Harvey Holmes
File:Harvey Holmes.jpg
Holmes pictured in Wickup 1913, Idaho State yearbook
Sport(s)Football, baseball, track
Biographical details
Born(1873-01-16)January 16, 1873
Geneva, Minnesota
DiedMay 10, 1948(1948-05-10) (aged 75)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Playing career
Head coaching record
Overall60–24–4 (football)
21–11 (baseball)

Harvey Robson Holmes (January 16, 1873 – May 10, 1948) was an American football player and coach of football, baseball, and track. He served as the head football coach the University of Utah, (1900–1903), the University of Southern California (1904–1907), and the Academy of Idaho—now known as Idaho State University—(1909–1914), compiling a career college football record of 60–24–4. Holmes was the head baseball coach at Utah from 1901 to 1904 and at USC in 1908, tallying a career college baseball mark of 21–11. In addition, he served as the head track coach at USC from 1905 to 1908.

Early life and playing career[edit | edit source]

Holmes was born in Geneva, Minnesota. He attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he lettered in football in 1897 and 1898.

Coaching career[edit | edit source]

Holmes became head football coach at the University of Utah in 1900, and led the team to a record of 16–9–1;[1] he was the first Utah coach to coach for multiple seasons. But his most enduring contribution at Utah may have been his composition of the lyrics to the school song "Utah Man."[2]

In 1904 Holmes became the first salaried head coach of the USC football team, and he compiled a 19–5–3 (.759) record over four seasons. USC's teams were called the Methodists before becoming the Trojans in 1912. In 1905, Holmes was the coach of the first USC team to play outside of Southern California. On November 4, playing a game at Stanford, the Methodists were trampled 16–0 by the traditional West Coast powerhouse; it was also USC's first game ever against major college competition, an experiment which the team would not repeat until 1914. While USC and Stanford would not meet again until 1918 (Stanford dropped football for rugby during those years), this was the beginning of USC's oldest rivalry. But college football was going through a crisis period in which numerous players were dying in games every year, and many schools dropped the sport in favor of rugby for several seasons; the University of California switched from football to rugby from 1906 through 1914, and Stanford dropped football from 1906 through the end of World War I in 1918. Given its schedule featuring small colleges, high schools, and military and club teams, USC in that period had little need for a football coach with Holmes' credentials, and he departed in 1908; the university eventually switched to rugby from 1911 to 1913. Holmes' 1906 and 1907 teams had a combined record of 7–1–2, and outscored their opponents 218–20.

Holmes also coached the USC track team from 1905 to 1908, and was the first formal coach of the baseball team in 1908, posting a record of 17–2. He was succeeded as football coach by USC Law School graduate Bill Traeger.

In 1909 Holmes became football coach at the Academy of Idaho, where his teams had a record of 28–8 over six seasons, including perfect records of 4–0 and 6–0 in his first two years.

Death[edit | edit source]

Holmes died at the age of 75 on May 10, 1948 in Salt Lake City, Utah.[3]

Head coaching record[edit | edit source]

Football[edit | edit source]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Utah Utes (Independent) (1900–1913)
1900 Utah 2–1
1901 Utah 3–1
1902 Utah 5–2–1
1903 Utah 3–5
Utah: 13–9–1
USC Methodists (Independent) (1904–1907)
1904 USC 6–1
1905 USC 6–3–1
1906 USC 2–0–2
1907 USC 5–1
USC: 19–5–3
Academy of Idaho Bengals (Independent) (1909–1914)
1909 Academy of Idaho 5–0
1909 Academy of Idaho 5–0
1910 Academy of Idaho 6–1
1911 Academy of Idaho 5–4
1912 Academy of Idaho 1–2
1913 Academy of Idaho 5–2
1914 Academy of Idaho 6–1
Academy of Idaho: 28–10
Total: 60–24–4
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.

References[edit | edit source]

Additional sources[edit | edit source]

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