BILLINGS — Over the past nine years of coaching the Bozeman Hawks, Wes Holmquist has accumulated a plethora of school T-shirts from basketball seasons, camps and more that have stacked up in his storage closet.
On Monday morning Holmquist was given an opportunity to empty that closet for those who need those clothes a lot more.
University of Houston head men's basketball coach Kelvin Sampson, who was the head coach at Montana Tech from 1981-1985, tweeted a photo with a request from coaches across the country to send clothes to aid those who have been affected by the destruction of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana.
"I have had so many of my friends in the coaching profession text and call offering prayers and thoughts for all Houstonians," Sampson wrote. "They all ask what can we do to help. Well, I came up with something I think coaches at all levels can help with.... Both men's and women's HS, JC, every level of college D1, D2, D3 and NAIA... if you can, please send 20 of your schools t-shirts and 10 pair of shoes to: Kelvin Sampson, University of Houston Basketball, Guy V Lewis Development Center, 3480 Cullen Blvd, Houston Tx 77204. For those who can't sent this request, please send whatever you can. All of our hearts go out to those in need during these devastating times."
He added #HoustonStrong, #ForTheCity and #GoCoogs to adorn the photo.
Holmquist reacted accordingly, tweeting a response that said, "We're doing this..."
"It wasn't even something I really thought about," Holmquist said when he saw the tweet. "I saw it and I immediately thought of coach Sampson, who've I met a few times briefly at clinics and I know he's got history here in Montana and coaching at Tech in the 80s.
"I just immediately was like, 'That's something we can do.'"
Holmquist estimates he donated about 200 T-shirts as well as an assorted amount of shoes and shorts. Holmquist teamed up with Universal Athletics and his friend Brian Pepper, who will also be donating more shoes and shirts to the cause. Universal Athletics will then ship the clothes off to Houston on Wednesday morning.
"I just thought it was cool that coach Sampson found a way that he can use his resources to help a little bit," Holmquist said. "There are so many people down there that don't have anything right now.
"I pretty much grabbed anything we had left in storage and threw it in some and bags and dropped them off. Most of that stuff just sits around. We try to give stuff away here or there to different people but what a good way for that to be useful and resourceful. It's a small way that we can help out in such a tragic devastation down there."
Holmquist commended the personal touch of Sampson by having coaches send the clothing to him personally. Sampson has seen an outpouring of support from people everywhere, with plenty of coaches sending photos of the clothing they are sending his way. Montana Tech also tweeted out a photo of the clothes they were donating.
Not to mention finding use for clothing that was sitting around.
"It was a win-win for us," he added with a laugh.