Raymond T. Holscher, S.J.date posted: 2006-12-05 16:31:40
AB Philosophy 1967
University Athletics director (1978-1996); esteemed and respected member of the UAAP Board
Although born in New York, USA, Fr. Raymond T. Holscher, SJ, lived most of his life in the Philippines. He arrived in the Philippines in 1964 at the age of 21 and lived at the Ateneo de San Pablo for a year of enculturation. He obtained his philosophy degree from the Ateneo de Manila in 1967, became regent of Xavier University from 1967 to 1969, finished theology at the Loyola House of Studies in 1973 and, after a short stay in New York for his ordination in 1972, returned to the Philippines.
Fr. Ray, as he is fondly called, started his ministry of teaching, coaching, counseling, and stewardship at the Ateneo de Manila as early as 1970 and continued it for 34 years.
In his early years at the Loyola campus, a more slender yet burly Fr. Ray sweated it out at the now idle handball court right beside the college campus. His athletic service to the Ateneo started when he coached the high school softball teams from 1971 to 1973. In 1975, he became the athletics director of the Ateneo High School and was at its helm when the school’s basketball and volleyball varsities won unprecedented back-to-back NCAA championships, significantly, equaling the same inspiring feat of their college counterparts in those same years.
In 1978, Ateneo moved out of the NCAA, and joined the UAAP. Fr. Ray was appointed University Athletics director in 1978, a post he occupied until 1996. As director, Fr. Ray helped bring numerous distinctions and crowns to the Ateneo.
In all athletic competitions involving an Ateneo team or student-athlete, two things were constant—the distinctive never-say-die Ateneo spirit and Fr. Ray Holscher. Notwithstanding his distinctive Caucasian appearance, he was a prominent yet familiar sight in the crowd.
As director, he was likewise senior representative to the UAAP Board. Without being snooty or snobbish, he brought with him the moral uprightness and integrity that the Ateneo idealized. In controversies requiring a vote from each school representative, Fr. Ray voted for what he felt was right and fair, not for what was popular or favorable to his team. Thus, Fr. Ray became an esteemed and respected member of the UAAP Board.
With a vision to make the UAAP bigger than the league that the Ateneo just left, he introduced into the UAAP innovations and improvements which were later adopted by the UAAP to make it a more dynamic, responsive, and responsible sports organization. Thanks in no small measure to Fr. Ray, the UAAP today has never been so popular to the member-schools’ officials, students and alumni, in particular, and to sports patrons, in general.