McALESTER — With the conclusion of Saturday’s Class 5A tennis tournament and track meet, McAlester’s 2013-14 sports year came to a close. It also marked the final year for Bill Holt as McAlester’s athletic director.
McAlester Public Schools officials and coaches turned out in droves to honor Holt and his 15 years as AD at a retirement celebration Wednesday at the MPS administration building.
The event featured a video montage of coaches and administrators wishing Holt well. Holt then gave a speech thanking his coaches, family and the community.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time here,” Holt said in his speech.
A member of the McAlester High School class of 1968, Holt went on to play football for four years at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant. His coaching career included stops in Idabel, Texas, Henryetta — where he coached future NFL legend Troy Aikman — and Wilburton before coming to McAlester for good in 1990.
Holt became the athletic director nine years into his stint at McAlester. He announced his retirement at a March 10 school board meeting.
“I’d never really thought about retiring too much because I didn’t really have anything to do other than be AD,” Holt said. “There’s only so much golf you can play. In October, we bought Buffalo Gals Antiques in Old Town, and so that’ll give me an outlet to have something to do.
“I loved my job, but I’m just ready to retire.”
Under Holt’s direction, McAlester saw multiple improvements made to its athletic facilities. These included construction of an indoor practice facility at Hook Eales Stadiums, installation of an artificial field and new rubberized track at Hook Eales, renovations to the Bob Brumley Gymnasium basketball court and improvements at Mike Deak Field.
Two new McAlester sports also came into existence during Holt’s tenure: girls’ volleyball, which produced a state championship in 2006, and boys’ and girls’ soccer.