New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)
Kelley resigns after 14 seasons as coach at Career
Larry Kelley, the schoolboy basketball star from Lee High in New Haven who went on to coach in the city he grew up in, is resigning after 14 seasons as Career’s boys basketball coach.
Kelley coached Career to its only state championship in 2012, defeating Northwest Catholic in the Class L title game. The Panthers also reached two other state finals in 2011 and 2014.
“Like they say, you know when it’s time? It’s time (to step down),” Kelley said. “I have some really good memories, I will tell you that. In order to win, you need to have players.
To have some of those players I had during those runs does my heart good. Those kids were go-getters and tough.”
Erik Patchkofsky, New Haven’s citywide athletic director, has seen Kelly’s entire coaching career, including his time as an assistant in the program.
“Larry got the absolute best out of his teams. Being a small magnet school and to win the state championship and some SCC championships (in 2012 and 2015), those are incredible accomplishments,” Patchkofsky said. “Larry is an old-school coach who commanded the respect of his players and he is a
The Panthers won the SCC in 2012 over Hillhouse and 2015 over Fairfield Prep. Career also reached the 2010 final.
“Even when we lost, which was tough, I always felt good about the kids, the effort they gave and realized how blessed I was to be able to coach them. Not everyone gets a chance to coach.”
Kelley, 67 was the New Haven Register State
Coach of the Year in 2011 and the Area Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2012. He was inducted into the Connecticut Tap-Off Club Hall of Fame in 2019.
Kelley was a 1,000-point scorer at Lee, where he was also a two-time captain. He played for Peter Evans, then coached alongside him for 10 seasons at Career before succeeding him in 2007.
He was able to coach his son, Larry, Jr., a standout player in his own right. He died in a car accident in 2009.
Larry, Jr. was never far from his father’s thoughts and he would often speak about him after losses.
“There were days when I didn’t think I could make it to the end of the day, or I’d be driving to the gym and pull over and take a breather,” Larry, Sr., said. “Junior was always on my mind. My son had a lot to do with me still coaching.”
Kelley, works in school suspension at the Fair Haven School in New Haven.
Kelley also played at Syracuse University and was a part of the Orangemen’s first Final Four team in 1975, his senior season. Kelley started 25 games and averaged 10 points per game under first-year coach Jim Boeheim.
WILBUR CROSS GIRLS JOB OPEN
There is another basketball coaching vacancy in New Haven: the Wilbur Cross girls program. Ty Thomas resigned during the off-season.
Patchkosky said people can still apply for the vacant position.
“It was time-consuming with his job and family obligations, so he needed to concentrate on those things,” Patchkofsky said.