Courtesy: Sean Fagan, Assistant Director of Media Relations
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - One day after the first official practice of the 2012-13 season, the Western Michigan men's basketball team announced that James Holland, a veteran coach with nearly 30 years of basketball experience, will join the Broncos' coaching staff for the 2012-13 season. A 2006 inductee into the South Carolina-Upstate (formerly known as USC-Spartanburg) Hall of Fame, Holland replaces Larry Farmer, who took a position with North Carolina State in July.
"We're very excited to welcome James to our Bronco family," said WMU head coach Steve Hawkins. "We lost experience when Larry Farmer departed, and felt we needed to bring in a lot of experience to replace that. We accomplished that goal with this hiring."
"James will help coach our big men, which is something he has extensive experience with," said Hawkins. "He also brings us more of a national recruiting base to work from. We're very excited to have him with us."
Holland brings a wealth of basketball knowledge to the Broncos, having won league championships as an assistant coach in three different conferences. Holland has helped coach five NCAA tournament teams and three NIT teams in his career, and his recruiting classes have ranked among the top seven in the nation. In addition to his collegiate coaching credentials, Holland served as the Southeast Regional Scout for the Washington Wizards of the NBA during the 2003-04 season.
Holland has worked as an assistant coach for nearly 30 years, most recently in a four-season stint at Alabama from 2006-10. Primarily under head coach Mark Gottfried, Holland helped the Crimson Tide to an NIT bid in 2006-07 and three straight winning seasons. Holland coached three All-SEC players from Alabama in that time, including Jermareo Davidson (2007) and Richard Hendrix (2007-08).
Before joining the Crimson Tide, Holland was an assistant for two years with Texas-El Paso; Holland helped lead UTEP to a 2005 WAC championship and NCAA Tournament berth, in a season in which the Miners went 27-8 and had three All-WAC performers.
Holland was an assistant with Georgia from 1999-2003, and helped the Bulldogs to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2001 and 2002, including a Southeastern Conference East Division title in 2002. Before his time at Georgia, Holland served the longest stint of his career as the associate head coach at San Diego State from 1993-99; he had spent the previous two seasons as an assistant with South Carolina.
Holland found great success early in his career at Murray State; as assistant coach from 1988-91, Holland helped turn the Racers into a formidable mid-major program. The Racers won three consecutive Ohio Valley Conference titles from 1989-91, making a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances in 1990 and 1991 and an NIT appearance in 1989. Holland helped develop three consecutive OVC Players of the Year in Jeff Martin (1989) and Popeye Jones (1990-91).
Holland began his coaching career at his alma mater, working with USC-Spartanburg from 1984-87. He would later move on to coach a season in his home state at North Carolina-Asheville before ending up at Murray State.
Holland started in all four of his seasons with the Rifles, and ranks as the USC-Upstate all-time assists leader; he is also second all-time in games played. Holland was part of the 1982 Rifles team that won the NAIA national championship, defeating Biola 51-38, and served as a three-year team captain. Holland would go on to play with the Harlem Globetrotters in the 1982-83 season, teaming with Globetrotter greats Curly Neal and Gees Ausbie.
Holland earned his BS in Political Science from USC-Spartanburg in 1985. He is married to the former Rhonda Edwards, and the couple has two sons, Anthony and Kevin.