La PORTE — After living in La Porte his whole life and graduating from La Porte High School, Bob Holmes was understandably thrilled to become a coach on the Slicers' football coaching staff.
While he's not a head coach, Holmes doesn't care. The former Michigan City and South Central High School head coach is extremely grateful for the chance to coach with his hometown squad as its defensive coordinator.
“Coaching at Michigan City, it was awful weird for me being on the opposite sideline and looking across at the orange and black,” Holmes said. “It was very uncomfortable, to be quite honest, and definitely different. But to have an opportunity to be on the sidelines for La Porte this year, and hopefully, play a significant role in what we're trying to accomplish out here, I'm very excited. And with 30 years coaching experience, I'm a little long in the tooth.”
Holmes coached seven seasons at the Satellites' helm from 1994-2001. He followed that up by serving as Wolves' head coach for five years from 2002-2006. Holmes then served as Bremen High School's head coach for six seasons from 2010-2015. He had sustained success with the Lions, winning five sectionals in six years, including a regional title in 2011.
Holmes amassed an 111-93 record as a head coach.
“Coach Holmes brings a lot to the table," La Porte head coach Jeremy Lowery said. “No. 1, it's always an asset to have head coaching experience on your staff and he's got a ton of that. The other thing I believe is probably one of his biggest qualities is his leadership skills and how he can captivate an audience. When he talks, our kids are engaged. He's just been a real nice, special addition to our staff.”
While he's elated to coach in the community where he grew up and still lives, Holmes added that he's relishing the chance to serve alongside coach Lowery.
“I've lived in La Porte my entire life, 54 years,” he said. “It's quite an opportunity. I'm very humbled to have an opportunity to come back to my hometown and coach football and help this program out in any way I can. (Head) Coach (Jeremy) Lowery asked me to be the defensive coordinator and I was very excited to have the opportunity to work with him. He's a tremendous motivator and high-energy coach.”
At times last season, the Slicers' defense struggled.
Holmes is aiming to be the catalyst to turn that around.
“The three things we talk about all the time is, 'We want to be physical, we want to be disciplined, and we want to have a little nastiness about us,'” Holmes said. “And more than anything, just play hard-nosed football the proper way and that makes the La Porte community proud of what we're trying to do.”
Holmes has had five children attend La Porte Schools and his youngest is a freshman at La Porte High School.
His one son, senior Max Holmes, is a Slicer standout golfer.
"Having five kids in the school, going here myself, there's a lot of loyalty," Holmes added. “I'm really excited to get an opportunity to wear the orange and black and be closer to my children and watch them play. And just be a part of everything that Slicer football is.”