Editor's Note: This story is part of The Partnership Project, a series of content written in an effort by The Daily News to follow the formal collaboration of Ball State University and Muncie Community Schools. Read more in this series here.
Jeff Holloway, 1994 graduate and former boys’ basketball coach at Muncie Central High School, was hired as the school’s next athletic director July 1, replacing Tom Lyon — who retired from the position after 22 years with Muncie Community Schools (MCS).
“This is an opportunity to help and give back to where I’m from,” Holloway said in a June 24 press release.
While a student at Muncie Central, Holloway and former Portland Trail Blazers and Memphis Grizzlies forward Bonzi Wells led the Bearcats to a 24-2 record and a semi-state appearance during the 1993-94 season.
Muncie Central Principal Christopher Walker said via email Holloway was one of seven final candidates who were interviewed for the position, and Holloway’s combination of experience and attitude stood out among the other candidates.
“What really set Holloway apart in the interview process was his ability to build relationships with everyone he comes in contact with,” Walker said. “He is just so infectious to be around and will be a fantastic ambassador of Muncie Central High School.”
Holloway also has some high school coaching experience, including a stint with Avon High School’s boys’ basketball team for the last four years and a three-year run with the Bearcats from 2014–17.
As the new athletic director, Holloway is in charge of one of the most storied boys’ basketball programs in state history, among other school teams.
The Bearcats have won eight state championships — which is tied with Marion High School for the most in state history — and have made it to the state championship game an additional seven times.
In addition to the school’s basketball successes, Muncie Central’s girls’ volleyball team has won six state titles, with the boys’ cross country team also bringing home three state championships.
Walker said Holloway’s plan is to continue the school’s strong athletic history and make sure the school’s athletic teams stay competitive.
“We need to become more competitive, and Holloway will do all he can in supporting our coaches to ensure that our student-athletes have a positive, but competitive experience while at Muncie Central High School,” Walker said.
Both Walker and Holloway also plan to ensure healthy relationships are built between students and staff at Muncie Central.
Holloway said, “I think I can help make connections in the community and build relationships with students.”