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Henry's Highlights
Thursday, March 10, 2005

By Henry Hinton

Psychics beware on reading Holland's mind


Matt Doherty has bought a house in Greenville and will be announced as the new head basketball coach at East Carolina in the next few days. This is the rumor that just simply will not go away.

Replay this week's archives of Talk of The Town with Henry Hinton: Select clip

Guessing what is happening during a coaching search is a sport that many seem to enjoy. ECU fans have had plenty of opportunity in recent years to sharpen their skills at this activity and we seem to have taken it to an entirely new level.

However, let’s examine what we really know.

Last week, we reported on the air and in this column that it is our belief that Doherty is not and will not be a candidate. From what we have been told, Doherty is going after the Tulsa job in a big way. The general consensus has been that Doherty would not be in the mix in Greenville.

The rumors have persisted on Doherty. Time will tell if we are right.

The other hot name that has continued to be on the radar is South Carolina assistant and former Virginia Tech head coach Ricky Stokes.

Stokes told close friends earlier this week that he had not spoken to Terry Holland about the ECU job. That’s not to say he will not be a candidate but as of Tuesday morning he had not been contacted by East Carolina.

Holland seems to be a straight-shooter when it comes to speaking to the media. Many tried to guess what he was thinking during the football coaching search in spite of his public comments.

We, in the media, are still getting to know Holland but as it turns out, we were all reading too much into what was going on before he hired Skip Holtz.

So maybe it would be instructive for those of us involved in this new sport of ‘coach-guessing’ to actually examine the words of the man, himself.

Replay the Mar. 4th special edition of Talk of the Town that included Henry Hinton's interview with East Carolina athletic director Terry Holland: Select clip

In a live interview on Talk 1070 during our special opening day morning show at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Friday Holland gave the only public insight to date on the Herrion firing and what is actually going on.

Keep in mind the basketball team was one day away from the regular season finale at Tulane when Holland spoke to me.

Here is a transcript of the end of that interview when I asked him about the basketball situation:

Henry Hinton — “I can’t have you on the air and not ask you about the situation with Bill Herrion and basketball. I know you’ve said you won’t speak about it until the end of the season and we have a game left tomorrow night….”

Terry Holland — “Hopefully we have a few games left.” (turned out not to be the case).

HH — “Do you want to talk about that at all? Is there anything you can tell us about what went into your decision about the process there?”

TH — “No, not really. I think everybody has a pretty good idea of where things stand right now and we’ll address it as soon as the season is over just like we did in the football situation…..”

HH — “Do you have a coaching search underway?”

TH — “What we are trying to do right now is make sure we don’t talk to any candidates or do anything that would be distracting to the team or the coaching staff that is in place. But we are doing a lot of behind the scenes work in terms of pulling stuff on everybody that we can find that should be a candidate for this job. So right now we are assembling as large a possible pool as we possibly can and then we’re going to compare it to the people we know and make sure we don’t leave anybody out. There are always ‘coach du jours’ that show up each year that are hot candidates for every job that comes open and we just want to make sure that anybody who is out there that is a young and upcoming coach that we haven’t heard about to date that we have at least…..”

HH — “But you have not hired a new basketball coach? Is that what you’re telling us?“

TH — “No, no, (chuckle) and that contract you wrote out and asked me to sign for you as the coach is not valid and I will not sign it.”

Thank goodness for that anyway.

Holland may address the media soon on these issues. He also could walk out and introduce his new basketball coach but it does not seem likely in next day or so.

Note the word ‘pool.’ That would indicate more than one person. It is also interesting that he specifically indicates a willingness to look beyond the hot names and consider a young coach.

This does not sound like the words of a man who has already made a deal with someone.

Reading his words above and remembering the out front way he conducted the football search, it seems reasonable to believe that, while he may have some specific candidates in mind, he had not (as of Friday) made any decisions.

Holland has always been known to be direct with the media. That is a phenomenon we, at East Carolina, have not always experienced from administrators... particularly in the not-so-distant past.

Meanwhile, the new sport we have created trudges on. In a way, it is fun to guess. Everyone loves a good mystery.

So, Coach Doherty... keep on buying those homes in Pitt County.

And Coach Holland... keep on searching for your new coach.


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02/23/2007 10:16:08 AM

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