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Memories of Terry Holland

by | Feb 28, 2023

Terry Holland with his jersey at the ceremony in January 2022. (News of Davidson photo)


Years ago, college freshmen were not allowed to play on varsity teams. Terry’s first team was the freshman team at Davidson. Two of those players share their thoughts and admiration for Terry below.

Although Terry was just four years older than us freshman players in his first year of coaching, he commanded our respect from day one. He was the consummate gentleman, teacher, and coach. I was with Terry on a number of times after his retirement from coaching and athletics administration, and I am honored to call him my friend. (Tom Clayton)

I was privileged to play on the first team Terry coached (1964-65), the year after he graduated. We were the first of his many teams with a winning record. His success came because he was a wonderful human being who treated his players with respect, a man of strong integrity and decency. I have been honored by his friendship over these many years. (Cecil Clifton)

Former Davidson President John Kuykendall shared the following:

Just a treasured colleague and friend.

He moved from being a player to being a coach to being an athletic administrator with the unique combination of modesty and confidence which made his accomplishments all the more admirable. 

And… he was a brilliant practical joker!

Kuykendall’s assistant shared this memory:

Terry Holland was Davidson’s Athletic Director when I served as Assistant to the President in 1989-90. Besides being a fine administrator, he also helped save our lives when our Trustee Athletic retreat in York, SC was unexpectedly and directly in the changed path of Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Terry came and got the three or four of us women from a smaller cabin and walked us through the strengthening storm to the main cabin where we all waited it out.
I will always remember him. Rest in peace, sir. (Dr. Melissa Givens)
Another recollection of Terry Holland first appeared on social media. The author allowed us to publish the following:

Back in the 1974-1975 basketball season, I approached a new men’s head coach at UVA. He did not know me well but had seen me on the sidelines. I spoke first to Gene Corrigan, who was AD and I had interacted with him before.

I had a proposal for Coach Holland. I was going home to Minneapolis-St. Paul over the holidays and knew that one of the upcoming UVA opponents (Clemson) was playing in a Christmas tournament hosted by Bill Musselman’s U of M Gopher’s team (with 3 future NBAers, Mychal Thompson, Mark Oberding, and Mark Landsberger (who graduated from my high school with my sister’s class) and Flip Saunders who later was a good coach in his own right).

Other teams were Navy, Auburn and Clemson with Tree Rollins etc. I offered to scout if I could get tix. Terry delivers. Two courtside, of course. I did scout and gave him what I thought was a good game plan, but Terry used his assistant’s plan (Mike Schuler). The first game after break, Clemson won easily.

I saw Terry later that week and he apologized. . .saying I had a better plan than Mike (who of course later was pretty good in the NBA).

Terry was a pure class act. I stayed in touch a bit over the years, and although he owed me nothing, I got not one, but two invitations to come see him and Ann when I got into town including Denver where their daughter still works at the medical school. They had a townhome there. I still have the e-mails with him. They are treasures. (Dr. David Gustafson)

Do you have memories of Terry Holland? Please share them us at [email protected]

We will publish those stories of remembrance in the coming weeks.

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