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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

By Brian Bailey

Expect the unexpected from Holland

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

East Carolina Director of Athletics Terry Holland is certainly earning his salary these days. After an exhausting search to replace Skip Holtz in football, Holland is now looking for a head basketball coach after the resignation of Mack McCarthy on Saturday night.

Multiple sources said Holland was in deep conversation with Kansas assistant coach Joe Dooley on Sunday. Holland would not confirm the story, but did say that he thought Dooley would make an excellent candidate. Dooley had a 57-52 record with East Carolina from 1995-99.

Dooley didn’t return phone calls on Saturday or Sunday, but did contact me via a text message on Monday afternoon.

In the text he indicated that it was against KU policy to discuss jobs, but that he would not be returning to Greenville.

Dooley said that was all that he would say on the matter.

Holland said the search could end soon, or could be drawn out until after the upcoming NCAA tournament.

“Naming a coach tomorrow would be one extreme,” said Holland. “Naming a coach after the tournament would be the other extreme.”

Holland is a poker player when it comes to hiring a coach. His meeting with the media on Sunday night was reminiscent of a meeting he had just before hiring Skip Holtz.

At the time, he gave the indication that there was no leading candidate and that the process might take a while. Twenty-four hours later, he had his coach in Holtz.

This will be Holland’s third shot at hiring a basketball coach at East Carolina. The lack of success for Pirate hoops obviously wears on him. The problem is that there is no easy fix, and this might not be the easiest job to sell to potential candidates.

LeClair book is a Home Run!

Congratulations to fellow writer Bethany Bradsher on the debut of the book on Keith LeClair, “Coaching Third.” The book’s release date was this past Friday, which was also the start of the 7th Annual Keith LeClair Classic at East Carolina.

Tears streamed down my face at different points of the book. Many of the stories in “Coaching Third” were about situations and games that I was so much a part of in covering East Carolina baseball.

The different players and coaches’ stories and their relationships with Keith brought back so many vivid memories. Tommy Eason, George Whitfield, Kevin McMullan, Chuck Young and so many others are friends of mine, and it was great reading about all of the people that I still work with just about on a daily basis.

The details about Keith’s funeral and the unbelievable service at Clark-LeClair Stadium afterwards were equally as compelling. We get so busy in our day to day lives that it’s most refreshing to take a step back and think about all that Keith and his family went through battling ALS.

I saw Lynn LeClair a couple of times during the weekend. She and children Audrey and J.D. look great. Audrey is growing into a very sweet young lady and J.D. is almost a man. Keith would be very proud.

Lynn told me that Audrey read the book on her Dad’s life in an hour.

“She would poke her head in every so often with tears in her eyes,” Lynn said. “I would ask her if she needed a break, but she would just return to her reading.”

J.D. had vowed to read parts of the book every night before he went to bed.

Again, Keith would be so proud.


E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

03/09/2010 02:02 AM


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