Merlyn “Chip” Holmes was born on August 30, 1949 at Camp Pendlelton California. Being in a military family he moved to Alexandria Virginia from ages two to six and then moved back to Coronado California at Age seven. When his father retired in 1959 the family settled in Chula Vista.
Chip attended Hilltop High School where he competed in Cross Country and Track. After graduating from Hilltop in 1967 he went on to College graduating from SDSU in 1971. He received his teaching credential in 1972 and began his teaching career at Southwest Jr. High. At the junior high, he began coaching track and basketball and later received his Masters Degree from National University.
He coached high school track and field, cross country and taught at Bonita Vista High, Hilltop High, and East Lake High. In his coaching career, his teams won 46 league championships and six San Diego CIF titles. He was selected to the San Diego Coaching Legends in 2010.
He began officiating with the San Diego Track Starters Association in 2003. In the association, he served three terms as the President and guided the association through two state accreditations. Serving as a starter, he officiated at several SDCIF finals in both Track and Cross Country along with the dual meets and invitationals during his years as a starter.
Retiring from teaching in 2010 he formed many lasting friendships in the officials venue before he retired from officiating due to health reasons in 2017. He is currently enjoying retirement and still living in Chula Vista.