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Larry Holley, longtime William Jewell coach and top-10 in all-time wins, dies at 76

Larry Holley coached the Cardinals from 1979-2019, amassing 918 wins as a head coach.
Larry Holley coached the Cardinals from 1979-2019, amassing 918 wins as a head coach.(William Jewell College)
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 7:49 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - One of Kansas City’s sports icons has passed away.

Legendary William Jewell men’s basketball coach Larry Holley died Thursday at the age of 76.

Holley coached the Cardinals from 1979-2019, amassing 918 wins as a head coach, good enough for 10th on the all-time list for men’s college basketball.

The Jameson High School product received 15 Coach of the Year Awards, and notably was the first NAIA coach to receive the prestigious Sears/NABC NAIA National Coach of the Year Award in 1996, William Jewell College stated in a release.

The college listed his following achievements:

  • coached 24 NAIA All-Americans including six first team selections and one who was named NAIA-II National Player of the Year
  • 26 of his players were also named NAIA Academic All-Americans
  • 149 of 155 of his fourth-year players at William Jewell graduated
  • during their time in the NAIA, his teams were consistently ranked in the top-25 national polls, including No. 1 rankings in 1996 and 2004
  • received the No. 1 seed in the national tournament in 2004

Holley was selected to five Halls of Fames in recognition of his illustrious career: The Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the William Jewell College Athletic Hall of Fame, the NAIA Hall of Fame and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

He is survived by his wife Linda, his daughters Lindsay, Lauren and Lacey, along with multiple grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are pending.