Over the past four years, head coach Tom Holmoe has tirelessly rebuilt the infrastructure of the Cal Football program, putting a solid foundation in place for long-term success on the field. During his tenure, Cal's recruiting efforts have steadily improved, including three straight nationally ranked classes. The academic support program is far superior over the past few years. And the office complex and locker room have been renovated and expanded. In addition, Holmoe has assembled a coaching staff that rivals the nation's best in college football for innovation, hard work and experience. The signs of turning the Bears into a consistent bowl team are there.
Under his guidance, Cal has defeated both UCLA and USC consecutive times in the same season for the first time in 50 years, and the Bears led the Pac-10 in total defense in 1999, producing first round NFL picks Deltha O'Neal in 2000 and Andre Carter in 2001. Holmoe's diligence and integrity have not been lost on those associated with the program, and last fall, he signed a one-year contract extension that lasts through the 2002 season.
"Tom Holmoe is the type of person and the type of coach we want here at the University of California," said Chancellor Robert Berdahl. "We believe in him and the direction of our football program."
Coaching legend Bill Walsh can also be counted among Holmoe's most fervent supporters. "Tom Holmoe is so far above any other candidate I could think of for the head coaching position at Cal that it must have been an easy decision," Walsh said when Holmoe was elevated to the post in January 1997. "He has an outstanding football mind, he's extremely intelligent and he's well organized. He just exudes class, and he'll be a great asset to the University of California."
Since he began playing football as a sophomore in high school, Holmoe's name has been synonymous with winning, having been a part of 19 conference championships. He can claim three Super Bowl rings with the San Francisco 49ers in 1984, '88 and '89, in addition to the 1994 title as a secondary coach.
A native of La Crescenta, Calif., who was born on March 7, 1960, Holmoe prepped at Crescenta Valley High School in southern California where he starred at both quarterback and safety, before graduating in 1978. He moved on to BYU where he was a starting cornerback from 1980-82, leading the WAC with seven interceptions as a sophomore in 1980. Holmoe earned first team WAC honors as a senior and was drafted in the fourth round by the 49ers in 1983. While a collegian, the Cougars won WAC titles all five seasons he was in the program. During his seven-year NFL career with the 49ers, Holmoe brought home three Super Bowl rings and San Francisco won its division every season from 1983-89.
Playing both safety positions, as well as being a valuable special teams member, Holmoe totaled 151 tackles in his career. After retiring from pro football, Holmoe entered the coaching ranks, returning to BYU to serve as a graduate assistant under LaVell Edwards in 1990 and '91. Holmoe then accepted an offer from Walsh to become the Stanford secondary coach in 1992 and stayed there two years. The Cardinal was Pac-10 tri-champion in '92 with a 10-3 overall record, including a win over Penn State in the Blockbuster Bowl.
In 1994, Holmoe moved back to the pro ranks, serving as George Seifert's defensive backfield coach for two seasons. During his tenure with the team, he coached pro bowlers Deion Sanders, Tim McDonald, Eric Davis and Merton Hanks. In '95, the 49ers recorded 26 interceptions, the team's highest total in nine years. Holmoe joined the Cal staff as defensive coordinator under Steve Mariucci in 1996. After Mariucci left to become head coach of the 49ers the following January, Holmoe was elevated to the head position two days later.
Holmoe graduated from BYU with a degree in zoology in 1983 and received a master's degree from BYU in athletic administration in 1995. In 1999, he was listed as one of the Top 30 Sports Figures in Orange County history by the Orange County Register. He and his wife, Lori, live in Foster City with their four children: Shannon (17), Danny (15), Erik (13) and Lauren (7).
Holmoe's Career Record