Terry Holland, former U-Va. basketball coach and athletic director, passed away


Terry Holland, the coach who turned Virginia’s men’s basketball program into a national power, died Sunday in Charlottesville, four years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 80.

Holland coached the Cavaliers to nine NCAA Tournaments and a pair of Final Fours from 1974 to 1990. His 326 wins at Virginia over 16 seasons was a school record until Tony Bennett passed him this year.

“I’m not a killer, but I’m competitive,” Holland said after being hired by Virginia after five seasons as head coach at Davidson, his alma mater.

Holland led Virginia to its first ACC tournament championship in 1976, only in his second season. He would take the program to even greater heights after recruiting Ralph Sampson, 7-foot-4 Harrisonburg High center Ralph Sampson, to Charlottesville in 1979.

Led by Sampson and senior guard Jeff Lamp, the Cavaliers went 29-4 during the 1980-81 season, which ended with a loss to North Carolina in the national semifinals. Virginia made a surprise run to the Final Four under the Netherlands in 1984, the year after three-time National College player of the year Sampson was ranked No. 1 in the NBA draft.

“Virginia Athletics mourns the loss of legendary men’s basketball coach, Terry Holland, who first showed us what Virginia basketball could be,” the school said in a statement on Monday.

“I think if you put it all together, I’m not sure about U-Va. athletics would be in the position it is in now across the board if it wasn’t for Coach Holland, and with it Ralph Sampson,” told Old Dominion Coach Jeff Jones, who played for Holland from 1978 to 1982 and succeeded him as head coach of Virginia, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which first reported the news of Holland’s death.

Jones, Dave Odom, Craig Littlepage, Jim Larrañaga and Seth Greenberg are among the former assistants who achieved success as head coaches after working under Holland.

“RIP Coach Holland,” Greenberg, the former Virginia Tech coach who now serves as an analyst for ESPN, wrote on Twitter Monday. “I was lucky enough to have you as a mentor and friend. You have helped me with almost every major decision I’ve made in my adult life.

Before his coaching career, Holland, a native of Clinton, NC, played at Davidson for legendary coach Lefty Driesell. Holland averaged 13.5 points per game and led the nation in field goal percentage (. 631) as a 6-foot-7 senior forward in 1963-64 before joining Driesell’s staff. Holland was promoted to head coach after Driesell left to take the Maryland job in 1969 and his replacement, future Hall of Famer Larry Brown, resigned after less than two months.

Virginia must recover her offense with ACC and NCAA tournaments ahead

Holland led Davidson to 92 wins and an NCAA tournament berth in his five seasons before then-Virginia athletic director Gene Corrigan hired him to replace Bill Gibson in 1974. made an NCAA tournament. The Netherlands’ Virginia teams posted just three losing seasons and qualified for the NCAA Tournament in eight of his last 10 seasons at the school.

In June 1989, Holland announced that he had accepted an offer to become athletic director at Davidson and that the 1989–90 season would be his last at U-Va. Holland returned to Virginia in 1994 as athletic director, a position he held until 2001. After serving three years as a fundraising special assistant to then-Virginia President John Casteen, Holland served as East Virginia’s athletic director from 2004 to 2013 carolina.

“As both a successful coach and respected administrator, Terry Holland leaves an indelible mark on the University of Virginia, the ACC, college basketball and college athletics,” ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said in a statement. “He was a true gentleman who embraced his players and colleagues like family. Our hearts will remain with his wife Ann and the entire Holland family.”

As Bennett approached his win record in Virginia, the Dutch wife, Ann, said her husband was “so honored when I told him that.”

“Terry was so good at developing his players and not letting them do things they wouldn’t succeed at,” Ann Holland told UVA Today in December. “And I think Tony Bennett is a lot like that.”

Holland is survived by his wife, daughters Ann-Michael Holland and Kate Baynard, and three grandchildren.

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