Sherman Holmes may not be a name you recognize here at Ohlone. He joined the Ohlone College Athletics Department in 2020 to lead our men’s basketball program as the head coach. Holmes has worn many hats on and off the field. Originally from Chicago, he’s a former high school athlete and went on to play college ball at Kings River Community (known today as Reedley College), and played at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for two years from 1990 to 1992. In 2009, Holmes was inducted into the Chicago Basketball Hall of Fame. His success on the court has inspired him to create success in his personal life and to share that path with others.
Hi everyone, my name is Sherman Holmes. I am excited to be the new Head Men’s Basketball Coach here at Ohlone College. My goal is to build a foolproof basketball program that educates, graduates, and develops young professional men. The plan is to develop our men’s basketball players from a holistic perspective, encompassing the complete student-athlete.
I have coached at the collegiate level for over seven years. I was an assistant men’s basketball coach at Fresno State from 1999-2002. While there, I had the pleasure of coaching with one of the great NCAA basketball coaches of all time, Jerry Tarkanian. During my three-year coaching career at Fresno State, I coached five players who went on to play in the NBA, two of which were NBA lottery picks. I was an assistant at San Jose City College in 2015/16 under legendary coach Percy Carr. In 2018/19, I took over as the men’s head basketball coach at San Jose City College.
Basketball has been everything to me. It has provided me an opportunity to get to know people from all walks of life. It has allowed me to compete against and coach some of the most talented athletes in the world. It has positioned me for personal and career success as I have had the opportunity to pursue my education. And, I have had the opportunity to travel the world all because of basketball.
Playing the game has inspired me beyond the court. In fact, because of my training on and off the court, my focus on personal development and personal growth has taken off. Because of my dedication I have worked to acquire two master’s degrees, one in Business Administration and Educational Counseling. The lessons I have learned through basketball have motivated me to be more. I believe in giving back—helping student athletes by using my own experiences as a student athlete and as a college basketball coach and transferring that knowledge to them. I also believe that my role for the past six years as a school counselor for the Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) has helped me learn to approach situations more sensitively, so students can be more receptive when receiving information.
Coaching isn’t just showing up on the court and implementing drills and plays. It’s about teaching others what you know and paying it forward. I’ve found a way to do that through writing and sharing that knowledge with my students.
I have written three books: Black in America: The Importance of getting an Education; Deception: Inside the Lines of College Basketball; and most recently, Damaged Goods: A Message on Undiagnosed Anxiety, Stress and Mental Health Disorders in Today’s Adolescents.
I wrote Damaged Goods because I want students to not be afraid to address their mental health. Working as a school counselor with FUSD, I have had the opportunity to sit and listen to students and their parents grappling with their mental health. I have listened to stories that have captivated me so much so that I was moved to write about them. I want families to know that it’s okay to address the mental health elephant in the room.
That leads me to WHY I decided to write Damaged Goods. Growing up I was lost. I found myself spinning out of control when I was a child. I didn’t know which way was up. I found myself moving in directions that had the potential to destroy me.
For me, I personally had so many things to deal with growing up in the disenfranchised, poverty-stricken, and underserved ghettos of Chicago. My experience growing up in Chicago painfully stained my reality of life. It confused me. It tormented me. It had the potential to really damage me if I failed to identify with it. In my neighborhood, most families lived from day-to-day not knowing what tomorrow would bring. Homelessness was a way of life and the neighborhood was decayed. People from my neighborhood seldom if ever made it out. They failed to get an education. Families were depleted and their self-esteem was shot. I realized, early on, how important it was to empower myself with tools to pull myself up and out and to remember where I come from but to look ahead at the same time.
I am currently finishing up my fourth book, Corruption in the Hall: Surviving the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree, which is set to release in January 2021. The book is about my eleven-year experience working with at-risk and delinquent youth at the Fresno County Juvenile Hall. Much of my caseload consisted of teenage murderers. Although many of this young population was headed to prison, I worked hard to provide them with hope by teaching them the importance of changing their lifestyles and I talked to them about the importance of behavior modification. I wanted the youth to know that change was possible if they wanted it and if they worked on it.
Overall, I would surmise that my role is one of a coach, mentor, and role model. I believe my calling is one of servitude. When I was a child, I was blessed to have great men who came into my life to help navigate me down a meaningful pathway. I needed them so much and because of them I reached extraordinary success. Today, let’s just say that I am paying it forward and I’m trying to be a great role model and man in the lives of my student athletes and those I work with.