Kenny Holmes

Kenny Holmes Named Defensive Coordinator

SEBASTIAN — Sebastian River High School football coach Randy Bethel helped recruit Kenny Holmes to the University of Miami when Holmes was a senior at Vero Beach High School, and now almost two decades later, he is bringing the former defensive end to his staff at Sebastian River.

Holmes, who played seven seasons in the NFL, takes over as the Sharks' new defensive coordinator, replacing Tony Perry, who will remain on staff in a different role.

A former defensive coordinator at Vero Beach for two years, Holmes spent last season as an assistant coach at New Mexico State University but resigned and returned home to Vero Beach about a month ago.

"He's an outstanding football coach," Bethel said. "He's got a wealth of experience to bring to what we are trying to do, and he enhances our program. Any time you can upgrade in anything you are doing, it's best to do that.

"Having him on our staff is an upgrade. We saw the opportunity, and it just worked out."

Bethel, also a Vero Beach High School alumnus, played for the Hurricanes from 1987-90 and was Holmes' host during his official visit at Miami in 1992. The two have remained friends since and talk on the phone often, so when Bethel learned Holmes was not returning to New Mexico State, he invited Holmes to attend a practice and take a look at the Sharks in their spring game against Treasure Coast.

Holmes liked what he saw and accepted when Bethel asked him to join his staff.

"What he's teaching the kids before sending them off to college, helping them in the classroom and helping them transcend into young men, I felt I could learn from what he was doing and I could help the program out at the same time," Holmes said. "The situation with Randy was a perfect opportunity to get back in the area and allow me to coach at a high level and continue to do the things I've learned as a player and coach.

"It just so happened he had the position available to hire a coordinator, and I just happened to come home around the same exact time, so it worked out great for both of us."

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Kenny Holmes rooting for his friend and former team in Super Bowl XLVI

It should come as no surprise that Kenny Holmes will be rooting hard for the New York Giants to win Super Bowl XLVI.

He played for them from 2001-03.

"Absolutely, I'm rooting for the Giants," said Holmes, the former Vero Beach High School and University of Miami standout who spent three years with the Giants after four seasons with the Tennessee Oilers/Titans, "Not only did I play there, but one of their coaches, Jessie Armstead, is a really god friend of mine,"

Holmes and Armstead played together in New York and at UM, where Holmes was Tennessee's first-round pick in the 1997 NFL Draft.

It was with the Titans that Holmes, a starting defensive end, made it to Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.

You might remember that game -- especially the final play: The Kurt Warner-led, Dick Vermeil-coached St. Louis Rams escaped with a 23-16 victory when linebacker Mike Jones tackled Titans receiver Kevin Dyson one yard shy of the goal line.

"We were one yard away from going to overtime," Holmes said. "I think about that a lot."

Still, Holmes, the former Vero Beach defensive coordinator who now coaches defensive tackles at New Mexico State, plans to watch Sunday's Super Bowl. And he'll be rooting for the Giants.

At some point, though, his mind will drift back to Jan. 30, 2000 ... and that last play.

"One yard," he said. "I'll never forget it."

That should come as no surprise, either.

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