Milton “Dubby” HoltLucas Gebhart

Sports Editor

Milton “Dubby” Holt, an ISU legend and the man that ISU’s Holt Arena is named after, was 92 when he died in 2007.

He left behind two national championships, 13 conference championships and one new athletic facility.

Holt retired in 1979 after leading the Bengals to 13 consecutive Rocky Mountain and Big Sky Conference championships in track and field while he led a standout boxing team that won two national championships in 1953 and 1957.

Holt took over as athletic director in 1969 and began construction of what is known today as Holt Arena.

Born in 1914, Holt attended ISU in the 1930s and served in the United States Navy, where he served four years during World War II before returning to Pocatello.

While attending ISU, Holt was a two-sport standout, in football and track and field as he still holds the punt return record with an 88-yard return back in 1937.

After returning from the war, Holt signed on to be the school’s track and field, boxing coach and athletic director where he remained for 18 years, winning consecutive conference championships in track and field in his last 13 years and going 51-13 in dual meets.

However, Holt was better known for being a boxing coach, as he is still considered to this day to be one of the best collegiate boxing coaches of all time.

Despite the fact that Holt never boxed, he was named to coach the United State Olympic Team Boxing for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

Four of his boxers, Ed Sanders, Jerry Armstrong, Roger Rouse and Ellsworth “Spider” Webb, went with Holt to the Olympics and Sanders won the 1952 heavyweight title by defeating Swedish native Ingemar Johansen.

What Holt is best known for, however, is the construction of an indoor football stadium in his first year as athletic director in 1969.

In 1969, the idea of a domed football stadium was a far-fetched one.

Only one domed stadium stood and it was in Houston, the Astrodome, home to the Houston Astros.

In September of 1970, the Minidome, as it was called back then, opened its doors and become the second domed stadium in the world.

The Minidome set ISU back $2.8 million, but Holt still managed to come in under budget and it plays home to both ISU football and men’s basketball games.

The Minidome was renamed Holt Arena is 1988 in Holt’s honor.

Through the years, Holt Arena hosted three NCAA Sub-Regional Basketball Tournaments, three NCAA Division I-AA playoff games and two I-AA National Championship games.

Holt was inducted into the Idaho Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

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