By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Marty Holly of College of Idaho has been named the 2013 NAIA Athletics Director of the Year, the national office announced Monday. This prestigious award is given annually to an athletics director for his or her accomplishments in all facets of athletics administration over the course of the previous year. Holly will be formally recognized at the 73rd Annual NAIA Convention Awards Luncheon on Saturday, April 12 in Kansas City, Mo.
“It is my privilege to recognize Marty for his service to College of Idaho,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “Marty is a trusted advisor who is universally admired throughout the Cascade Collegiate Conference and the NAIA. I’m honored to present this award to an NAIA Hall of Famer and a deserving recipient.”
Holly, who has spent the entirety of his professional career at College of Idaho, has been the school’s athletics director since 1981. He also served as the Coyotes head men’s basketball coach for 19 years before stepping down following the 1999-2000 season.
College of Idaho, and by association Holly, had a banner year in 2013.
Based on their athletic performance, the Coyotes finished 12th in the Learfield Cup standings—their highest placement all-time. While achieving historic success on the field, College of Idaho student-athletes also accumulated 69 Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) All-Academic Team nods and 32 NAIA Scholar-Athlete awards, as 16 of 17 athletic teams maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher. Six Coyote student-athletes were also selected as Capital One Academic All-Americans, the only award that requires stringent criteria for performance both in the classroom and on the field.
Holly also led the charge to reinstate football at College of Idaho including: recruiting head coach Michael Moroski, a 25-year assistant at University of California-Davis and eight-year veteran of the National Football League; raising over $1 million in startup costs to revive the program after a decades-long hiatus; and expanding student-athlete enrollment to nearly 400 of just over 1,000 total students at College of Idaho.
Beyond football, Holly also fundraised a record-setting $600,000 for the general athletics fund and nearly $2 million in gifts and pledges toward the forthcoming $4 million Marty Holly Athletics and Outdoor Education Center, the first new building on the College of Idaho campus in a decade.
For his efforts, Holly, who is already a member of the College of Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame (2001) and the NAIA Hall of Fame (2002), earned his second CCC Athletic Director of the Year award (2009, 2013).
Holly is so well-respected among his colleagues that the other athletic director nominated for the CCC Athletic Director of the Year award withdrew his nomination “in recognition and support of Holly,” said Rob Cashell, CCC Commissioner.
While Holly’s accomplishments speak for themselves, it is the way that he goes about leading College of Idaho that makes him truly deserving of national recognition. “Marty leads in a way that fosters pride, integrity and respect,” Cashell said. “He does this by ‘doing’ and by ‘example.’”
Setting that example, along with what Matt English, Concordia (Ore.) Director of Athletics, calls an “endless supply of energy,” has allowed Holly to lead College of Idaho to increasingly impressive accomplishments over his 33-year tenure, including the banner year of 2013 for which he is being recognized.