Virginia Cavaliers legend Terry Holland has died after his battle with Alzheimer’s, as reported by the Richmond Times Dispatch. Passing at age 80, Holland spent 16 seasons as the Head Coach of the UVA men’s basketball team, winning the ACC Tournament in shocking fashion in 1976 during his second season at Virginia, recruiting and coaching three-time national player of the year Ralph Sampson, leading the program to two Final Fours (1981 and 1984), and thus establishing Virginia on the national stage.
After retiring from coaching in 1990 at 48, Holland spent time in administration at a number of schools including as UVA’s Athletic Director from 1994 until 2001. A great college basketball player at Davidson in the early 1960s, Holland was an institution in the college basketball world. He was 326-173 over his 16 years at Virginia and 418-216 when including his time as the lead man at his alma mater, Davidson.
Earlier this winter, current Wahoo Head Coach Tony Bennett passed Holland for the most wins as a men’s basketball coach at UVA. At the time, Bennett expressed his wish that Holland could just keep the record, emphasizing how “I’m humbled. Coach Holland is a special man. I learned about this place because of the success he had with those great players.”
In a statement from the ACC, conference Commissioner Jim Phillips honored Holland and his contributions to the conference: “As both a successful head coach and respected administrator, Terry Holland leaves an indelible imprint on the University of Virginia, the ACC, college basketball, and college athletics. He was a true gentleman that embraced his players and colleagues as family. Our hearts will remain with his wife Ann and the entire Holland family.”
Our thoughts are with Coach Holland’s family, friends, and all those who loved him. He was a giant in the Virginia sports and college sports world, a great man by any and all accounts, and a person who helped to establish the long-standing, respectful character of the university and the athletic department.