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Holley, Larry R.

Holley, Larry R.

June 28, 1945 — May 12, 2022

Lawrence Russell Holley, II, "Larry", beloved husband, dad, Papa Bud, coach, mentor and friend, passed away unexpectedly on May 12, 2022 at Liberty Hospital.

Larry was born June 28, 1945, in Bethany, MO, the only child of Lawrence Russell and Linda (Pugh) Holley. His parents preceded him in death.

Larry grew up in Jameson, MO, where he graduated Valedictorian in 1963 from Jameson High School. He excelled in track, music, speech, and was a first team All-State selection in Huskies basketball.

Larry received his Bachelor's degree in 1967 from William Jewell College. At Jewell, he lettered four times and served as Captain in each of three sports (cross country, basketball and track). He capped his career by being named Athlete of the Year and receiving the Alexander Doniphan Award as most likely to succeed. He later received his Master's degree in Physical Education from the University of Missouri at Columbia.

Larry's 51-year career as a basketball coach included one year at Harrisburg (MO) High School, six years at Central Methodist University in Fayette, MO, and four years at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville. In 1979, Larry began his 40-season tenure as head men's basketball coach at William Jewell College.

Coach Holley led his alma mater to 11 HAAC regular season conference championships and 14 NAIA National Tournament appearances, reaching the Final Four on four occasions. At his retirement in 2019, he had coached 24 NAIA All-American players and amassed 918 career wins. He was honored as the all-time winningest basketball coach among Missouri four-year colleges and ranked in the top ten winningest coaches among US four-year colleges. Larry was honored to be named the Lifetime Achievement Award winner of the Small College Basketball Association earlier this year.

Larry received 15 Coach of the Year awards and was elected to the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, the Missouri Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, the NAIA Hall of Fame, the William Jewell College Athletic Hall of Fame (as athlete and coach) and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

Off the basketball court, Larry was equally as dedicated to his family. He was united in marriage for 31 years to Ann Lee (Pearl) Holley until her death in 2006. Larry was blessed with love once more in 2008 when he married Linda Ann (Price) MacLeod. She survives him of the home in Liberty. Larry also leaves his daughters, Lindsay Brett (Michael), Lauren Quint (Joshua) and Lacey Foster (Brett); grandchildren, Reagan, Evan, Brea and Stevie; Linda's daughters, Angie Mikulicz (Steve) and Sara MacLeod-Arena (Brandon), granddaughters, Abby, Mia, Josie and Sadie, and great granddaughter, Amelia. He also leaves cousins, other family members and countless friends, including the athletes he coached for 51 years.

Larry was a member of Liberty Christian Church and was honored with the Sertoma Service to Mankind award, among countless other awards.

Visitation will be held from 5-8 pm Wednesday, May 18, at Park Lawn Northland Chapel, I-35 at State Route 291, Liberty, MO. A service celebrating Larry's extraordinary life will be held at 11:00 am Thursday, May 19, at the John Gano Chapel located on the William Jewell campus in Liberty. Private family burial service will follow in Glenridge Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in memory of Coach Holley to the Men's Basketball Program at William Jewell College, 500 College Hill, Liberty, MO 64068.

Service Information

Visitation will be held from 5-8 pm Wednesday, May 18, at Park Lawn Northland Chapel, I-35 at State Route 291, Liberty, MO. A service celebrating Larry’s extraordinary life will be held at 11:00 am Thursday, May 19, at the John Gano Chapel located on the William Jewell campus in Liberty. Private family burial service will follow in Glenridge Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in memory of Coach Holley to the Men’s Basketball Program at William Jewell College, 500 College Hill, Liberty, MO 64068.

