Terry Holland, who remodeled Virginia basketball, dies

Terry Holland, who elevated Virginia males’s basketball to nationwide prominence throughout 16 seasons as a head coach and later had a distinguished profession as an athletic administrator, has died, the varsity introduced Monday. He was 80.

Holland died Sunday night time, based on the varsity, which confirmed the loss of life along with his household. His well being had declined since being identified with Alzheimer’s illness in 2019, and he stopped taking his outstanding courtside seat at Virginia house video games.

Holland took over a flailing program in 1974. The Cavaliers had had simply three profitable seasons in 21 years and Holland created a tradition that proved a system for fulfillment: His Cavaliers performed rugged protection.

Two of his first three groups completed with shedding data however just one extra did as Holland compiled a 326-173 report, led Virginia to 9 NCAA Tournaments, two Final Fours and the 1980 National Invitational Tournament (NIT) title. He additionally guided the Cavaliers to their first ACC event title in 1976 regardless of a modest 15-11 regular-season report.

Including a five-year stint at Davidson, Holland’s report is 418-216.

His greatest victory, nevertheless, probably was luring the nation’s most coveted recruit, 7-foot-4 Ralph Sampson of Harrisonburg, to affix the Cavaliers for the 1979-80 season, and it was then that the turnaround took off.

“Terry Holland,” Sampson informed The Associated Press in an interview earlier this month when requested what made him select upstart Virginia over extra established suitors. “He was mainly the deciding factor. Good school, good teammates, good education, ACC. I mean, you had Dean Smith and all those people around, but he understood my demeanor and fit what I wanted in a coach. He was the perfect fit for me.”

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The Cavaliers gained the NIT in Sampson’s freshman season and went to the NCAA Tournament for his final three years, reaching the Final Four in 1981 earlier than shedding to North Carolina within the nationwide semifinals.

Sampson, a future Hall of Famer, earned nationwide participant of the yr honors in every of his final three seasons, and the profile his presence offered absolutely aided Holland in constructing his program. Virginia went again to the Final Four in its first season with out Sampson, shedding in additional time to Houston within the nationwide semifinals, and appeared within the NCAA Tournament in 4 of Holland’s last six seasons as coach.

Holland additionally constructed an intensive teaching tree, with many assistants transferring on to develop into profitable head coaches themselves. Among them: Rick Carlisle of the Indiana Pacers, Jeff Jones at Old Dominion and former longtime faculty coaches Dave Odom and Seth Greenberg.

With two daughters of his personal, Holland additionally had an appreciation for the ladies’s sport, former Cavaliers coach Debbie Ryan mentioned.

“He knew that we had to go to Clemson and Georgia Tech, so he helped us to get the league to schedule both of us on the same days to play doubleheaders,” she mentioned. “We would fly down to Clemson, bus to Georgia Tech and then fly back, the men’s and the women’s team together, so that it would save us all that wear and tear.”

He additionally was all the time involved about throughout the appropriate factor, she mentioned.

“He wasn’t impressed with himself at all,” she mentioned, describing him as a Southern gentleman. “He was just there to make sure these boys became men, and they became good men.”

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When he stepped down as coach at age 48, it was to return to his alma mater, Davidson, as athletic director, starting an administrative tenure that may deliver him again to Virginia 5 years later in the identical place. In 2001, he moved to particular assistant to the president of the college, and in 2004, he started an eight-year stint as athletic director at East Carolina earlier than retiring in 2012.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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