“ALL ROADS LEAD TO JAMESON-YOU JUST NEED TO KNOW WHICH WAY TO TURN”
This is a phrase coined by legendary Jameson native Larry Holley, the all-time winningest college basketball coach in the state of Missouri. Larry hung up his sneakers and whistle at the end of the 2018-2019 season as Head Coach at William Jewell college.Holley became the head of the William Jewell men’s program in the spring of 1979. He retires with 830 wins at Jewell, 12 conference championships, 25 twenty-win seasons and 4 thirty-win seasons. On January 25th, 2018 he picked up his 903rd career win to pass legendary Coach Bob Knight and moved into ninth place on the men’s college basketball career wins list.
Larry graduated from Jameson High School in 1963 after leading his team to third place in Missouri’s Class S division. The Huskies finished 33-1 that season with their only loss coming in the state semifinal against South Iron. Larry finished his basketball career at Jameson with 1758 points in 107 games. That scoring record stood for many years, until Frank Wheeler set the current Jameson scoring record in 1980 with 1950 points.
Larry’s father, Larry senior, was the superintendent of schools, taught some classes (math, general science, physics,etc.), drove his station wagon on a bus route each day, coached basketball (both boys and girls at different times) and directed the senior class play each year. His father’s best boys basketball team was his 1952 team. Young Larry was the “towel boy” for the team. “All his players were my heroes,” Larry recalls, “I had to wear #22 when I got to play in high school because his best player, Eddie Hightree, who later played at NWMSU, wore that number.”
This year at the 2019 Jameson Picnic the Jameson Lions Club honored their past president. Frank Wheeler presented Larry with a beautifully engraved pocket compass. Frank indicated the compass was so that Larry would always know which way to turn to return to Jameson. Larry acknowledged, “I didn’t realize how lucky I was to live in a small village growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. Now I understand.”