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Posted 19 Nov 2001   For week ended November 09, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 09Nov01

By Kent Larsen

Holmoe Resigns: Cal Coach Out After 11-game Losing Streak

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA -- Tom Holmoe, one of just three Mormon NCAA Divsion I head coaches, has resigned from the UC Berkeley Goldon Bears effective the end of the season. Holmoe's resignation caps a 12-year coaching career that included a fast seven-year rise to head coach, but also a declinging record over the past three seasons. "It's with deep regret that I arrived at this decision," Holmoe said in a statement. "We had great dreams when we took over the reins here five years ago, and it's unfortunate that many of those dreams were not realized."

Holmoe will continue coaching the Bears for the last three games of the season, hoping that he can help Cal (0-8, 0-6 in Pac 10 Conference) avoid its worst season since 1894, the last time it had a winless record. The best chance the Bears have to avoid a winless record comes November 23rd, when they play Rutgers (2-6).

The decline of the Bears under Holmoe came almost as quick as his rise to head coach. Holmoe peaked in his second year as head coach, earning a 5-6 record and falling just one game short of a bowl berth. But in subsequent years Cal fell to 4-7 and then 3-8, including straight losses the last three games of the season. The team hasn't won since, and Holmoe has accumulated a 15-37 record as head coach.

A graduate of BYU, Holmoe was a fourth round draft pick into the NFL in 1983, joining the San Francisco 49ers as a cornerback where over the next seven years he won three Superbowl rings. He then wen back to BYU where he was a graduate assistant coach under LaVell Edwards for 1990 and 1991.

Stanford next brought Holmoe in as its secondary coach, and after a couple years he again returned, this time to San Francisco as the 49ers secondary coach. Then in 1996 Cal brought him in as Defensive Coordinator to Steve Mariucci. The next year Mariucci unexpectedly resigned to become head coach of the 49ers, and Cal promoted Holmoe. Before that time, Holmoe had never been head coach at any level.

In announcing his resignation, Holmoe largely blamed himself for the team's disappointing record, "I do take full responsibility for the failures of the team this year and in past years. I had a plan, some things went wrong that we couldn't correct, and ultimately every coach that's in the business long enough knows that he usually pays a price for a poor won-loss record."

But despite the record, Holmoe has won the respect of his players, who have maintained their support for the coach, ""I try not to listen to [the criticism]," linebacker Matt Nixon told the press a few weeks ago, "because if you start thinking about it, you start questioning yourself, you start questioning what's going on." Freshman tailback Terrell Williams excused the record, saying, "We're a young team -- and all a young team can do is get better."

Sunday Holmoe called a team meeting to tell them the news, "It was emotional. I poured out my feelings for them." And the team responded, junior quarterback Kyle Boller said, "He cares a lot for us and that's hard to find." But Holmoe explains that they had all known that the announcement was coming, "The reason I made the announcement now was to take some pressure off the players," he said. "They knew the writing was on the wall. It was a formality."

But rival USC coach Pete Carroll sees another possible motive for the announcement, "He may have thought this will give his boys a charge to come after us," Carroll said. "I'm sure they will rally and play a heck of a game for him."


Holmoe Has a Blank Check
Los Angeles Times 7Nov01 S2
By David Wharton: Times Staff Writer

Holmoe to leave Cal at end of season
San Francisco CA Examiner 5Nov01 S2
By Ron Thomas: Examiner Staff

Cal coach Holmoe announces resignation at end of season
Sporting News (AP) 4Nov01 S2
Associated Press


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