Michael Lewis

Holt states his case for a successful career

by Michael Lewis December 18, 2011 in Men’s Soccer


As a goalkeeper who is all of 5-foot-8, Creighton University senior Brian Holt has heard the talk that he was too small to be a goalkeeper.

Yet, he has managed to stand tall in the net and off the pitch in more ways than one.

Holt wound up as one of four NCAA Division I goalkeepers still standing as Creighton earned a spot in the NCAA Men’s College Cup in Hoover, Ala. So, given his play and leadership on the field, and focus, classroom and volunteer work off it, it was not surprising that he was named the men’s soccer winner of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for 2011.

“It’s a great award and I’m honored just to be nominated,” he said. “There are so many soccer athletes out there who do so much. To accept the award on their behalf is tremendous.”

Which says a lot about Holt’s character.

Then again, Holt’s teammates and friends knew about his character as captain of a team that is among men’s college soccer’s final four.

Holt certainly demonstrated he has excelled at the Lowe award’s ideals—community, classroom, character and competition—on and off the field.

On the soccer pitch, Holt has been outstanding. He recorded his 43rd career shutout - an NCAA record—in the Blue Jays’ 1-0 quarterfinal win over the University of South Florida December 4. He has a minuscule 0.22 goals-against average this season, with a Division I-best 21 wins and 18 shutouts. He has surrendered but five goals in 23 matches in more than 2,000 minutes played this season. He also was named a semifinalist for the men’s Hermann Trophy, college soccer’s version of the Heisman Trophy.

“I have a backline that deserves a lot of credit,” he said. “They do a tremendous job in front of me. I try to put myself in a good position to make a save so when I’m called upon, I’m able to deal with the situation.”

Still, not too shabby for someone who has stood tall in a position dominated by players who are six foot and taller.

Not surprisingly, there have been doubters, but Holt’s outstanding performances have silenced them.

“I think some people have an impression and their own perception on how a goalkeeper should be. I never looked at it that way. I never thought about my size. Every single player has his size and style. I just try to play to the best of my ability.”

When asked about his playing style, the humble Holt replied, “I don’t like talking about myself, but since you’re asking, it is being quick and being able to read the game well to my advantage.”

The Omaha Creighton Prep graduate was just as impressive in the classroom, registering a 3.73 GPA as a double major in finance and entrepreneurship as he was named the CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year.

At the present time, Holt is considering a career in the insurance industry, although he has not ruled out the possibility of playing pro soccer if the opportunity exists in Major League Soccer or the United Soccer League.

“I would definitely like the opportunity to play at the professional level,” he said.

Holt also has found time to do some charity volunteer work. He volunteered at Camp CoHoLo, a camp for children with cancer. He also helped with collections for Haitian relief and Siena Francis House Homeless Shelter. He also worked at several youth soccer clinics in Creighton.

“We feel it’s part of our personality to give back to the community,” Holt said. It’s very rewarding. It’s something that we need to do.”

These are heady times for Holt. Playing for a national championship and graduating in December.

But he is hardly getting ahead of himself.

“At this point, I’m not thinking about that,” he said. “I’m extremely dedicated to my team. This is my priority at this point.”

Which says a lot about Brian Holt and why he won the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.