Panthers’ hire new defensive line coach

Kenny Holmes profile picture

By Brett Shweky/Sports Director


Recently hired FIU defensive line coach, Kenny Holmes, is a familiar face for Head Coach Butch Davis. Having played defensive end for the University of Miami during Butch’s tenure with the Miami Hurricanes, the two football figures have been managed to reunite with one another.

The former collegiate star spent four seasons with the team and established himself as one of the premier pass-rushers not only on the team, but in the country. He finished his career with 29 career sacks, which ranks second all-time in school history, and earned First Team All-Big East honors in back-to-back seasons.

Holmes explained that Coach Davis was an instrumental part in him becoming an elite defensive player during his collegiate career.

“When I was at the University of Miami, I practically had two D-Line coaches. Greg Mark and Butch Davis. Coach Davis was meeting with me and the rest of the guys just as much as Greg Mark was. I think that helped me evolve into the player that I wanted to be,”said Holmes.

Following his college career, Holmes managed to be selected in the first round of 1997 draft by the Tennessee Titans. Shortly after his arrival to the Titans, in 1999 he helped the Titans make it to their first and only Super Bowl. After completing his contract with Tennessee, Holmes decided to have a change in scenery and signed with the New York Giants. Partnering with future hall-of-famer Michael Strahan, the defensive end duo made their presence felt, helping the team reach the playoffs in 2003.

The Vero Beach High School alumni finished his career having served seven seasons. He capped off his professional career with 289 tackles and 39 sacks.

“A lot of our experiences throughout our lives make us who we are and a lot of my experiences, work wise, have been around football,” Holmes said. “As a player and as a coach, you learn from those experiences. You learn what to do and what not to do and I think that’s kinda my coaching style. With me having had many talented coaches and defensive line coaches in the past, Coach Davis being on of them. It has allowed me to put together a package of a way to teach things and philosophies that are really conducive for younger players’ learning and growing to ultimately make them better players.

Players throughout the defensive line unit, such as defensive linemen Fermin Silva, are eager to learn from the former National Football League player.

“He is a very good coach. He played at the college-level and played in the NFL, so he’s been in our shoes before, which brings a lot of excitement to the room and like I told the people [the associated press] we want to come in as a unit and learn from him,” junior defensive linemen Fermin Silva said. “We want to take everything that he tells us and show it out here on the field. Even the little things like our hand placement, shedding off the block, we do what he tells us, so hopefully one day we can all be where he was at.”

With the Panthers having only secured 17 sacks in the previous season and with the sack leader only having 5.5 sacks on the season, Coach Holmes must find a way to revamp the FIU defensive line.

FIU will travel to Orlando, Florida, on Thursday, August 31, to kick off their 2017 football campaign against the University of Central Florida Golden Knights.

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