Sherrie Holloway (‘85) is Clarks Summit University’s longest-standing female member on faculty today. She believes she’s here because this is simply what God has wired her to do. Holloway is in her 31st year of serving the Lord at CSU; she is chair of the Health and Human Performance Department and professor of health and physical education. She also served as the head coach of women’s basketball for two decades. “I love what I do,” says Holloway. “I think I have the best job in the world.”
Holloway grew up in South Jersey and wanted to be a medical lab tech, but her parents told her that she must attend a Bible college for at least one year before going anywhere else. She knew she wanted to play basketball, and since CSU had both a one-year Bible program and a women’s basketball team, Holloway decided it was the perfect fit. She planned to leave after a year or two, but God had other plans. She soon realized God wanted her to be a teacher and coach, and she decided to stay as a Physical Education major. She was offered a job as a part-time assistant coach after graduation, and she hasn’t left since.
Above all, Holloway wants people to know it’s not about her—that she’s only able to do what she does because of God’s work and grace in her life. She loves working with college students and believes God gave her the desire to interact with them about what matters. “I really believe this is where God has me right now, so this is where I’ll stay,” she says, and that she simply “[continues] to find better ways to do what God has called me to do.”
Not unlike other CSU faculty and staff members, Holloway seeks to build lasting relationships with her students. She mentors her students and basketball players with passion, truth and love. Christine Zeck, a student who plans to graduate in 2018, says, “Coach Holloway was my basketball coach last year and is currently my mentor. She is someone who has instilled the importance of playing my hardest, working hard for the goals I want to achieve for today and my future, and making God look good in everything I do, on and off the court. We have had some great conversations about how to take what I am learning in the Word and what I know to be true about God and apply that to life situations. Not only does she show me how much she values me by having lunch with me, going for a walk and sitting beside me in chapel, but she reminds me of how much God values me.”
Holloway’s impact has reached far beyond the classroom, the basketball court and for some students, even beyond graduation. Jessica Emmanuel (’07) still keeps in touch and says, “The best word I could think to describe her is ‘passionate.’ Her passion was immediately evident from the moment I met her. I sat down wanting to know about CSU and the basketball program, but the first thing she asked me was about my relationship with God. I knew at that point I wanted to play for this woman. For four years I watched as Coach lived out her passion for basketball and Christ. 1 John 2:6 says, ‘Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.’ It is not easy to walk the walk, but Coach sure does it, and with passion. She inspires me to follow in her footsteps and live life like crazy.”
Holloway is humble about what she does but she loves bragging about God’s work. “I get to have a front row seat of what God is doing,” she says, “and the view is incredible.”
By Heather Sagnor, senior in the Communications-Writing program