Motlow College recently announced that Aaron Holland has been hired as the new head basketball coach of the Lady Bucks. Holland comes to Motlow after serving in various capacities for the last five years with Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark.
Athletic director and men’s head coach Jerry Nichols served as the interim head coach of the Lady Bucks during the 2011-12 season – guiding them to an 11-13 record and a sixth-place finish in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association standings.
“We are very excited to have Aaron join the coaching family here at Motlow,” said Nichols. “He has served under outstanding head coaches and he has a proven ability to communicate well with student athletes and to teach basketball. His knowledge of the game and his experience at developing talent give him the tools to be a successful coach.”
Holland played basketball in high school with his eye on becoming a Division I college player, but when that opportunity did not materialize, he set his sights on coaching instead.
“I played basketball all the time while I was growing up,” said Holland, “Although I really wanted to play at a high level, God didn’t grant me those physical gifts. So I became a student manager and I got involved in college basketball first as a manager.
“I heard about the Motlow job from one of our assistant coaches at Arkansas State. He told me that Motlow was beginning its search for a women’s basketball coach and I realized that this was a great opportunity for me to advance in coaching and run my own program.
“Coaches have a chance to positively influence the lives of young people, and in some cases to change their life forever,” added Holland. “My biggest role models growing up were my two high school basketball coaches. They influenced me, from my work ethic to how I live my daily life. I look forward to the opportunity to have an impact on my players in the same way.”
Holland has worked under two head coaches with Final Four experience. John Brady led LSU in 2006 and Richard Williams took Mississippi State in 1996. Aaron worked closely with both of them and says they taught him a lot about what to do and what not to do.
“I tried to soak up everything they said,” he added. “At Arkansas State, I was the Director of Player Development, but I had my hands in many different areas, including breaking down video and working with our student athletes to make sure they were in good academic standing.”
Moving to a new area has its challenges, but Holland says the transition has been made easier by help from both his new Motlow family and the people of this area in general.
“I am really enjoying the Motlow community and the surrounding area, but I’m still trying to learn which way is Lynchburg and which is Tullahoma,” he laughed. “Slowly but surely I’m learning my way around. Everybody has been really nice and helpful to me and it seems like Motlow has really good fan support.”
Ultimately, much of a coaches’ success is deemed by wins and losses, and Holland knows that his challenge will be to rebuild a Lady Bucks program that has not contended for a state championship since 2006.
“I’m spending most of my time right now recruiting. I came into this a little late in the recruiting season, so right now I’m just trying to meet as many players as I can because I have a roster to fill. Next year I will be much more ahead of the curve when it comes to recruiting.
“We have four girls returning from last year,” he added. “Realistically for this season, our goal is to be above .500. The Lady Bucks have struggled over the past few years getting to that level, so that needs to be our first goal. I look forward to the day we have a championship women’s team playing in Copperweld Arena.”