Getting his priorities in order…Holt stepping down to spend more time with family

Published 10:42 am Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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Forrest Holt has been serving as the Elizabethton High School Athletic Director for the last six years and recently was named as the Athletic Director of the Year from District 1 by the TSSAA this school year.

However, after taking time to do some inventory of his life’s priorities realized an unbalance that he felt would be best served by stepping down from the AD position to dedicate more time to his children.

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“After really examining my priorities and then seeing if what I am doing lines up with those priorities and ultimately it came down to that no it didn’t,” said Holt. “The decision I made to step down as the Athletic Director was to put me in position to be able to live on a day to day basis investing where my priorities are, which are family – my children.

“So, I made the decision that I would take the step down so that I could gain time over the next five to six years before my children graduate. I knew that if I continued to be Athletic Director, although I love it and I have enjoyed it because it has been a tremendous experience, but I felt like I would regret spending so many hours working instead of investing in my children before they graduate.”

Holt, who has been at the school for a total of 10 years overall, hopes to transition back into the classroom at the high school although it isn’t clear yet what that role might look like.

He said that a couple of things are unfolding that could possibly work out either at the high school or within the school system.

“I love Elizabethton City Schools – my children go here and will continue to go here so my plan is to continue as a teacher and employee of the school system,” said Holt.

Holt helped to lead the athletic program doing the COVID year which was challenging in itself but due to the teamwork from administration, coaches, and players as well as the community, the school was able to allow athletes to participate in the trying time although in a strategically challenging environment.

If there was one thing that stood out in his tenure, Holt quickly pointed out that it definitely was the relationships that were forged.

“The thing that I am most proud of is the relationships that I have built with everybody, it’s been amazing,” said Holt. “From the time I started until now, the community has been tight knit and I would guess that I am just proud of the relationships that I have made with the kids and the coaches. I feel that I was able to support them and help them be successful with a servant mentality.

“That has been my priority the whole time, to give students and coaches the opportunity to do the thing that they love and I can be in the background doing what is necessary for them to succeed. I think that I was successful in a servant role.”

Witnessing the success of the athletic teams and individuals also is something that Holt will carry with him as he steps down.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I am proud of all the championships that we have won, because a lot of those are once in a lifetime experiences to achieve team state championships, to participate in state tournaments, individual state titles, record breakers of kids that we have had come through here – that’s all based on their achievement,” Holt said.

“But I would like to think that just giving them opportunities and improving facilities, and keeping good coaching staffs helped them to do that.”

Holt is married to Jessica Lenden-Holt and has a daughter Alayna who is entering the eighth grade this school year, and Brayden, who will be a seventh grader at TA Dugger.

Both kids are active in sports and other extracurricular activities which Holt is looking forward to watching more of.