East Carolina University announced Wednesday that it will hire a new athletics director and that Terry Holland will move into a new role when his successor is named.
Holland, who has guided Pirate sports since 2004, will move into an athletics director emeritus role upon selection of his replacement, the university announced in a news release Wednesday morning.
In addition, ECU announced that its Olympic Sports Complex, a four-venue state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2011, will be named the Terry Holland Olympic Sports Complex.
Holland requested the change in his role, according to Chancellor Steve Ballard. The ECU Board of Trustees reviewed and supported the change and the naming during meetings Nov. 30 and Dec. 10. Holland will continue to provide active oversight of the department’s daily operations until a new athletics director is appointed. He will continue to report directly to Ballard through Dec. 31, 2014, as provided in his current employment contract.
“Terry Holland has served ECU with distinction since 2004 and has been a close colleague and valued leader as we pursued bold goals and strong aspirations for the future,” Ballard said. “The success of our teams, the growth of our finances, the evolution of world class facilities, and our acceptance into the Big East — all of these goals have greatly benefited from Terry’s energy and vision.”
Holland, 70, said he’s been contemplating the next step in his 48-year career in college athletics.
“Early in 2012, the chancellor and I began to discuss the future of the East Carolina University athletics program,” Holland said. “Specifically, we talked about the options available that might ensure a smooth and flexible leadership transition. It was my suggestion that a move to athletics director emeritus could allow such a transition, and over the course of the summer, we exchanged ideas on how that might work with guidance from University Attorney Donna Payne.”
Ballard said Holland’s broad contributions will be reflected in the name of the newest feature on the athletics grounds at ECU. The Terry Holland Olympic Sports Complex is a $24 million facility that includes 1,000-seat soccer and softball stadiums, a stand-alone eight-lane polyurethane track and a 20,000-square-foot administrative building that serves all of the Pirates’ Olympic sports.
The chairman of the ECU Board of Trustees noted Holland’s vision in improving the already-solid and spirited fan base of Pirate sports.
“Without a doubt the strength of ECU is its strong fan base and Terry Holland more than anyone has helped develop and contribute to that strength. He has been the architect of 50,000 fans cheering on a Saturday afternoon in Dowdy-Ficklen,” Bob Lucas said.
As the university begins searching for a new athletics director, Ballard will rely on advice and support from Holland during the conference transition process. ECU accepted football-only membership in the Big East Conference on Nov. 27, while the other 18 teams are seeking a competitive environment before leaving Conference USA on June 30, 2014.
Holland’s primary responsibilities will focus on development activities benefitting projects, goals and the mission of East Carolina’s athletic programs. He will also play a key support role in the creation and implementation of strategic planning efforts.
Upon the appointment of new leadership, Holland said the emeritus role will enable him to “assist the director of athletics in whatever manner is most helpful to the success of East Carolina University, and when available, add ancillary support for the chancellor and other university administrators on special projects.”
In eight-plus years, Holland secured the revitalization of ECU’s football program to include back-to-back C-USA football titles in 2008 and 2009, a division co-championship in 2012 and bowl appearances in six of the last seven years. The on-the-field success has enabled East Carolina to enjoy record-breaking numbers at the turnstiles as well.
Fans broke stadium standards for total attendance and average attendance in five consecutive seasons, allowing for a 7,000-seat expansion at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium that pushed the facility’s capacity to 50,000 in time for the 2010 campaign.
Holland orchestrated an aggressive scheduling plan through 2020 which elevated public perception, national interest and growth of Pirate Football with annual home and road regional rivalry games against Atlantic Coast Conference members North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia and Virginia Tech, along with contests versus former Big East power and Big 12 newcomer West Virginia and Southeastern Conference contender South Carolina.
East Carolina’s other sports programs have also prospered under Holland’s direction, earning C-USA regular season and tournament championships or qualifying for NCAA post-season appearances in baseball, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, women’s soccer, softball, women’s swimming, and men’s and women’s track.
In the classroom, a total of 973 Pirate student-athletes have been selected to the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and 213 have been the recipient of the league’s top academic medal since 2008 alone. During the 2009-2010 year, nearly half (nine) of ECU sports netted a perfect Academic Progress Rate (APR) score of 1,000.
The renewed passion and spirit has resulted in unmatched internal and external support as Pirate Club membership has soared past 17,000 and fund-raising scholarship dollars climbed above $6.4 million for the first time in department history. In addition to the stadium expansion, impressive capital projects such as the renovation of the football practice facility and the construction of the aforementioned Olympic Sports Complex have all been accomplished under Holland’s guidance. Furthermore, work on a $15 million basketball practice facility is underway adjacent to Minges Coliseum and is expected to be completed during the late summer or early fall of 2013.
Holland, who was introduced at a news conference in Greenville Sept. 8, 2004, and officially began his duties Oct. 1, took over the top athletics leadership position at ECU after assisting the president in a fund-raising and marketing role at Virginia since 2001.
Holland first came to Virginia in 1974 as head men’s basketball coach, and over the next 16 seasons became the most successful coach in Cavalier history, with a record of 326-173. He helped lead the Cavaliers to a pair of Final Four appearances (1981 and 1984) and a National Invitational Tournament title (1980) while earning two Atlantic Coast Conference Coach-of-the-Year awards.
In 1990, he returned to alma mater Davidson College to become its athletic director, but five years later he was back in Charlottesville to take on similar duties at Virginia, and in 1999, was named of the 50 most influential figures in ACC basketball history by the Charlotte Observer.
Holland, a Clinton, N.C. native, earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Davidson in 1964 after earning three letters as a member of the Wildcats’ varsity basketball program. He began his coaching career at Davidson as an assistant coach in 1964 and was soon promoted to the top position five years later where he earned three SoCon Coach-of-the-Year selections.
In all, Holland completed his basketball coaching career with a total of 418 wins in 21 seasons, an impressive average of 19.8 wins per year. His NCAA Tournament record of 15-10 stands among the nation’s top 20 in history for coaches who have appeared in 10 or more post-season games.
He has remained active in basketball circles. He was a member of the powerful NCAA Basketball Committee, chairing the panel in 1997. He served on the Senior National Team Committee of USA Basketball from 1992 through 1996, and also chaired the organization’s Collegiate Committee.
Holland and wife Ann are the parents of two daughters, Kate and Ann-Michael, and have three grandchildren.