Holley, Larry R.'s Guestbook

Linda: We continue to pray for you and the family, as now the time begins to get through the day without the physical presence of Larry in your life. Be assured, God and the Holy Spirit are present with us, always, and the love and support of all your kin, and friends, loved ones, near and far. Won't be long before memories of the times together with peace and joy come to pass. God Bless

Diane Montague

Coach Holley coached three generations of my family and they didn’t attend college at Jewell! He coached my husband, who played for Valley, in the 1972 North/South Senior Allstar game. He was only four years older than those kids, and yet he was chosen to coach the North team. Both of our children went to his Jewell camp in the 1990’s. Last summer, our grandson was lucky enough to be coached by him at Jewell’s camp. When we took our grandson the first day, Coach Holley recognized my husband and walked right over and started talking to him. He could remember details of games from the late 60’s and early 70’s and players who had played in those games. He touched so many lives, both with his coaching skill and his character.

Marilyn and Wayne Crawford

I was honored to play basketball at Jamesport against Larry and the Jameson was always considered a successful season if we won. Unfortunately, Larry was unstoppable and his honors are well-deserved!

Jack Wiles

Larry Holley represented all the best qualities of the coaching profession. He was a college basketball icon but an even better person. Condolences to his family, the William Jewell community and all of the players who were privileged to be a part of the Cardinal program. May he rest in peace.

Steven Veal

The most positive life force I have known. His life was a blessing to us all and his spirit lives with us. All roads lead to Larry Holley.

Randy Farris

To my cousin Linda and family . May you have peace and comfort in the days ahead. We're so sorry for your loss. Larry will be missed for sure.

Karen and Gary Murdza

We are saddened to learn of Larry's passing. Above all of his accomplishments, he was one of the kindest people we have ever met. Never saw him without that friendly, engaging smile. He will be missed. Condolences to Linda and her and Larry's combined family.

Bill Johnson and Donna Lee Szulski

To the family, friends and community of Larry Holley, It was a honor and privilege for me to officiate games that Larry Holley coached in for over 30 years. And even though he may have won 919 games over a legendary college basketball career, anyone that knew Coach Holley knew that he didn’t define his success in life by the games he won or lost on the court. It was so much more about the countless people whose life he touched, the friendships and connections he made while he was here and the impact he had on his players, students, the coaches and players he competed against, and yes, even the officials who worked his games. Larry was an incredibly driven person whose class, dignity, thoughtfulness, kindness and wisdom will have a lasting impact on generations to come. We were ALL so very blessed to have known him and to have witnessed and learned from his example. With sincerest admiration and respect.

Bill Titcomb

We are all shocked and sorry for the sudden lost of Larry. His leadership and state wide presence with the youth of the Midwest will be solely missed. RIP!!!

Gary Lee Hazelrigg

I had the honor and privilege to know Coach Holley for over 60 years. He allowed me the opportunity to participate in 20 Larry Holley Boys and Girls Cardinal Basketball camps. A true gentleman, friend and Coach. Charley Files

Charley and Debbie Files

Larry will be sorely missed by many. One of the most caring and compassionate people that I have ever known. Mullen Sports held camps and jamborees at William Jewell for many years and Larry was the ultimate host. RIP dear friend

Jerry Mullen

We are saddened by Larry’s death! Our prayers are with family and friends during this time of mourning. Larry meant so very much to so many. We cherish our friendship.

Sandra and Ed Elliott

The loss of Coach Holley is a devastating one. I'm filled with shock and sadness over the loss of this great Man. He meant so much to so many people. Coach Holley was more than a coach. He was a father figure, friend, teammate, mentor, teacher, husband, dad and so many other things to so many people. I will be forever grateful for all that he did for me. Thank you so very much Coach! My thoughts and prayers are with Coach’s wife Linda and his daughters as well as the entire Holley family. Jewell, Liberty, KC and the World lost a Legend. Coach will be missed by many but never forgotten. Love you Coach!

Chad Jones

Larry and I hadn't been in touch since college days at William Jewell but reconnected on Facebook. I loved his funny postings. Clearly, he was a man with a great sense of humor. He will be missed by many, most obviously by his family. Sending my heartfelt condolences.

