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Del Holz

Del Holz taught Jefferson’s courses for speech, debate, interpersonal communication, and television production from the school’s opening in 1970 until his retirement in 1999.  He started the MSHSL and NFL Speech and Debate programs at Jefferson where he coached 13 State Speech Champions, 8 National Forensics League (NFL) National Tournament Speech Semi-finalists, 3 NFL Finalists and a 2nd place National Voice of Democracy Winner.  He served on the Ethics Committee of the Minnesota Debate Teachers’ Association from 1978-84, the MSHSL’s Fine Arts Advisory Board from 1978-85, and on the Speech Association of Minnesota’s Board of Governors from 1984-86.  He chaired 6AA Speech from 1975-1999 and hosted MSHSL Speech 6AA Section Tournaments every third year, and Sub-sections each preceding year.  He consulted in the creation of “soft speech,” the computer speech tournament scheduling program created in 1984, which became the framework for the NFL version, and is still used in various tournaments in Minnesota.
Del’s career earned him a number of awards, such as:  “Outstanding Coaching Award” from the Minnesota Debate Teachers Association in 1984; “Minnesota Business Foundation for Excellence in Education” Award in 1985; “Ralph J. Streeter Award:  Outstanding Speech Coach for Setting a Paradigm of Excellence in the Spoken Word” from Coaching Colleagues in 1993;  NFL Double Diamond Coach Award in 1997; “Coach of the Year” by Minnesota Speech Coaches Association in 1998; “Special Service Award” from Section 6AA in 1999;  and Outstanding Service Award:  VFW’s Voice of Democracy Oratory Contest in 1999. Del was inducted into the Minnesota State High School League Hall of Fame in 2007.
One of Del’s students said, “Del Holz’s enthusiasm knew no bounds; his efforts never tired, and his dedication remained unrivaled.  He was at once a friend, tutor, group leader, and role model to emulate.”