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From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
By Brian Bailey

Holland laying groundwork for hoops hire


He never named names, but East Carolina Director of Athletics Terry Holland certainly has a game plan for hiring a new basketball coach.


Terry Holland holds media briefing on coach search

< Commercial Free >

(Recorded by Brian Bailey)

Just like he did in football, Holland gathered the area media together to discuss the search in generalities. It certainly wasn’t earth-shaking information, but it was interesting to hear what Holland was looking for in a new coach.

And just like he did in the football search, Holland described coaches in two categories.

“There is the high profile assistant coach,” explained Holland. “These are assistant coaches in successful programs. Some of them have been to the tournament, to the Sweet 16, and to the Final Four. You like the kind of experience.

"These guys are recruiting the caliber of athlete that we would like to have to move our basketball program to the next level. The problem with those guys is that they usually don’t have much head coaching experience.”

Holland went on. “You also have very successful coaches who are on a so-called lower level. In those cases quite often the coaches are long established at places, they’ve been there for a while, they know what it takes to build a program."

"The problem is that they are in a comfort zone," he said. "You have to picture when you yank this person out of that environment where they were so successful, will they blossom in the new job?”

It is certainly a tough call, but coming away from the presser I got the feeling that Holland was leaning more towards hiring an assistant coach on the rise.

This is a tough job. Just ask Charlie Harrison, Mike Steele, Eddie Payne, Joe Dooley and Bill Herrion. Only Payne left on his own accord, but he struggled until shocking the Colonial Athletic Association with that tournament title in 1993.

Holland says he has a pool of around 15 candidates that is evolving to say the very least.

“We might add a guy at one point and then take another guy off of our list,” Holland said. “It is a fluid list and we will continue to move people on and off of it as the search continues.”

Rarely do those in search of a new coach put a timetable on hiring a new man, but Holland hopes to have this process done in a couple of weeks.

“We are looking at between 10 days and two weeks,” Holland said. “Of course, if we have someone that we’d like to talk to and their team is in the Final Four, then the search will go longer.”

Holland may be looking for a young coach that he can help to mold. He did say that his ties to the Atlantic Coast Conference would help in his search, but he did not say that he would exclusively look for an ACC assistant.

However, if there is a young ACC assistant or a young coach from another of the major conferences that wants a shot at a Division I job, what better place then East Carolina to get a start?

That young coach would have the knowledge of Terry Holland to call on daily.

Holland said he was not a candidate for the job. But you can tell that coaching — or at least consulting in basketball — is something that he would certainly welcome.

Bottom line: We may be 10 days to two weeks away from naming a new coach — and we may not.

Holland hopes to have a new man on board before the Final Four, but he says he will wait for the right guy.

Let the speculation continue. Heck, it’s half of the fun of naming a new coach. It’s our own version of March Madness!

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02/23/2007 01:31:36 AM

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