HomeWorldLegendary Virginia men’s basketball coach Terry Holland dead at 80

Legendary Virginia men’s basketball coach Terry Holland dead at 80

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Terry Holland, who retired as the all-time winningest men’s basketball coach in University of Virginia history, died on Sunday at 80, the school announced Monday.  

Holland coached the Cavaliers from 1974 to 1990, going 326-173 in his time in Charlottesville, Virginia. He led Virginia to nine NCAA tournament appearances and two Final Four berths. 

College Basketball: Virgina coach Terry Holland, center, on bench during game versus Duke at University Hall in Charlottesville, Virginia, Jan. 31, 1981. (Manny Millan /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

Holland was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2019. 

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Under the legendary head coach, the Cavaliers became a prominent program, winning three consecutive ACC championships from 1981-1983. 

“He was a visionary, a positive coach,” said Bobby Stokes, captain of his 1978-79 UVa team, according to Richmond Times-Dispatch. “He made it his mission to make it like a family. He cared about you off the basketball court and helped you grow along the way.”

Holland coached one of the greatest college basketball players ever, convincing 7-4 center Ralph Sampson to join Virginia in 1979. 

Ralph Sampson accompanies Braxton Key, #2 of the Virginia Cavaliers, during a senior day ceremony before the start of a game against the Louisville Cardinals at John Paul Jones Arena on March 7, 2020 in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Ralph Sampson accompanies Braxton Key, #2 of the Virginia Cavaliers, during a senior day ceremony before the start of a game against the Louisville Cardinals at John Paul Jones Arena on March 7, 2020 in Charlottesville, Virginia.  (Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)

“Terry Holland,” Sampson told The Associated Press in an interview earlier this month when asked what made him choose upstart Virginia over more 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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Holland was a standout player at Davidson from 1961-1964 and coached the Wildcats for five seasons before taking the head coaching job in Charlottesville. 

After retiring from coaching in 1990, Holland returned to Davidson as the athletic director, later becoming the director of athletics at Virginia and East Carolina. 

Holland has an impressive coaching tree that includes Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle and Miami Hurricanes head coach Jim Larrañaga

Former Davidson basketball player, coach, and athletic director, and former Virginia coach, Terry Holland, smiles during a ceremony to retire his jersey number 42 following an NCAA college basketball game between LaSalle and Davidson on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, in Davidson, North Carolina. Holland, who elevated Virginia basketball to national prominence during 16 seasons as coach and later had a distinguished career as an athletic administrator, has died, the school announced Monday, Feb. 27, 2023. He was 80. 

Former Davidson basketball player, coach, and athletic director, and former Virginia coach, Terry Holland, smiles during a ceremony to retire his jersey number 42 following an NCAA college basketball game between LaSalle and Davidson on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, in Davidson, North Carolina. Holland, who elevated Virginia basketball to national prominence during 16 seasons as coach and later had a distinguished career as an athletic administrator, has died, the school announced Monday, Feb. 27, 2023. He was 80.  (AP Photo/Brian Westerholt)

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“Everything I’ve been able to do in coaching is really due to the example he set for me,” Larranaga said. “The way he built his family. My wife became a part of his family. His players at Davidson and Virginia became part of his family. I’ve tried to emulate that.”

Holland finished his coaching career with a record of 418-216. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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