Richard Pilcher

I am shocked by the passing of Larry. My sympathies and prayers go out to Linda and their combined families. His many accomplishments were outstanding and his loss to family and friends must be devastating. I am truly sorry, Linda. Prayers and hugs.

Diana Welsh

My thoughts and prayers are with Larry’s wife Linda and his daughters as well as the entire family. The privilege I had to play for Coach at CMU was a blessing. Larry was the perfect example of honesty and integrity. The mark he left is beautiful. RIP COACH

Steve Kline

Larry’s accomplishments on the court are overshadowed only by the raising his three amazing daughters. My heart is heavy for you all and my thoughts are with you, always. Love, Francke

Chris Francke

Coach Holley was a friend, and opponent during my years at Rockhurst. As the years went by my respect and admiration only grew . He was a special coach , person and friend and he will always in my thoughts .

Jerry Reynolds

My deepest, most heartfelt condolences to Larry's wonderful family. I mourn Larry as a fraternity brother, teammate and lifelong friend. Larry was one of a kind - a true gentleman, a great leader, a great friend.

Dave Parker

My deepest condolences to Linda and Larry’s family. I met Larry as a basketball opponent on basketball courts in Iowa and Missouri. Though not blessed with above-average talents, he was a fierce and tireless, and highly skilled and accomplished performer—and a gentleman at every turn. I got to know him better later, when our paths crossed while coaching at Central Methodist College; far beyond his ability to coach sports, he was an outstanding educator, genuinely caring and in-touch with individual students—I know this because I watched him teach and overheard emotional testimonials from his students. I recently became better acquainted with Larry and Linda, and I deeply admire his family, his vast legacy, and his humble, friendly nature—not to mention a memory and sense of humor that I found unparalleled. A huge loss to his family, to his many friends, and to the Jewell and Liberty community. May he RIP.

DeWayne Mason

Deepest sympathy’s to the Holley family. He impacted so many lives. Coach will be greatly missed in the Jewell and Liberty community.


Sending much love and comfort at this sad, sad time. We are thinking of all of you. If there was ever an example of resilience it was your Father-he gave that gift to each of you and it will give you strength. Much love, Barbara and Bob

Barbara Brett and Bob Albrecht

Thoughts and prayers to friends and family. I had Coach Holly for a badminton class in the late 80's. None of us could ever beat him. He was a firecracker. He will be greatly missed. Jewell class of 1990.

Evelyn Tidwell

Prayers and love to all of you. We lost dear and beloved friend who was the sunshine in the day.

Joanne and jim

I am so sorry to hear about Larry's passing. His passing is a great loss to our little community.

Stephanie Ann Dahlberg

To Linda and all of the Holley family. My heart is heavy for the loss of Larry. I met Larry when I was working the chain crew at William Jewel football games. If I saw him in the Mabel Center, football games, basketball games or out in public he always had time to say hello and a quick chat. Great coach, great leader, great disposition and a great great person and family man. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family during this time. RIP Larry

Marvin Otis

To Linda and Larry children: Larry's loss is devastating. He was a good, fine man and too young to pass on. We have been friends and classmates of Larry since he and I (Bob) entered Jewell in 1963. His success in life and on the basketball court were well deserved. He will be missed by all of us. Please accept our deepest sympathy. Bob and Cheryl

Bob and Cheryl Steinkamp

We are so sorry for your loss. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your entire family.

Scott & Janet Shipers

I got to know Larry, and Linda, on the tennis court! A wonderful man with a positive attitude, fierce drive, quirky sense of humor (Love all his Facebook jokes and sayings), and a commitment to do and be the best he can. May Linda, the family, and all his friends be blessed and comforted with many fond memories of Larry. Love, Gordon & Janet

Gordon Zoesch and Janet Coleman

There are not enough superlatives to describe this awesome individual. Larry was the consummate professional in all aspects of life. We all know Larry is in a better place but it sure is hard to let go of a guy like Larry. Rest in piece my friend.

Mike Davidson

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