Hall girls basketball coach keeps piling up victories and honors
Brian Holman is almost as good at earning coaching honors as he is at coaching.
A year after being named District 11 Coach of the Year, the Hall High School head girls basketball coach was honored as an Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year, according to the Illinois High School Association's website.
“It's a great honor because a lot of it has to do with basketball guys voting on basketball guys and other coaches, and kind of the whole organization's honoring you,” Holman told the Illinois Valley Times. “It's a pretty big deal. It's a pretty cool honor.”
Last season was Holman's best, record-wise, in his three years in charge at Hall. He led the Red Devils to a 25-7 mark and the sectional final, where they were eliminated by eventual state-champion Byron. That came on the heels of Hall's 2015-16 season, in which they posted a 21-6 record and a berth in the sectional semifinals — a big improvement on the 13-15 mark in Holman's first season.
Holman credited the “great group of girls” he coached over the last three seasons.
“It's nice to share kind of with them some of the honors and tell them how proud I am of them,” he said.
The growth of the team throughout the season was evident in its results against that powerhouse Byron squad. The Red Devils played Byron twice in the regular season, losing each game by double digits. However, in the sectional final, Hall was down by just 2 points with about two minutes remaining against the team that eventually won its second consecutive state crown.
“After that last game, there wasn't really any disappointment; there was just pride in how we played and how we prepared,” Holman said.
Holman, who taught math for six years at Newark High School before coming to Hall in 2014, got into coaching when Newark needed coaches and got taken under the wing of Dale Skelton, the school's basketball coach for many years, as well as longtime softball coach Norm Meier, who is in the school's hall of fame.
“I was just very fortunate to have two guys that were incredibly good at what they did and treated me incredibly well, and just kind of gave me that spark to kind of move one,” Holman said.
Holman also has spent time as a baseball, softball and basketball coach at Newark.