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Holm sweet Holm in tennis

BY AMIE KIEHN | APRIL 01, 2009 7:40 AM

While coaching a team of Little Leaguers in coaches’ pitch, Lloyd Holm managed to throw two no-hitters against his own squad.

Perhaps it was a good thing his two sons switched to tennis.

“He was maybe happy we decided to play tennis so he wouldn’t have to make a bunch of kids feel bad,” Iowa senior Greg Holm said and laughed.

Since leaving the diamond, Andrew and Greg Holm advanced into the world of college athletics while at Iowa. Their parents became one of Iowa’s most visible spectators at tennis meets after Andrew Holm transferred to the team in the fall of 2004, and that has continued since Greg Holm joined the Hawkeyes in 2005.

It has been six years of strong commitment from the Holms. The many long, early morning drives from Omaha to Iowa City have become joyously routine, lately.

With Andrew Holm graduated and Greg Holm’s final year approaching, their parents decided last summer to attend every single Iowa meet. The challenge was inspiring, and the distance didn’t deter them. Lloyd and Gretchen Holm were committed to seeing Greg Holm compete.

“Greg’s parents have made this decision that this is his last year, and they were going to go to every meet,” head coach Steve Houghton said.

Lloyd Holm, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the University of Nebraska Medical School, had saved up his vacation days, waiting for the right occasion to take a break. Gretchen Holm, a nurse at the Children’s Hospital of Omaha, also managed to schedule around the Hawkeyes’ fall and spring season.

“The past three years, we’ve come to most of the home matches,” Lloyd Holm said. “I am able to set my schedule so that we can make most of them, but this year, we wanted to make them all.

“It’s [Greg’s] last year, and he’s our youngest child. We’ve done it so far.”

Lloyd and Gretchen Holm’s affection for their son and the Hawkeyes is evident when speaking of any of their prized memories.

“When they were on the road one time, they stopped by our place in Omaha … we went through 13 boxes of pasta. It was incredible,” Lloyd Holm said, his eyes still astonished by the Hawkeyes’ gigantic appetite. “We just love them. They are nice, nice kids, absolutely the nicest young men, and so we are looking forward to be lifelong Hawkeye supporters.”

A reason for the Holms’ extreme dedication is attributed to Houghton.

“Coach Houghton recruits families, he doesn’t just recruit players,” Lloyd Holm said.

Houghton’s career-long responsibility to better his athletes in life and in tennis was juxtaposed to other coaches approaching the Holm family during the recruitment period.

Iowa was the place for Greg and Andrew Holm to excel.

Greg Holm’s enthusiasm for Iowa is evident just like his parents, which Houghton said he will miss.

“He has a good sense of seeing the bigger picture, besides just forehands and backhands,” Houghton said. “He has been a really valuable member of team the four years he has been here.”

The French and communication-studies major is thinking about his future, but he says his plans remain a secret.

No matter what Greg Holm decides to do, his parents will be there to support him every step of the way.

“They have always been really committed,” Greg Holm said. “So I guess it’s not surprising that they are coming to every match, it’s such a big commitment.”


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