By Ronnie Woodward
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Terry Holland’s days as East Carolina athletics director are numbered, but his name will always be attached to the Olympic sports complex at the university.
ECU announced Wednesday that Holland, 70, who has been the Pirates’ AD since 2004, will move into an athletics director emeritus role upon selection of his successor. The school also announced that the $24 million Olympic facility that includes state-of-the-art softball, track and soccer venues will be named the Terry Holland Olympic Sports Complex.
Prior to the construction of the complex, the soccer and track programs shared a venue that didn’t have lights and soccer coach Rob Donnenwirth said that made scheduling difficult because visiting teams simply didn’t want to play at the facility. The soccer field was 65 yards wide, which Donnenwirth said was legal but not ideal.
Scheduling hasn’t been an issue for Donnenwirth and his program since the upscale ECU Soccer Stadium, which features a field that is 75 yards wide, opened last year.
“The facility is better than we could’ve imagined,” Donnenwirth said. “We would’ve been happy with just lights. … What we have now has made a massive impact for us.”
The complex also includes a 20,000-square-foot administrative building that includes coaches offices. A date for an official naming ceremony was not announced Wednesday.
Donnenwirth said Holland’s name being linked to the complex is appropriate, but his hard work stretches beyond the buildings that were recently erected. He recalled the first meeting Holland had with the ECU coaches in 2004, saying the focus was on academics and putting Pirate student-athletes first rather than strictly being concerned with wins and losses.
“When he first arrived, we weren’t even a fully-funded program,” Donnenwirth said. “He made Title IX a priority. He knew that needed to be done, and he committed to it.”
Eighth-year track and field coach Curt Kraft said his program’s old facility compared to its new one, which is behind the ECU Softball Stadium and visible to traffic on Charles Boulevard, is night and day.
“We couldn’t be more excited with what we have,” Kraft said.
As for naming the complex after Holland, Kraft said it is very appropriate.
“It’s a testament to what that man has done,” he said. “The facility didn’t happen overnight. A lot of hard work went into it.”
Contact Ronnie Woodward at firstname.lastname@example.org, 252-329-9592 or follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.
via The Daily Reflector.