Following former Virginia Cavaliers athletic director and men’s basketball coach Terry Holland’s passing on February 27th, UVA held a memorial for Holland yesterday afternoon to honor his esteemed career in college athletics. Numerous former players and coaching colleagues came to Charlottesville to speak about Holland and the impact he had on them.
Notably, Ralph Sampson spoke, as did former Virginia assistant and current Miami men’s basketball Head Coach Jim Larrañaga, along with Kentucky coach John Calipari, ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg (who coached with Holland in Charlottesville before later becoming the Head Coach at Virginia Tech) former UVA head coach and player Jeff Jones, and a number of others.
First up, here are Tony Bennett’s opening remarks on Coach Holland as a man and what he did for the Wahoo basketball program.
"He fought the good fight. He kept the faith. He finished the race. He did it as a husband, a father and I'm sure as a grandfather." - Coach Tony Bennett pic.twitter.com/qoE9y0UISt— Virginia Cavaliers (@VirginiaSports) May 6, 2023
Later in the afternoon, Larrañaga recounted his time coaching with Holland with a few sweet anecdotes about the foundation of their relationship and what Holland meant to Larrañaga.
"T, you were the greatest!" - Jim Larrañaga pic.twitter.com/HG7lFIyYnq— Virginia Cavaliers (@VirginiaSports) May 6, 2023
Greenberg, who also coached with Holland in Charlottesville, spoke on what a mentor he was for him in all aspects of life.
"Every major decision I ever made, I consulted with coach Holland ... when I say every major decision, I include asking my wife to marry me." - Seth Greenberg pic.twitter.com/5GNPWh1gU4— Virginia Cavaliers (@VirginiaSports) May 6, 2023
Big East Commissioner and former President of the WNBA Val Ackerman — who played basketball at UVA from 1978 to 1981 — also spoke yesterday, emphasizing Holland’s commitment to gender equity in sports.
"He was in support of gender equity ... It made a big difference ... We'll be forever thankful for him." - Val Ackerman pic.twitter.com/zKGoYTNwT8— Virginia Cavaliers (@VirginiaSports) May 6, 2023
Calipari to Holland’s impact in the coaching world, touching on how he was always steps ahead of everyone else and noting how Holland would go out of his way to help others succeed.
"He was way ahead [of his time] ... He was a good man. Some people climb the ladder of success and they turn around and they pick up the ladder ... He climbed that same ladder and his goal was to pick up the next person." - John Calipari pic.twitter.com/BdHpKUn4TV— Virginia Cavaliers (@VirginiaSports) May 6, 2023
If you’d like to watch (or rewatch) the full memorial which included additional remarks from other UVA greats such as Wally Walker, Jim Miller, Rick Carlisle, and Sampson, here is the full replay of the event which UVA streamed via the Virginia Cavaliers Facebook account.