Virginia coach’s letter supporting Chaminade

Mark Rodrigues, who started in Chaminade’s monumental upset over Virginia in 1982, has been leading an effort to get the Silverswords into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for several years, without success yet (today’s column on the topic). Mark shared this letter of support from Terry Holland, who was the Virginia coach at the time:

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

1150 West Columbus Avenue
Springfield, MA 01101-0179

To the Hall of Fame Selection Committee:

It has come to my attention that the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has received a nomination package to recognize the 1982-83 Chaminade basketball team as part of the Hall’s stated mission to “honor and celebrate basketball’s greatest moments and people.”

Chaminade’s monumental upset of our number one ranked University of Virginia team was most significant in that it was not a fluke.  Chaminade was simply a good team standing toe to toe with one of college basketball’s best teams.  The Chaminade victory paved the way for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee to strongly consider allowing relatively unknown teams to compete for at-large bids to the NCAA Basketball Tournament.  These at-large selections spawned a true national tournament and some truly exciting upsets on college basketball’s largest stage.

Another important result was the creation of the Maui Classic hosted by Chaminade and featuring some of the nation’s best teams annually.  In fact, there are many people who would choose the Maui Classic over a trip to the Final Four since many of the teams will be in the Final Four.  And, in Maui, teams continue to play in the consolation round, so you get to see each team play three times in good seats close to the floor with a world class beach right outside if the score gets lopsided.

Chaminade’s victory was therefore a catalyst that forced the world to acknowledge that “parity had arrived in college basketball.”

Terry Holland


  1. Warrior Dave March 4, 2013 11:47 am

    What a class act. Good luck Silverswords.

  2. Chuck Williams March 6, 2013 8:22 am

    A class act by a class guy, Coach Terry Holland …

    I was the PA announcer for Chaminade Basketball for 20+ years and had the honor to do the Chaminade/Virginia Game which in my opinion will be the BIGGEST upset in the history of College Basketball …

    In 1982/83 Chaminade was a member of NAIA with less than 900 students facing the #1 Team with the #1 Player (7’4″ Ralph Sampson) … everyone expected Chaminade to lose by 30+ … Great, great experience …

    Coach Merv Lopes was the motivator for the Chaminade win and that was not the only D1 team Chaminade beat during his tenure …

    Jerry West the great Laker player, coach and GM told me on Maui “Merv Lopes could coach on any level including ours” … High praise from the guy who’s icon is on the the NBA players uniforms …

    I’m just sharing some of the history from someone who was there … Thank you … Chuck

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