Each year at the ACC Tournament, an ACC Legend is selected by each ACC school to represent them. It is undoubtedly a great honor to be selected as an ACC Legend, and a few weeks ago, it was an honor that Clinton native Terry Holland was graced with.
Holland was the representative for the University of Virginia, who won the ACC regular season and tournament in 2014. Holland was born and raised in Clinton, and graduated from Clinton High School in 1960. He was one of Lefty Drizzell’s first basketball recruits at Davidson University. By the time Holland was a senior at Davidson, they were ranked as high as third in the nation, and finished the year in the top ten.
When Drizzell left Davidson to go to Maryland, Holland took over as head coach. Holland was a young head coach, 27 in his first year, but led the Wildcats to a 10-0 conference record and NCAA Tournament birth. After 5 years at Davidson, Holland was offered the head coaching position at Virginia.
Holland began his stint at Virginia in 1969. While at Virginia, Holland coached great players such as “Wonderful” Wally Walker, Ralph Sampson, and Rick Carlisle. He has also had four of his assistant coaches go on to be successful ACC coaches. Jim Larranaga led George Mason to the 2006 Final Four before going to Miami (FL), Dave Odum coached at Wake Forest, Seth Greenburg coached at Virginia Tech, and is now an ESPN College Basketball analyst, and Jeff Jones coached at Virginia after Holland left the program.
Holland won ACC Coach of the Year twice, in 1981 and 1982, and went to two Final Fours while at Virginia. He led Virginia to an NIT Championship in 1980 and an ACC Tournament Championship in 1976.
After coaching at Virginia until 1990, Holland went back to Davidson University to accept the Athletic Director position. He was the A.D. there from 199o to 1994. He then went back to Virginia in 1994 to serve as their A.D. until 2001.
Holland is currently the Athletic Director Emeritus at East Carolina University. He served as Athletic Director at East Carolina from 2004 to 2013, and will serve as the emeritus for the remainder of the year.
When asked who influenced him the most in regards to his sports career, Holland stated that Jackie Murdoch, his high school coach was a huge influence. Murdoch coached basketball at Clinton before heading to Wake Forest University to coach basketball. He also said that coach Keith Carr from Clinton was a huge influence and that he was lucky to have been at Clinton while they had such a great group of coaches.
After early exits from the NCAA Tournament by North Carolina, Duke, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse, Virginia is the ACC’s last hope for a National Championship this year. Virginia plays Michigan State in the Sweet 16 at Madison Square Garden in New York Friday evening. According to Holland, “they are the best team in the country in terms of playing together.” Holland said that Virginia is a team that he would put his money on right now, more so than any other left in the big dance.
Holland tries to get back to Clinton as often as possible. He and his wife, Anne, have family members in the surrounding area, but they are not able to get back as often as possible. I guess being an ACC Legend keeps a man pretty busy.