INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana — Jordan Hulls and Jonathan Holmes have traveled the world during their basketball careers, but they will be close to home on Sunday.
Hulls and Holmes were two of Bloomington South High School’s top scorers and they will be on the sidelines as No. 12 Indiana take on Ohio’s Miami at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Hulls returned to his alma mater preseason as team and recruiting coordinator for Mike Woodson’s Indiana staff, and Holmes is in his freshman year as an assistant coach for Travis Steele in Miami of Ohio.
“It’s exciting to be back in the Midwest after all these years,” said Holmes. “My first year here coaching against Indiana is a big deal so I’m excited.”
Holmes and Hulls played for JR Holmes—Indiana’s all-time high school basketball coach and Jonathan’s father—at Bloomington South. Hulls was named the 2009 Indiana Mr. Basketball, and Holmes finished second to Jason Gardner in 1999 and graduated as the all-time points and assists player.
“He’s someone I’ve obviously watched my entire life going to the Southern games as a kid,” Hulls said at Inside Indiana Basketball. “It’s really special that I can be on the other side and see him in action as well.”
Holmes grew up about five miles from Indiana University and distributed game programs at Assembly Hall with his father. After his freshman year of high school, Holmes said he and his father met with coach Bob Knight to discuss opportunities to play in Indiana.
But Holmes loved ACC basketball as a kid and saw himself in the form of point guards Bobby Hurley and Steve Wojciechowski. Despite growing up a Duke fan, Holmes ultimately chose North Carolina.
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“It was an opportunity to experience something different, a different part of the country, ACC basketball, and obviously it was North Carolina, so it was hard to turn down,” Holmes said. “Coach Knight has been great with me and my dad throughout the process, but ultimately I felt Carolina would be a better fit for me at this point.”
Holmes played one season under coach Bill Guthridge and three for coach Matt Doherty from 1999-2003, appearing in a reserve role in a total of 76 games and reaching the 2000 Final Four. During college summers, Holmes returned to Bloomington, where he coached with Indiana basketball players such as Kyle Hornsby, Dane Fife and Tom Coverdale.
After his North Carolina career, Holmes played professionally in England and Denmark for two seasons. Growing up the son of a coach, basketball was always a way of life, so after his playing career ended, Holmes turned his attention to coaching.
“When I was born, my dad dribbled a basketball out of the delivery room,” Holmes said. “It’s kind of just a part of who you are. It’s the family business, you could say. Obviously as a player, the piece of work ethic, the basketball IQ, growing up in the gym. I spent my formative years growing up in Bloomington South or in gyms all over Indiana, so definitely a big influence on me.”
Holmes’ coaching career began at Montreat College, an NAIA school in North Carolina, where he served as an assistant for a season and won the Appalachian Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles. Holmes then spent two seasons with Francis Marion in Florence, SC before coaching with William and Mary for 11 years. He was an assistant head coach for the past six seasons, including a Colonial Athletic Conference (CAA) regular-season title in 2015, the school’s first since 1998.
Holmes is now in his debut season in Miami of Ohio after three years as an assistant at Elon University and is considered a rising name in the coaching industry. Holmes was named a top-3 assistant coach in the CAA by Stadium in 2020 and a top-50 mid-major assistant coach nationally by Silver Waves Media.
Holmes credits his father, JR, with having an impact on his coaching career, and the two try to talk on the phone after every game. And now that Holmes is back in the Midwest, his parents will be present for Sunday’s game against Indiana at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
“For a long time it was the player-coach and now it’s the coach-coach dynamic, but he will always be my father,” Holmes said. “I don’t think as the son of a coach, my basketball career as a player and coach would not be what it is without him.”
Similar stories about basketball in Indiana:
- JORDAN HULLS RETURNS TO INDIANA: Former Indiana point guard Jordan Hulls was approaching his 10th season as a pro basketball player, but the opportunity to join Mike Woodson’s coaching staff at his alma mater was too good to pass up. CLICK HERE
- JORDAN HULLS APPROACH TO RECRUITMENT: As Jordan Hulls takes over the team and recruiting coordinator for Indiana basketball, he keeps a close eye on the intangible qualities he possessed as a Big Ten champion. Hulls works to build strong relationships with recruits, and he believes his Indiana roots and experience abroad will be helpful in all facets of his new job. CLICK HERE
- HOW TO GET INDIANA VS. MIAMI FROM OHIO: Indiana Basketball (3-0) vs. Miami of Ohio (1-3) tips Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana for the latest on scoring, the coaching matchup, series history and more. CLICK HERE
- TRAVIS STEELE’S INDIANA ROOTS: Travis Steele, Ohio basketball coach from Miami, grew up in Danville, Indiana and supported the Indiana Hoosiers. He later worked on the staff of Kelvin Sampson in Indiana. On Sunday, he will practice his Redhawks against Mike Woodson and the No. 12 Hoosiers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. CLICK HERE
- OPENING LINE: Indiana will be looking for their fourth straight win on Sunday when they take on Ohio’s Miami at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Here’s the opening spread as of Sunday morning – the Hoosiers are big favorites – and lots of historical info comparing both teams’ spreads. CLICK HERE