Holmquist continues to coach Biola sports teams to victory

Coach Dave Holmquist has led many Biola teams to new records, and is looking to reach 800 wins this season.

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Job Ang

Athletic Director Dave Holmquist started coaching Biola basketball in 1978. He oversees the 300 athletes and 19 teams of Biola athletics. Job Ang/ The Chimes

Dave Holmquist, Biola’s athletics department director, has become one of the most successful coaches in college basketball. In his 30 years at Biola, Holmquist has acquired an impressive 752-251 record, making him one of 40 college coaches to have coached over 1,000 games. Under his leadership, men’s basketball averages 25 wins every season – a feat never before accomplished at Biola.

Similarly, the Eagles had never made the NAIA Championships until Holmquist came along; they have since been 17 times.

Holmquist’s coaching earns awards

In 2002, he was inducted to the NAIA Hall of Fame for outstanding coaching. During the 2001-2002 season, Holmquist became the youngest coach to win 600 games, and was also among the youngest when he reached the 700-win point during the 2006-2007 season. The team eagerly awaits this season, where it is almost inevitable that Holmquist will hit 800 wins.

While Holmquist has had a number of outstanding seasons, his most successful one to date remains in the 1981-1982 season. With that team, Holmquist finished with a shocking 39-1 record. This put the team in the final game of the NAIA championships, and landed Holmquist with the NAIA Co-Coach of the Year Award. Since then, Holmquist has earned the GSAC Coach of the Year Award three separate times (1996-1997, 2001-2002, and 2003-2004 seasons).

Also during Holmquist’s tenure as head coach, Biola has been proud to see many athletes excel on the field; some have reached the professional levels of their respective sports. Currently, Rocky Hampton is playing professional basketball in Germany and Hawkins Gebbers just finished his first season in the Seattle Mariners minor league baseball.

Holmquist’s leadership postivitely impacting Biola teams

Today, Holmquist continues to coach men’s basketball and direct the athletics department at Biola. Since his arrival, he has made significant changes to the department. Biola athletics might be enjoying its most exciting time in history, with three teams this semester ranked nationally. Men’s soccer, volleyball, and women’s cross country all entered the season ranked in the NAIA top 10.

Spring sports are expected to do just as well. The swimming and diving team starts their season in October, and are led by a new coach, Brittany Sharpe, as well as returning national champion April Smith. Senior Natasha Miller will once again head up the track and field team, which had an impressive last season and has a promising core of returning athletes. Both basketball teams will be extremely competitive as well.

Holmquist doesn’t plan to stop just yet. “We feel very good about facilities improvements that have been made, and continue to be made, but there are still a number of improvements in different areas that we desire to make,” Holmquist said.

It is a broad job he says, with 300 athletes and 19 sports under his control. In the end, Holmquist is extremely positive and he begins his 30th year at Biola saying, “The president and his leadership team have been very supportive, and we are encouraged about what the future holds for athletics.”

Holmquist’s journey to Biola

In 1972, Holmquist transferred to Biola as a student from nearby Cypress College. In 1974, his senior year, he was named captain of the basketball team, following in the footsteps of former Biola president Clyde Cook. Upon graduating, Holmquist took the job as head coach for Fresno Pacific University. After three seasons, he returned to Biola in 1978 to become head coach.

In 1957, the Biola athletics department got its start. None other than Biola’s seventh president, Cook, founded the department. Prior to this, Cook himself played on the Eagle’s basketball team. Besides being a player, Cook was actually the head coach for the men’s team during his senior season at Biola. With such an incredible start, it is easy to see why the Biola athletics department is so successful. However, it is not without the hard work of the great men who follow Cook’s example that the athletic department continues to grow.

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