Dave Edwin Holden

Dave Holden

Dave Edwin Holden, 60, died of an aortic dissection on January 17, 2022, at his home in Greenville, Illinois.

Dave was born on October 11, 1961, in Inglewood, California, to David and Victoria Holden. He grew up with younger brothers Brett and Kurt in the Newhall community of Santa Clarita, California. The Holdens were an athletic family, and Dave’s father cultivated a track and field coaching tradition that started when he trained his sons to throw shot put and discus.

Dave was also a talented football player. The California Interscholastic Federation named him to their all-CIF team during his senior year at Hart High School, and he was a member of the Los Angeles Times’ all-San Fernando Valley team in 1978.

After graduating from high school, Dave became a walk-on offensive lineman for the University of Southern California, where he eventually earned a scholarship. Dave relished his time as a Trojan and the lifelong friendships he made and lessons he learned while playing football. He graduated from USC with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and also earned a master’s degree in physical education.

After he finished his football career, Dave stayed on at USC as a graduate assistant. During this time, he met Teresa Blue, a transplant from the Midwest who was working as an athletic academic counselor. Following a forbidden workplace romance, Dave and Teresa married in 1987.

Dave and Teresa sustained a loving partnership that lasted for nearly 35 years. They supported each other’s academic and career endeavors and raised three children, Lindsey, Ashley and David.

After a stint working for his family’s business, Holden Pest Control, Dave moved to southern Illinois with his family to begin his career in academia at Greenville University, known then as Greenville College.

Dave wore many hats during his time at Greenville. He helped create the GOAL program and advanced the college’s adult and graduate education programs. Dave served as a dean, coordinated NCAA compliance and oversaw the school’s accreditation for many years. In 2005, Dave earned his EdD in higher education administration from Nova Southeastern University.

Dave also spent many years as a track and field and cross country coach. He continued his father’s tradition of family coaching and trained his daughters in sprinting, hurdling and jumping and his son in basketball.

Dave helped coach Lindsey and Ashley to multiple Illinois state medals and titles and David to a second team all-state recognition. All three of them will forever treasure their dad’s coaching and the time they spent together on the track and the court.

Dave also started Greenville High School’s cross country team, which he spent 15 years building into a full-fledged program.

In addition, Dave coached hurdlers at Greenville University from 2017 until his death. He spent summers volunteering as a throws coach for the East St. Louis Railers starting in 2005.

Dave’s athletes knew him as a coach who taught them to work hard and strive for their best performances while also having fun. Music and goofy dance moves were constants at his practices.

Dave exemplified his Christian faith through his acceptance of others and his constant efforts to act as a servant leader. He was a longtime treasurer at St. Paul’s Free Methodist Church in Greenville.

Dave always encouraged his children and athletes to “be different,” to “do great things,” and to “help others.” He also pushed them to “lighten up” when they got too anxious or stressed.

Dave will be sorely missed by his family, friends, colleagues, athletes and community. He is survived by his wife, his children and his brother, Kurt.

Dave’s family will honor him with a celebration of life on Jan. 30 at 2 p.m. at the Greenville University Recreation Center at 425 Elm St. in Greenville. The family has made funeral arrangements through Donnell-Wiegand Funeral Home at 203 West Oak St. in Greenville.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Greenville High School cross country team through the Comet Sports Boosters.

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