
Coach Holmes has mentored more than fifteen Spartans that have gone on to study and play basketball at four-year institutions. His teams have constantly been ranked among the toughest to score against in the nation and his 2012-13 team holds the Southwestern College program record for the lowest points against average at 57.9 ppg.
Holmes graduated from Simpson College in 1989, where he played basketball, and later earned his Masters of Education from Iowa State University. He graduated from West Des Moines Valley High school, where his prep teammate was future NBA player Matt Bullard, who went on the help the Houston Rockets win the 1994 NBA championship.
Coach Holmes and his wife Leeanna, an elementary teacher for the past 15 years, are the proud parents of 2 year-old twins, Greyson and Bronwyn.
Rick Johnson has been named 1st Assistant Men's Basketball Coach at University of Maine-Presque Isle.
Johnson, a native of York, Pennsylvania, last served on staff for the women's basketball program at Angelo State University, an NCAA Division II institution in San Angelo, Texas. Angelo State finished 14-13 last season, 5th in the traditionally-tough Lone Star Conference.
Previously, Johnson was an assistant men's basketball coach at USCAA Robert Morris University-Springfield and also served as a student manager at South Dakota State University for the men's NCAA Division I basketball program. During Johnson's tenure at RMU-Springfield, he coached Reid David who would be named a USCAA Division I Second Team All-American in 2013.
With experience working at some of the most prestigious basketball camps in the nation, Johnson boasts camp stints with the Hoop Group, Hoop Mountain, University of Maryland (3 Summers), Syracuse, Providence, Rutgers, Rhode Island, Arkansas, and Arkansas Fort Smith. Johnson has also worked at St. Anthony's Basketball Camp with Hall of Fame coach, Bob Hurley Sr.
Johnson has experience working as a Head Coach for AAU Visionary Basketball Group in Boston for two Years. He also has experience running AAU basketball tournaments for CharmCity Basketball in Baltimore, Maryland, for two years. Johnson also enjoyed his experience doing skills development with Advanced Hoops in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
During his time as a player, Johnson played varsity basketball at Ecclesia College and at Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College. His career highs at Hillsdale were 36 points against Oklahoma Wesleyan University JV and 25 rebounds against Tinker Air Force Base. As a senior in high school, his William Penn Senior High School (York, PA) squad went 32-2. He graduated high school in 2009.
Johnson will focus on recruiting, scouting, film exchange management, and administrative duties for the men's basketball program.
Alex Jardine begins his first year on the Owl's coaching staff. Jardine has served in the program as a player for three seasons, but has decided to move to the coaching side of things since it is his desire to be an educator and coach at the high-school level upon graduation.
Jardine is a native of Norwich, Connecticut, but played his high-school basketball at Greenville High School in Maine, where he was a top-10 scholar in his class and participated in the East-West All-star game as a player.
Jardine is majoring in physical education at UMPI. He has been honored on the university's Dean's List, and was named the Most Inspirational Player last year as a junior for the Owl's men's basketball squad. Jardine has also been awarded the Rules-Parks Scholarship for physical education.
His responsibilities with the program include administrative duties, on-floor coaching, game preparation, and game management.