Legendary UVA Men’s Basketball Coach and Athletics Director Terry Holland Passes Away

Virginia logoCHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The family of legendary Virginia men’s basketball head coach and athletics director Terry Holland announced today that he passed away Sunday, Feb. 26, in Charlottesville. He was 80 years old.


Holland served as head coach at Virginia from 1974 to 1990, retiring as UVA’s all-time winningest men’s basketball coach with a 326-173 (.653) record. Holland guided the Cavaliers to a pair of NCAA Final Four berths (1981 and 1984), three consecutive ACC regular-season titles (1981-83), two Elite Eight appearances (1983 and 1989), one ACC tournament championship (1976), one NIT crown (1980) and nine NCAA tournament appearances. He earned ACC Coach of the Year honors in 1981 and 1982.


Holland was a standout player for Lefty Driesell at Davidson, where he led the nation in field goal percentage as a senior in 1963-64. Holland joined Driesell’s coaching staff after he graduated and took over head coaching duties in 1969.


Holland served five seasons as head coach at Davidson before accepting the head coaching job at Virginia in 1974. He turned around the UVA program and won the school’s first ACC tournament championship in 1976.


He took the Cavaliers to an elite level with the arrival of future stars Wally Walker, Jeff Lamp, Bryant Stith, and most famously, 7-4 Ralph Sampson, the national Player of the Year in 1981,’82 and ’83. The Cavaliers posted a 112-25 mark and earned its first Final Four berth during the Sampson era from 1979-83.


The year after Sampson graduated, Holland led the Cavaliers back to the Final Four in 1984, losing to Houston and Hakeem Olajuwon in the semifinals.

In his 21 seasons of coaching, Holland’s teams compiled a record of 418-216, with a school-record 326 of those wins coming at Virginia. Holland’s record was broken earlier this season by current UVA Dean and Markel Families Men’s Head Basketball Coach Tony Bennett.


After retiring from coaching in 1990, Holland returned to Davidson as athletic director. He later became the athletics director at Virginia for seven seasons from 1994 to 2001 and then at East Carolina for 10 more years.


The Clinton, N.C., native is survived by his wife, Ann, daughters Ann-Michael Holland and Kate Baynard, and three grandchildren.