Holland leaves Tift County basketball, takes job as Rome principal

Eric Holland holds the state championship trophy that he and Tift County won in March at Georgia Tech. Holland, who won two state titles at Tift, is the new principal at Rome High School.

Eric Holland, the boys basketball coach who led Tift County to the Class AAAAAAA championship last month, was named principal at Rome High School at a school board meeting Tuesday and will step away from coaching.

Holland had been Tift County’s coach since 2009 and won two state titles, the first in 2014. Tift is the only South Georgia school to win a boys basketball title in the highest classification since Savannah in 1998.

Holland rebuilt Tift into a state power with all-state players such as Tadric Jackson, Brannen Greene and P.J. Horne. Jackson and Brannen were all-classification players of the year. Horne was a four-year starter, a member of both state championship teams and a first-team all-state pick this season.

The 2017 Tift County team was notable for having players that had been in the Tift school system since at least the seventh grade, most much longer than that. Every other boys state champion in the highest class since 2000 had at least one starter who transferred into the high school.

How Tift County did it: Close-knit Blue Devils prove themselves right

While basketball coach, Holland also had been an assistant principal at Tift County. He earned a doctorate degree in educational leadership and administration from Capella University in 2009. He received his masters at Georgia Southwestern and specialist degree at Albany State.

Holland had been assistant principal at Turner County Middle School for four years prior to coming to Tifton.

Holland will be joining a high school that opened in 1992 and won its first state championship in any sport last fall. The football team, coached by former Tift County football coach John Reid, won Class AAAAA.

No replacement for Holland has been named.

‘’It’s one of the best jobs in the state because you aren’t in competition with anybody,’’ Holland told ajc.com in March. “We’re the only show in town. Everybody comes to the games. There’s no rival school across the street. The school board and superintendent and athletic director give us the resources we need. They’ll never say no. There are a lot of people around here who love basketball.’’


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