Former Lincoln assistant reaches Sweet Sixteen
Jason Holland, a former Lincoln County assistant now coaching at Oldham County, saw the Boys Sweet Sixteen for the first time as anything other than a spectator when his Oldham team took the Rupp Arena floor Wednesday in the tournament’s opening game.
The Colonels were the first team to be eliminated from the tournament, losing 56-39 to George Rogers Clark, but simply getting to Lexington was an accomplishment for Holland, who is in his second year at Oldham, and for his team, which had a losing record last year.
As he sat in the media room with the team’s four seniors following the game, he said they are the ones who engineered the turnaround at Oldham, which missed the 8th Region Tournament in the two years before he was hired.
“Last year we won 12 games, and to go from 12 to 25 is pretty special,” Holland said. “I’m the same guy I was two years ago. These guys came in, and they went to work to get our program back where it belongs.”
Still, some of the credit has to go to Holland, a Red Bird graduate who spent a couple of seasons at Lincoln before leaving in 2003 for a job at Wildwood (Fla.). He returned to Kentucky a year later as head coach at Henry County, spent five years there, then moved to neighboring Oldham in 2009. The Colonels, who have long been among the powerbrokers in the 8th Region, were in decline when Holland arrived and went just 12-16 in his first season before returning to the top of the region this winter.