Heather Kahl Holmes
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Head volleyball coach Heather Kahl Holmes opened the gate for the Wake Forest football team on Oct. 25
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Heather Kahl Holmes is in her eighth season at the helm of the Wake Forest volleyball program. She was promoted to head coach in July of 2005 after serving as an assistant coach for the Demon Deacons for five seasons prior.
In over seven seasons as the head coach, Kahl Holmes has amassed a career record of 97-120 overall and 61-85 in Atlantic Coast Conference play. In 2011, the team picked up nine wins including six in the ACC. Wake defeated No.23 Duke at home on a nationally televised game.
The 2010 squad set a new program record with 11 conference victories, finishing the ACC portion of the schedule with an 11-9 record.
That season, the team also collected several notable victories, including a weekend sweep on the road at Clemson and Georgia Tech, a road win over nationally ranked Florida State and a three-game sweep over ACC Champion Duke in front of a packed house at home.
Prior to that, her teams tied the previous school record of 10 ACC wins in a single season in three of her first five years at the helm.
In her first season as head coach, Kahl Holmes led Wake Forest to one of the most successful ACC seasons in program history. The Demon Deacons finished 17-14 overall and 10-12 in the ACC.
Kahl Holmes also led the Deacs to a pair of invitational championships in 2005, winning the Black & Gold Challenge and the UTA Invitational. Wake Forest posted a 12-3 record at Reynolds Gymnasium under Kahl Holmes. Senior setter Erin Borhart was also named second team All-ACC in 2005.
In her second season as head coach in 2006, Kahl Holmes continued to rebuild the program with a young team. The Deacons went 14-17 overall and ended the year with their second straight 10-win ACC season, finishing 10-12 in conference play.
Wake Forest was runner-up at two invitational tournaments early in the season. The Deacs took second place at the season-opening Coors Invitational, hosted by Colorado State, and at their home tournament, the Black & Gold Challenge.
Under the direction of Kahl Holmes, sophomore Natalie Mullikin and junior Jackie Lucas combined to re-write the Wake Forest record books at the middle blocker position in 2006. Mullikin finished the year as Wake's single-season record holder in total blocks, block solos and blocks per game, while Lucas broke the school's single-season record with 114 block assists. Mullikin was named second team All-ACC and to the All-ACC Academic Team.
The 2007 season was a tough one for Kahl Holmes, as injuries thrust young players into key roles. Despite an 8-23 record, Kahl Holmes was able to groom several young players that will be key contributors in the years to come.
Under Kahl Holmes in 2007, Mullikin earned first team All-ACC accolades and freshman setter Kelsey Jones was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team. Both players also earned Academic All-ACC honors.
The 2008 campaign started out with a bang as the Deacons started with a school-record 13-4 record and was a program best 12-1 at home. Kahl Holmes guided the team to tournaments wins at the Deacon Invitational, Appalachian State Invite and the Black & Gold Challenge.
Wake finished the year with a 19-13 record and was 10-10 in the conference. Natalie Mullikin cemented herself as one of the best players to wear the Black & Gold as she finished her career as the school's most prolific blocker. She also earned AVCA All-American honors in 2008 to go along with her second-straight ACC First Team honors.
After the Deacs struggled through an injury-riddled first 10 matches of the 2009 season, Kahl Holmes was able to regroup the team and lead them to an above .500 record over the remaining 21 matches, including a six-match win streak midway through the season. Wake Forest ended the year with an 11-20 overall record and a 9-11 record in ACC action.
In over 10 seasons with the Demon Deacons, Kahl Holmes has coached three honorable mention All-Americans, three All-Region selections, 13 All-ACC players, one ACC Player of the Year, three AVCA All-District team members and one ACC Rookie of the Year.
As an assistant coach from 2000-04, Kahl Holmes served as the Demon Deacons' recruiting coordinator. In addition to coordinating all recruiting visits, she helped with day-to-day operations and was in charge of the guidance and training of the setters. Kahl Holmes also carried the responsibility of developing the team's defensive system and game strategies.
Bringing a wealth of experience to the floor both as a player and as a coach, Kahl Holmes' familiarity with the program will help the Wake Forest volleyball team build on tradition and continue to rise in both the ACC and on a national level.
Prior to her arrival at Wake Forest, Kahl Holmes began her coaching career as an assistant at Clemson. An assistant coach for five seasons, she helped lead the Tigers to a 1997 ACC Tournament championship, a 1999 ACC regular season championship and three NCAA Tournament appearances. She also coached one AVCA All-American in her tenure at Clemson.
Before beginning her coaching career, Kahl Holmes was a standout player for the Tigers, leading them to their first two NCAA Tournament appearances and one ACC Tournament final as the team's starting setter from 1991-94. In 1994, she had an outstanding senior season and was named Second Team All-ACC and Third Team AVCA South Region. Kahl Holmes also made the ACC All-Tournament Team and was named Clemson's team MVP.
Selected to the ACC 50th Anniversary Volleyball Team on August 1, 2002, Kahl Holmes was honored as one of the top-50 players in the history of ACC volleyball.
Kahl Holmes earned her undergraduate degree in special education from Clemson in May of 1996 and completed her master's degree of education in guidance and counseling services from Clemson in December of 2000.
Kahl Holmes is married to former Wake Forest baseball standout Michael Holmes. The two, who were married on New Years Eve, 2005, currently reside in Winston-Salem.
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