For Immediate Release
SEGUIN, Texas — Darlene Holland, the head coach of both men’s and women’s track and field and cross country and the lone head coach in Texas Lutheran indoor track and field and men’s cross country history, announced her retirement from coaching after 12 seasons as head coach and 17 seasons in total at Texas Lutheran and over 25 years of collegiate coaching.
Holland announces the news of her retirement just days after six Bulldogs student-athletes competed at the NCAA Championships, with five earning All-America status, and just five weeks after her men’s and women’s teams won a combined 12 individual SCAC Championships.
“I knew coming into this season that it was going to be my last,” Holland said. “I had a vision of what could happen this year with the team, and many of my predictions came to fruition. Nobody on the team knew I was retiring, and we went through all of our seasons ‘business as usual.’ I am extremely proud of not only our group who made the NCAA Championships, but the team as a whole as we took on the SCAC competitors and gave it our all.”
Holland just completed her 12th season as the director of both Texas Lutheran’s cross country and track and field programs. She arrived in Seguin in the fall of 2006 as an assistant coach for the women’s programs to then coach Pat Zarate, winning three consecutive American Southwest Conference (ASC) titles together from 2010-12, before taking over as head coach for the TLU women’s cross country and track and field programs in 2012-13. In 2014, she was named the inaugural head coach for Texas Lutheran’s men’s cross country and track and field programs.
“I am thankful for the opportunity that Patrick gave me to jump right in with our women’s teams while he was the head coach,” Holland said. “I think our personalities balanced each other out and we could get the most out of our women. It was pretty awesome to come in right away in the first year and have a national championship 4×400 relay. It was at that moment that I knew things could reach epic proportions here at TLU. I was all in!”
“Adding the men’s programs was a huge challenge for me and one that I openly welcomed. I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait to have the drive and determination of male athletes blend in with the already inspired women we had on the team. It was definitely a fantastic atmosphere. The inaugural men’s team set a very high standard for themselves and set the foundation of a very strong program.”
Under Holland’s leadership, Texas Lutheran was positioned as one of the premier programs in the ASC and Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). Her Bulldogs captured seven championships across ASC and SCAC competition including women’s cross country (2012, 2013 (ASC)), women’s track and field (2013 (ASC), 2014 (SCAC)), and men’s track and field (2017, 2018, 2019 (SCAC)).
In her final season, Holland led TLU men’s track and field to one of their most historic seasons to date. Texas Lutheran qualified two athletes for the NCAA Indoor National Championships, six athletes for the NCAA Outdoor National Championships, tallying five All-Americans, while also leading the program to its highest national ranking in program history of number seven in the nation earlier this season. Three cross country athletes also competed in NCAA regionals in 2022 with men’s cross country making their first NCAA Regional appearance since 2019.
In total, Texas Lutheran has qualified over 100 athletes to the NCAA Championships and had 65 athletes achieve All-American status by finishing in the top eight at NCAAs under Holland whether as the head or assistant coach in charge of that event area.
“For 17 years, Coach Darlene Holland has committed her leadership, expertise, and passion to the TLU Track and Field and Cross-Country Program. Her impact on the TLU Track and Field and Cross-Country Program is unparalleled,” Bill Miller, Texas Lutheran Director of Athletics, said. “She started as an excellent assistant and transitioned to being one of the top NCAA DIII Track and Field and Cross-Country coaches in the nation. She just completed her 12th season as head coach of the women’s cross country and women’s indoor/outdoor track and field and her ninth season as head coach of the men’s cross country and men’s indoor/outdoor track and field. She has done an incredible job. She has led the Bulldogs Cross Country and Track and Field program to conference championships in two different NCAA DIII conferences, she has coached National Champions, many All-Americans, and has been Coach of the Year multiple times.”
“It is difficult to completely capture in words what she has meant to the TLU Cross Country and Track and Field Programs. She set a high standard and maintained a high standard. She is a winner and committed to doing things the right way. She has left a long term and historical impact on TLU Cross Country and Track Field. Most importantly her student-athletes were not only winners on the track but also excellent students. She has had a tremendous impact on the lives of hundreds of student-athletes who competed in the TLU Cross Country and Track and Field programs. Her leadership, knowledge, and impact will be hard to replace. On behalf of the TLU Athletics Department, I want to thank her for her commitment, her continuous desire to achieve excellence and the tremendous job she did leading multiple Cross Country and Track and Field Programs. She has made her mark in TLU Athletics history, and we wish her all the best in her retirement endeavors.”
Holland has been honored as the SCAC’s track and field Coach of the Year four times, also earning USTFCCCA South/Southeast Region Men’s Track & Field Coach of the Year honors in 2017 and 2019, a feat which only four other women in all divisions have ever been honored.
Holland’s student-athletes have won 122 SCAC individual titles as coach at Texas Lutheran and 134 in total, adding her lone season as head coach in the ASC.
Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships (4)
2019 – Men’s Track & Field
2018 – Men’s Track & Field
2017 – Men’s Track & Field
2014 – Women’s Track & Field
American Southwest Conference (ASC) Championships (3)
2013 – Women’s Cross Country
2013 – Women’s Track & Field
2012 – Women’s Cross Country
SCAC Coach/Staff of the Year
- 2019 (Men’s Track & Field)
- 2018 (Men’s Track & Field)
- 2017 (Men’s Track & Field)
- 2014 (Women’s Track & Field)
NCAA National Champions
- Taffey Gray, Staci Jackson, Casey Toombs, Ashley Williams, Women’s Track & Field, Indoor 4×400 Relay (2007)
- Amber Meeks, Staci Jackson, Jessica Raglon, Ashley Williams, Women’s Track & Field, Outdoor 4×100 Relay (2008)
- Briana Aiken, Women’s Track & Field, Outdoor Long Jump (2010)
- Marquis Brown, Men’s Track & Field, Indoor 400m (2017)