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Russell Holmes

In this day of specialization, Russell Holmes was a rare athlete at The University of Akron where he was the first in 23 years to letter in both football and basketball. A native of Mansfield, OH, the 6-3, 215 pound Holmes was recruited as a wide receiver in 1981. After earning a letter as a receiver, Head Coach Jim Dennison switched him to outside linebacker where he earned three more letters. As a junior in 1983 Holmes played well enough to earn first team All-Ohio Valley Conference (OVC). Later that year, basketball coach Bob Huggins, needing playing talent, asked Dennison if he had any athletes with basketball experience. Holmes was recommended and he promptly earned two letters to become the first UA player since Hall of Famer Tom Adolph, who did it in 1961, to letter in football and basketball. It was in basketball that Holmes almost got the perfect ending to his athletic career. In 1985-86, as UA’s starting center, Holmes averaged almost 10 points and five rebounds and let the Zip cagers in steals (61) to help the team capture the OVC Championship. It brought UA its first and only NCAA I Tournament bid. For his effort, Holmes was accorded the honor of UA’s Male Athlete of the Year.

Inducted 1994 | Football, Basketball