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BUCKNER – Jason Holland experienced the highs and lows of coaching all in one day Friday when he was named the new boys’ basketball coach at Oldham County High School.
“Friday was one of the happiest days of my life when I met with the Oldham County kids in the morning for the first time,” Holland said. “Then it was one of the saddest days of my life in the afternoon when I met with my kids at Henry County.”
Holland comes to the OCHS program from Henry County where he served as the Wildcats’ head coach for five years.
He took over a floundering program that went 3-23 in his first season to 22-8 this year.
Henry County won its first regional tourney game in 20 years this spring with a 59-54 win over South Oldham this year before falling to Shelby County in the semis.
In his tenure at Henry County, Holland was 68-56 and was regional coach of the year two years ago.
“I am lucky in that I am leaving a good situation for a good situation,” Holland said. “I’m excited about the opportunity. It’s a really good place to work with a great administration and a rich tradition.”
Holland knows he has some big shoes to fill, taking the place of Gary Forrest who retired this year.
In 20 years at OCHS, Forrest won five regional titles, more than 400 games and was a regional coach of the year nine times.
“That was definitely one of the things I considered before taking the job,” Holland said. “A lot of people will tell you it will be impossible to duplicate what Gary did but I like the challenge. If I can do as well I will be blessed.”
He also knows he is stepping into perhaps the most competitive district in the region with county rivals North Oldham and South Oldham and a Trimble County program that has improved every year under Coach Bob Lauster.
“They’re all quality coaches who are running good programs,” Holland said. “I really feel like this district could become one that could produce a regional champion every year.”
The 34-year-old Holland and his wife, Pheena, have two children.
He is a native of Clay County, where he played point guard at Red Bird High School for legendary coach John D. Wilson. Holland said Wilson was a big influence in his decision to become a teacher and coach.
Holland will teach special education at OCHS and plans on getting started with the OCHS players immediately.
“We’re starting with open gym today (Tuesday),” Holland said. “Coach Forrest has most of the summer schedule intact and we are going to get things going right now.”
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