Having identified gymnastic missionary work as his opportunity to operate at elite level within the sport he loves, the native of Seattle has spent the last 20 years working all over the world, coaching at 13 World Championships and representing six different federations.
"My record is believed to be unique," he says. "I've worked with Bolivia, Ecuador, Iran – it was meant to be a no-go for Americans but I was the head coach and head of the delegation for the Iranian gymnastic team in the mid-90s – Namibia, Barbados and Yemen.
"There are 130 countries associated to the International Gymnastics Federation. I half-jokingly tell people that only 25 or 30 of those either don't need or don't want my help . . . the likes of the US, Japan, Germany, Italy, China, Spain, France, everywhere everybody wants to go. My beat is everybody else, and I can help anybody who wants to work with me because I have a vision and I have a plan.
"One of the trademarks of Americans is an attitude, the downside of which is 'Hey, we can build a brand new country in Iraq in a year and a half.' That's hubris. The other side of that, because it's topical, is the Soviets put a satellite into space which was a big deal in America where we were paranoid about the Cold War. April 1961 they put a man into space, so John F Kennedy gets on national television that May, his speech-writers had written that we were going to put a man on the moon and return him safely some time in the future. Kennedy, without telling anyone, looks into the camera and says we're going to put a man on the moon and return him safely to the earth some time in this decade. July 21, 1969 . . . it's possible if you try it."
Holt stumbled upon his opportunity when a young Bolivian gymnast joined the Univeristy programme he was running and he took him to the World Championships. He topped that four years ago when he took a young Yemeni, whom he and his wife now regard as the son they never had, to the Olympics.
"So I'm in Yemen 15 years ago and I do the same as I've done everywhere. I don't come in and say: 'Okay boys, here's how we're going to do these amazing vaults'. I say 'let's take an inventory; what are your biggest weaknesses?' " he says, explaining his processes.
"The coaches said they wanted to be competitive in the Arab world, which is nothing in gymnastics. So I say, which has always sort of been my lead in, that's a good goal but, if we're going to do this, let's pick something big. Why not go to the World Championships . . . and this one little kid believed me. The key was him believing me."
Eleven years later the little kid in question, Nashwan al-Harazi, who had been practising on a vault made from wooden boards and lorry springs when Holt met him, competed at the Olympics. He is now a gymnastics instructor in Seattle living in Holt's home while Holt and his wife are working on their latest project, which brings us to what he is doing now.
"I didn't have any particular plan to come to Scotland," Holt says. "I was looking for someone to give me a job, to let me do what I can do, to come in and make change. I got here a year ago and Scotland, while a first-world country, gymnastically is a very familiar place, in the context of where they stand competitively. There are incredible people involved in gymnastics here but, when I got here, they hadn't had a lot of success, hadn't had much direction, very little positive feedback. They didn't believe in themselves.
"The biggest resource this country has is that the coaches in the gyms producing gymnasts are extraordinary people and they are very competent gymnastically. I've not had this before at this level. We're really in a unique position relative to my previous experience."
While confident of his capacity to improve things within the current set-up, he would like to have more of a chance to build the gymnasts he is working with into a team.
"The biggest issue was that the mindset was insular because there hadn't been a lot of opportunities for Scotland to go out and compete as Scotland," he said. "Secondly, success begets success and they hadn't had a lot of success.
"Being in Great Britain is a significant issue. There are advantages to it because, if we do it correctly, then as Britain has grown Scotland should be riding right through that slipstream, but we haven't been up to this point.
"I don't know all the history of that and it's not really important. I don't have to reinvent the wheel here. I know all the people in the British system. I've been colleagues with their national coach for 20 years. All we have to do is what Britain does, but do certain things a little bit better."
It is against that background that, even at a time when his employer, the Scottish Gymnastics Association, suddenly finds itself threatened with a complete withdrawal of funding by sportscotland amid accusations of failing to work closely enough with the national sports agency, he remains prepared to express his views on the state of the nation.
When, though, Holt says Scotland could be better off as a result of independence and should consider seeking separate membership of the International Olympic Committee whether or not the referendum fails in 2014, he is talking about sport rather than politics.
However, whatever happens in that regard, he believes that with Olympic bronze medallist Daniel Purvis and world championship silver medallist Daniel Keatings both keen to be part of the Scottish team, an explosion of interest in his sport is on the way and time is running out to prepare for that.
"I've been doing this a long time and I've got a lot of experience and I'm trying to convince people here to be prepared," Holt warned. "They can't really feel it yet because nobody can feel it the way I can feel it, because everybody's coming off the after-glow of London and properly so. Every sports person I've talked to in the country, their phones are ringing off the hook with kids wanting to be involved in athletics, gymnastics, rowing . . . the waiting lists are a mile long and our infrastructure is not set up at the moment to respond to the demand.
"We have a shrinking window, it's now under 23 months and I can guarantee that if gymnastics has the success I expect it to, given the human resources that are lining up which are not limited to Dan and Dan, the response to the success we have in Scotland will dwarf London. The reason for that is that Scotland is so intimate. The coverage and the exposure is going to saturate this small country and the heroes are going to be Scottish.
"I'm trying to get these guys some international experience so they're not totally blown away because when we walk out on to the floor for the team competition and there are 10,000 or 13,000 people in there with the St Andrews flags and the screaming and the air horns that will be smuggled in . . . I'm getting goose bumps thinking about it right now. It will be unbelievable."
The vision Holt presents is a thrilling one. Whether or not others have the courage to embrace it remains to be seen.