Eureka College athletics

Tom Batters
Kim Holdenrid

The doctor probably thought he was giving Kim Holdenrid good advice when he told her to hang up her basketball shoes for good after she injured her ACL (the same one she tore a few months earlier) in 2002.

“I didn’t let that bother me,” she said. “I’m not a quitter.”

Holdenrid, a former point guard at Mendota High School and Eureka College who now works in the Eureka College athletics office, has had four knee surgeries. One of her ACL tendons is still partially torn.

“I’ll worry about it some other time,” she said, smiling.  “It hurts sometimes, but I have too much to do right now. I was able to come back and play after tearing it. I’ve always been able to bounce back.”

She takes that same optimistic, meet-a-challenge-head-on outlook into everything she does, including the busy role of helping to keep the Eureka College athletics department running.

Holdenrid, 27, is in her third year as the administrative assistant in the EC athletics office.

Under athletics director Paul Bryant, she assists with scheduling, filing, phone calls and a wide variety of other tasks.

Her biggest project is the annual Red Devil Nation Golf outing, which is June 11 at Metamora Fields. She recently mailed out more than 1,000 letters to local businesses, asking for support of the event, which is the athletic department’s biggest annual fund-raiser. Her phone and email inbox are quite active as she lines up reservations, sponsors, supplies, schedules...

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun,” she said.

Just like dad...

Holdenrid was a three-sport athlete (basketball, track and cross country) at Mendota High School.

She played basketball for her father, Chris, through middle school.

He still attends all her games (she is the sophomore girls basketball coach at Eureka High School). She said she always looks for him in the stands, where he is usually sitting by himself so he can concentrate in the game.

“I’ll look up at him, and we’ll know what each other is thinking, just by the way we look at each other. We have such a strong connection,” she said. “He’s been my biggest influence in coaching, and in everything else. He and my mother (Cindy) have been so supportive of everything I’ve done.”

Kim and her dad would shoot about 500 shots in the driveway every day.She said he instilled a strong work ethic.

“He believed in playing good defense, and he expected you to give everything you had every time you went onto the court, so that’s the way I always played,” she said.

Holdenrid tore cartilage in her knee when she was in eighth grade. When she was a junior, she tore her ACL. After months of physical therapy, she reinjured the knee in her first game back that summer before her senior year.

She came back to play her senior year despite the stern warnings from doctors who said she may not be able to walk by the time she’s 30 if she kept playing basketball.

“You can let things get you down, or you can just get up and try harder,” she said.

Back to Eureka...

Holdenrid played basketball at Eureka College for four years, leading the Red Devils to a 21-7 record, one win away from the NCAA Division III Tournament her junior year (2006).

She led Eureka with 68 assists her senior season.

After she graduated in 2007, she went to work for State Farm Insurance before returning to campus in 2009 to become the Red Devils’ head cross country coach.

She recently resigned that position so she could build the basketball program at Eureka Middle School.

She will continue to work as the athletics department administrative assistant, and she is currently finishing her teaching degree at Eureka College.

She also coaches the sophomore girls team at Eureka High School. She led that team to a 19-3 record last year, which was the best sophomore record in school history.

“It was sad to give up cross country, but I’m really excited about coaching at the middle school,” she said. “I’m a big believer in fundamentals. I’m looking forward to helping those girls learn the game at such an early age, so that they can go on to have success at the high school level.”

The fall middle school season ends in November, which will give her about a week to get ready for the winter sophomore season.

“It’s going to be a lot of work, but, the kids are so great to work with,” she said. “I enjoy it so much, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Holdenrid said she would eventually like to become a full-time teacher and varsity coach, but, for now, she is happy with the way things are going.

“Paul and everybody here (at Eureka College) are the best,” she said. “I enjoy coming to work every day. It’s like a family here.”