Terry Holland met with the media today to discuss East Carolina’s conference alignment situation as well as his announcement that he would be taking over an Athletic Director Emeritus role.
Holland clarified that, as the AD Emeritus, he will still be the acting AD until a new AD is found.
“The search (for a successor) could begin in two years,” said Holland. “Or it could begin tomorrow.”
Holland and Chancellor Ballard decided to make this move now so that Holland could make a smooth transition from Athletic Director into retirement, but Holland made it clear that he saw it as a smooth transition from one AD to the next.
“I have no desire to retire,” said Holland. “I like to fish a little bit, but not that much.”
Holland mentioned that he would be open to still work for the ECU athletics department, and made this move just because he thought it was right given his age. He said that a long-term extension at this point in his life didn't make much sense.
Amidst this announcement of Holland’s change in position, there have been several developments with the Big East Conference realignment issues. The Big East’s basketball schools have threatened to disband from the league, citing that the competition has weakened since the arrival of schools like Tulane and ECU.
Holland made it clear that this situation was a work in-progress and would likely take some time to work out all the kinks.
“We don’t want something given to us. It’d be nice… but those things don’t happen,” said Holland. “We've associated ourselves with the best teammates (in the Big East) that we could find.”
The basketball-only schools in the Big East have threatened, since they hold the necessary votes to disband, that they would take the rights of the Big East brand with them. Holland said that seizing the Big East name would not be an easy task.
“The brand is important to us both (the football and basketball schools),” said Holland. “That will be a legal issue.”
Holland urged the Pirate fan base to be patient throughout this situation. The Big East will hold an official press conference either today or tomorrow and no team can do anything until then.
As it stands now, Holland also admitted that there has been discussion about how the Big East will be split into divisions in the upcoming years.
“They are looking, right now, at East and West divisions,” said Holland. He also said that if that were the case, teams could still schedule cross-divisional matchups that would take place yearly.
Amidst these announcements from the Big East, and Holland’s announcement to take over as AD Emeritus, Holland is celebrating an accomplishment of his own. He is coming up on his 50th year working in college athletics. When asked about this achievement, Holland was sure to keep the attention focused on the task at hand
“I respect and enjoy the past, but I like to live in the present with my eyes on the future.”
Holland said that he believed his greatest achievements were bring in the best facilities that were available, but with his “eyes on the future,” he said he was not done yet.
“We've still got some work to do,” said Holland. “If you've seen out pool lately, you know it needs some work.”
Holland has been a central figure here at ECU since taking over as the Athletic Director. He has watched this school grow, and helped take the athletic facilities to the next level. While he plans on being here for some time, what he has already done has been enough to plant him securely in Pirate lore. It was announced yesterday that ECU’s Olympic Sports Complex would be named in his honor.
Though Holland may be transitioning into a new part of his life, there are still those that intend to keep him close by their side.
“I’ll still be picking his brain,” said head football coach Ruffin McNeill. “He isn't going anywhere. He still needs someone to walk with… I’ll find him.”