Story Links

July 15, 2004

Before we all get ahead of ourselves rushing to conclusions about former University of Virginia basketball coach Terry Holland’s decision to step down as assistant to UVA president John Casteen, I would like to put some items on the table.

It was not health related. It had nothing to do with his recent trip to the hospital for a stomach disorder. It was not a decision by Casteen, or did it have anything to do with the arena project. It was all about Terry Holland and his family.

It was all about options.

The announcement, which hit the media and website circuit like a Mike Tyson left, has been coming for awhile. When Coach Holland (he will always be coach to most of us) makes a decision like this it is anything but knee jerk. It was well calculated, planned, thought out, diagrammed, and implemented. Kind of like the defenses he used to call against (James) Worthy or (Sam) Perkins.

Speaking from Seattle, Washington where he is attending former Cavalier great Wally Walker’s 50th birthday party, Holland was relaxed, excited, and optimistic about the future.

“A lot of good things came together. We have sold our house (which, by the way, is a short par 3 from University Hall) to a member of the athletic family. We have purchased the available lot from across the street where we will build. There were some retirement money issues that I had to resolve before June 30th which made this move possible,” Holland said.

“I will put myself back on the market and look at things for three to seven years down the road. I will definitely be around for the John Paul Jones Arena opening in ’06…but now there is no pressure on me. I am going to look at things inside and outside of intercollegiate athletics. Everything just came together at this time.”

The “Big Whistle” has been involved in a lot of things over the past few years. Holland has worked with the NCAA on issues ranging from freshman eligibility to basketball rules. He is very involved in USA basketball and will be in New Jersey next week helping the Olympic team prepare for Athens. Terry has been a consultant on everything from substitution patterns in the last five minutes of a basketball game to how to manage an athletic budget. I have even asked him how to make a great cup of coffee. I would go to him to solve my putting woes but Holland hates golf. In his words, why would anyone play a game where there is no defense?

I don’t have to write about the impact Coach Holland has made on us all. He is one of the smartest men I know. He can find the best fishing holes, he can handle a blue marlin on the back of a boat being chopped up by five foot waves, he can take you to the best steak houses, he has never lost a bluff in penny poker, and brainstorms subjects to the “nth degree” so when you walk away you end up saying to yourself…that was so simple why didn’t I think of it.

Coach Holland knows when to hit and run, what lacrosse offense to call against an extra man defense, how to play first base, when to go into your kick in the 3200 meter race, how to play soccer goalie against Carolina and Duke, and what plays to call in a red zone offense against the 5-2 defense.

The best part about all of this is? Terry Holland is going nowhere. He will stay close, work with anyone who needs it. Cheer for the Cavaliers, root against the ‘Heels…fight for what’s right in college athletics, try to fix what is wrong…and find time to share a cup of coffee with his friends.

“T” won’t be missed…he just won’t be getting paid for all of the great things he does…everyday.

Print Friendly Version