ECU community reacts to the death of longtime AD Terry Holland

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -Many believe he had the most iconic run as an athletic director in ECU history.

“When I think of Coach Holland, I think of legendary status,” said Curt Kraft, longtime ECU track and field coach.

Pirate great Terry Holland passed away Sunday at the age of 80.

He took over the reins at ECU back in 2004 during a time when some say Pirate athletics were struggling.

“He ended up here because he wanted to see this place survive,” Kraft said. “He wanted to see this place rise up.”

It didn’t take long for that elevation to happen as Holland turned ECU football, basketball, and baseball into winning programs.

His relentless pursuit of excellence would change the lives of people like Kraft forever.

“We lost a good one,” Kraft said.

Kraft had been the longtime track coach at the University of Nevada, Reno, but found a new home at ECU after Holland offered him a job with the Pirates in 2005.

And over the next nine years, Kraft says he and Holland would build a lasting friendship.

“When he walked in the room, he commanded the respect,” Kraft said. “He demanded the respect, and he was a man of very few words. He did more listening and observing than he did anything. He walked in the room and it was the sheer presence of him being there.”

Pitt County Schools spokesperson Tom McClellan also worked with Holland for years during his time as ECU’s Media Relations Assistant Athletics Director.

He wrote this statement describing the kind of man Holland was:

Holland also played a big role in the redevelopment of ECU’s athletic campus, which resulted in a $25 million dollar state-of-the-art Olympic Sports Complex, later renamed the Terry Holland Olympic Sports Complex.