Huskies Insider Blog

UW defensive lineman great Holmes dead

Ron Holmes, one of the best big men on a defensive line the Washington Huskies have ever had, and top NFL Draft pick from Lacey, died early this morning in his sleep at his home in DuPont. He was 48.

Details surrounding his death have not come out. He had been working for Morgan Transfer, a moving company in the South Sound.

Holmes was one of 19 first-round NFL Draft choices the UW has had in its history - selected ninth overall in 1985 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Injuries cut his career short to eight seasons as he retired in 1992.

He was a three-year lettermen, a two-time All-American (1983-84) and was a participant in the East-West Shrine game in 1985 as a senior defensive tackle.

His 23 tackles for loss in 1983 still stands as a school record, and his 51 TFL are No. 2 all-time behind Jason Chorak's 611/2.

He born in 1963 in Georgia, and graduated from Timberline High School in Lacey in 1981. He was part of the Blazers' state-winning boys basketball squad in 1980.

Holmes returned to Thurston County, and had been on the coaching staff at Northwest Christian of Lacey from 2007 until this year.