Houghton Lake’s Kelley Reflects On Six Decades Of Coaching
HOUGHTON LAKE – After more than 60 years as a teacher and a coach, Larry Kelley has announced he’s retiring.
“I think probably it’s time,” said Kelley. “I’m in my sixth decade of being a head coach. I’ve been very blessed, I’ve had some great opportunities, I’ve gotten to work with a large number of wonderful young people.”
Coach Kelley has quite the resume.
He’s coached all over the state at New Lothrop, Birch Run, Lansing Christian, Lake City, Roscommon and finally Houghton Lake.
He’s also coached a plethora of sports.
“Football and baseball in the 60s. Football and baseball in the 70s, and golf. In the 80s I did football and baseball. And in the 90s I did football and volleyball. And then it was just volleyball in the 2000s and 2010s,” said Kelley.
Three years ago, Angelique Compton left the head volleyball coaching position and Kelley took the role on because he wanted to see this year’s graduating class through.
“I couldn’t leave this group of girls so I stuck around for three more years,” said Kelley. “They learned if you wanted to succeed you had to work hard. You could have fun doing it, but you had to work. And they bought into that. We have done in the three years, we finished twice second in the Jack Pine, and this last year we won the first ever Jack Pine Title in 40 years of history in the league, in the school.”
Kelley hopes he’s left a legacy and helped make the program what it has the potential to be.
“I think we made a difference, I think we made a difference in volleyball. I think we sort of set the tone. I think we’ve changed the culture a little bit,” Kelley said.
Even though Kelley has retired, he still plans to substitute teach.