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ACC Roundup - Only One Thing To Talk About Today

Not exactly a roundup but it’s sad and important.

Virgina v Villanova
 EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 01: Head coach Terry Holland of the Virginia Cavaliers looks on before a college basketball game against the Villanova Wildcats at Meadowlands on December 1, 1990 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

When Mike Krzyzewski got to Duke in 1980, replacing Bill Foster, the ACC was brutal. Brutal!

Dean Smith was near his zenith at UNC. Lefty Driesell was just a decade into his amazing run at Maryland. NC State had a young and vibrant Jim Valvano and Georgia Tech would hire Bobby Cremins a year later. Carl Tacy was having a good run at Wake Forest and Bill Foster (the other Bill Foster) was doing well at Clemson.

And Virginia was very happy with Terry Holland.

A former Driesell assistant at Davidson, Holland moved to Charlottesville for the 1974-75 season and in just his second year, won the ACC Tournament, something Virginia had never done before.

He was precocious in that but as time went on, Holland established himself as a superb coach. And when 7-4 Ralph Sampson joined Virginia in 1979, Virginia became something really special. Virginia was 112-11 in the Sampson era as he won national player of the year three years in a row.

He impressed many as being professorial and gentlemanly, but he had one legendary joke: he said he named a new puppy Dean after Dean Smith because he whined so much.

Perhaps only Sam Cassell’s cheese and wine crack about the Dean Dome crowd was as enduring.

Like a lot of coaches, the stress of his profession may have ultimately forced Holland out. He had severe intestinal problems which led to surgery in 1985 and left coaching in 1990 to return to Davidson as AD.

He later returned to Charlottesville as Virginia’s AD and from there moved to ECU before retiring in 2012.

He left both professions with his honor and reputation intact and with great admiration.

Keep in mind that before Holland arrived, UVA had one 20-win season in 46 years and had never played in the NCAA tournament. The man was a very special coach.

Sadly, Holland, now 80, has been diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease. Though a lot of progress appears to be happening with this awful disease, with a promising medicine just being approved, we’re a long ways from being able to claim victory (interestingly, some researchers now think that the gut-mind connection, which is still barely understood, may be where the answer lies. Others have taken to calling it Diabetes III, believing sugar may ultimately be at fault).

Holland and his wife, Ann, have lived in a senior center in Charlottesville for nearly four years and Holland has been moved downstairs to the memory care center.

Mrs. Holland talks about how hard it is for her to let him go and that he has become a different person in many ways - familiar laments for anyone who has seen Alzheimer’s progress through anyone’s life and mind - and she’s roughly the same age and can’t be expected to care for him herself.

Holland has always been a sharp mind and a good man. It’s so sad to see him slip away like this. All best wishes to Terry, Ann, and their daughters and grandchildren. Your ACC family will be thinking of you often.