Gerald Holmes, Staff

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Gerald Holmes, Staff


As the longest-tenured coach across all sports at Bloomfield College, Men’s Basketball Head Coach Gerald Holmes says he was taught from a young age to always put academics first.

“My father took me off the basketball team in 7th and 8th grade and the baseball team in 9th grade because I got a ‘C’. I learned very early that I would not be participating in sports unless my grades were where they needed to be,” said Holmes. “I have carried that mindset into all my coaching positions, always emphasizing academics to my players and motivating them to do their best both on the court and in the classroom.”

Holmes, who earned a Bachelor of Science in engineering science from NJIT, played Division III basketball there as a rotation player. Earlier, at Columbia High School in Maplewood, he was a three-sport athlete who played basketball for three years and football for two years and enjoyed street hockey on his own.

His career as a men’s basketball coach at Bloomfield College started in June 2001 when he served as a part-time assistant coach. He became head coach in June 2002, and the accolades came quick and have mounted over the years.

Considered ‘The Architect’ of one of the NCAA Division II East Region’s top programs, Holmes has compiled a 373-238 career record while winning eight CACC tournament championships and 12 regular season first place finishes. Included within those eight tournament championships are two 3-peats (2004-2006 and 2011-2013), with the last league championship coming in 2020. The Bears, under Holmes’ direction have made nine NCAA tournament appearances plus the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2012 and 2018.

In 2011, Holmes guided his team to an NCAA East Region Championship and an appearance in the coveted Elite Eight. The Bears earned the #7 seed in the tournament and knocked off the top 3 seeds to claim the regional title. To date, Bloomfield remains the only CACC team to ever win the East Region Championship. In 2023, the majority of the 2011 team returned to campus to be inducted into the 22nd Athletics Hall of Fame.

Holmes has been honored as the CACC Coach of the Year five times in his career, 2009, 2014, 2018, 2019 and 2020 as well as being named Coach of the Year by the Metropolitan Writers Association in 2005, 2011 and 2018. He has produced the CACC Player of the Year six times, most recently in 2019 when he coached the Player and Defensive Player of the Year, Kavione Green.

Additional accolades include being honored with the Basketball Officials Coaches Sportsmanship Award in 2005 and 2006, and being named one of the Top 50 All-Time Collegiate Basketball Coaches in New Jersey by the Asbury Park Press in 2021.

“I try to be the best that I can be. Of course, having multiple successful campaigns is incredibly fulfilling. Yet, I am most proud that over 80 percent of our recruited athletes graduate,” said Holmes. “My favorite time of the year has always been Commencement Day. I am proud of the students who have come through here and become productive members of society. That’s what it’s all about.”

Reflecting positively on his career choice, Holmes said, “My father told me to do something that I love, to try to be the best at it and to always give back. That has been my mantra,” said Holmes. “Through my job, I help these young men get their education and help prepare them to be leaders and contributors in their communities. I do what I can to reach them, and when the occasion arises, I use my contacts to help them.”

Holmes came to the Bloomfield campus via the New Jersey Institute of Technology where he spent two seasons as their assistant men’s basketball coach. He also served six years as JV head coach and assistant varsity coach at his high school alma mater. 

As a student-focused men’s basketball coach with expertise in motivating youth to achieve goals, Holmes is well recognized for his ability to recruit, lead and develop student athletes. His specialties include recruiting, skill development, talent evaluation, leadership training and development, academic guidance, community engagement and more. In 2008, he was promoted at Bloomfield to additionally serve as Assistant Athletic Director.

For Holmes, basketball and the students are his life. He also serves as a basketball referee for grades four through 12, most recently supporting games for 7th and 8th grade boys’ basketball in the Suburban Essex Travel League. He is an active member of the Black Coaches and Administrators, International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, Minority Opportunities Athletic Association, National Association of Basketball Coaches and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.

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