College of Idaho's AD Marty Holly: "It is time to hand the reins over."

Posted at 10:20 AM, Jul 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-12 12:20:43-04

The College of Idaho is restructuring leadership roles within its athletics department, with longtime C of I coach and administrator Reagan Rossi set to become the Coyotes’ first female athletic director.

Rossi, in her eighteenth year at the College, is being promoted after four years as associate athletic director. She previously served as head women’s basketball coach for thirteen years.

Legendary C of I leader Marty Holly moves into the associate athletic director role, where he will oversee fundraising efforts, C of I officials said. He also will assist Rossi with day-to-day operations and game management, serve as a department liaison to the admission office in recruiting student-athletes, work with faculty in the academic advancement of student-athletes, and invigorate the C of I Athletic Hall of Fame, according to a news release.

“I am extremely excited that President Borst and Marty have given me this opportunity to continue to be a part of this department and this College,” Rossi said.  “My hope is to continue following the path that Marty has laid out. We want to continue putting our coaches and student-athletes in position to be successful both in the classroom and on their playing field.”

A native of Mukwonago, Wisconsin, Rossi earned a bachelor’s degree in athletic training at Saint Ambrose University in 1994 and went on to earn a master’s degree in sports administration from Morehead State University in 2000. She initially joined the C of I staff in 1995, assisting Todd Corman in reinstating women’s basketball at the College. She returned in 2001 as head women’s basketball coach, a post she held until 2014.

“I don’t really consider myself out of coaching -- I consider it more coaching the coaches and the athletics staff,” Rossi said. “There will always be things that I miss about coaching, but I believe there are opportunities in my new position that can fill that void.” 

As a head coach at the C of I, Rossi won 244 games and a pair of Cascade Conference Tournament titles (2010, 2012) while leading the Lady Yotes to five consecutive NAIA Division II National Tournament appearances. Since being promoted to associate athletic director, Rossi has served as the C of I’s Title IX Officer while overseeing budgeting, facility scheduling and compliance. She has also been active in the community, serving as a board member for Destination Caldwell and the Indian Creek Plaza while helping drive the “Go Purple” initiative to connect Coyote athletics with fans and the local community.

Holly steps down after 35 years as athletic director, making him the longest-tenured collegiate AD in Idaho history. The C of I and NAIA Hall-of-Famer was a catalyst in building Coyote athletics into what it is today, growing from four to nineteen sports, overseeing construction of the J.A. Albertson Activities Center and Wolfe Field Baseball Stadium, and helping reinstate football after a 37-year hiatus, the C of I news release said. Holly was named Cascade Conference Athletic Director of the Year four times (2001, 2004, 2009 and 2013) and was honored as NAIA Athletic Director of the Year in 2013. 

“The College of Idaho is such a special place,” Holly said. “Most small colleges have an extreme turnover rate within their athletic departments, but the C of I is different -- our average coach has been at the College sixteen years. We have built one of the best small college athletic departments in the NAIA.  However, I do believe it is time to hand the reins over to Reagan Rossi. She is extremely smart, creative, loyal, tough, and she understands the uniqueness of the College. I am excited to work for her and to continue building the fundraising success we have enjoyed over the past decade.”

As head coach of the C of I men’s basketball program for 19 seasons (1981-2000), Holly led the Yotes to 423 wins. He won 20-or-more games 14 times and led the C of I to 10 NAIA National Tournament appearances, including the 1996 NAIA Division II national championship.

“Marty had been a terrific mentor,” Rossi said. “I can’t think of anybody who could have done more with this department. When he started, we had four sports and one telephone -- now we have nineteen sports, multiple facilities, national championships in men’s basketball, baseball and skiing, and dozens of individual champions in skiing and track. The thing I admire most about working with Marty is his passion for the College and his loyalty for his people. The reason our coaches don’t leave is because Marty has done an amazing job making this our family. I know I speak for the rest of the coaches when I say I couldn’t imagine working for a better person. I am truly blessed to have him as my friend.”