mike holloway
Mike Holloway became the coach of the Gators Track and Field team in 2008. The Gators won the 2022 NCAA Championship for both the men's and women's sides. (Photo from @GatorsTF on Twitter)

MJ Holloway talks being the head coach’s son and his jumping career

Originally intending to play hoops for a small Division III school, Michael Holloway II changed his mind and decided to jump for his dad, track and field head coach Mike Holloway, at the University of Florida.

Michael “MJ” Holloway II is a long and triple jump senior for the Florida track and field team. His dad was named the first combined head coach of the program in 2007 after five seasons as the men’s head coach.

MJ set a new personal best (14.92m, 48’11.5) at the Clemson Invitational, the first meet of the season. He finished in the top 10 in the triple jump at the Clemson, Razorback and Tyson Invitationals.

Coach or Dad?

When asked what it’s like when your dad is your coach, Holloway didn’t have anything negative to say, but it wasn’t always smooth sailing. He said his dad started coaching him in middle school, and it was difficult for him to differentiate if he was talking to his dad or his coach. His mom helped him understand that at the track, it’s his coach but at home, it’s his dad.

He said his dad is the best coach in the world and treats everyone the same. He said people always claim that he has it easier because it’s his dad, but Holloway claimed it can be the opposite sometimes.

Dunk to jump career

In high school, Holloway realized once he maxed his height at 5 foot 8 inches that maybe jumping might be a better option than dunking basketballs. He said he was a “jack of all trades,” and didn’t just jump but ran sprints as well.

Since coming to Florida, he said he’s improved on attention to detail and his patience. He put pressure on himself at the beginning of his college career, thinking he needed to be winning and scoring as soon as possible.

SEC Indoor Champs

Holloway said he’s excited about championships, and it’s always fun to go for an SEC title, especially with the tight-knit group that he competes with. His goal for the season was to build the team’s comradery. He said there’s more motivation to compete harder when you know the person next to you, as opposed to a stranger.

It’s his first full year doing triple jump as he came to Florida as a long jumper. He switched to triple jump in the middle of last season.

Following SEC Indoor Championships, MJ Holloway will head to the NCAA Indoor Championships.

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