Cover photo for Larry R. Holley's Obituary
Larry R. Holley Profile Photo
1945 Larry 2022

Larry R. Holley

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.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Larry R. Holley, please visit our flower store.

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