When you have 568 career wins, 15 Scioto Valley Conference championships, 14 SVC Coach of the Year awards and three Final Four appearances, it isn’t that difficult to find work. Legendary high school hoops coach, Larry Jordan, non-renewed at Southeastern High School this past spring, will return to the sidelines this winter as the head coach of the Jackson Ironmen.
When you have 568 career wins, 15 Scioto Valley Conference championships, 14 SVC Coach of the Year awards and three Final Four appearances, it isn’t that difficult to find work. After legendary high school hoops coach, Larry Jordan, was non-renewed at Southeastern High School this past spring, the well-known coach’s absence in the coaching ranks has proven to be a short one. Jordan will return to the sidelines this winter as the head coach of the Jackson Ironmen.
Jackson Superintendent, Phil Howard, who is a former head coach himself at both Piketon and Western, contacted Jordan and it didn’t take long for the two to decide that it was a nice fit for both sides.
“Everything with Jackson just seemed to fall into place,” said Jordan who spent 34 of his 37 years as head coach of Southeastern. “I was looking for a coaching opportunity and they were looking for a coach, so it was a nice fit. We got together and talked, and I liked what they said and evidently they liked what I said – so it worked.”
One of the biggest issues Jordan will face is the timing in the hire. With August a “dead period” – meaning no opportunity to be in the gym coaching his new players – Jordan says he will use the next couple of weeks to try and get his coaching staff in order and be ready to go when the calendar turns to September.
Jordan will be joined at the varsity level by his son, Mike, who will serve as the assistant. Mike was a wing player on the 1990 Final Four team at Southeastern, and then spent the remainder of the decade coaching throughout the boys program for his dad and he also spent time as the head coach of the Southeastern girls’ program where he led the Lady Panthers to the sweet sixteen.
Jordan says he and Mike will most likely be joined by some members of Jackson’s program.
“It was definitely a big selling point to me that I was able to take my son along as a varsity assistant,” said Jordan who spent three years at Waverly in the late-90’s before returning to Southeastern. “That was something I really wanted. They have three young coaches who they really recommend, so that should help make the transition a little easier, especially since we are stressed for time.
“It’s going to be a short transition to try to catch up and see what we can accomplish,” the legendary coach continued talking about his late start brought on by the recent resignation of Bruce Hurst. “All the coaches will have to get on the same page real quick, but I am really excited about the new challenge.”
The time is obviously a concern in terms of Coach Jordan’s first season; however, Jackson’s expectations are focused more a long-term program being developed.
“In talking to them (Jackson), their expectations are more about the long run than the upcoming season,” said Jordan who takes over a program that went 3-18 including a first-round tournament loss in last year’s sectional tournament. “They want the program developed top to bottom. Hopefully, we can get something started and eventually the wins and losses will take care of themselves.
“One thing that will help is the incredible facilities at Jackson,” he continued. “They have the space to bring in several teams for scrimmages and other events that will really help give the kids a variety of opponents in a short time. You just will not find a nicer facility than what they have at Jackson.”
Speaking of facilities, the most ironic circumstances that come with this hire is one, Jackson plays Southeastern in an early season game at Chillicothe, and two, Jordan will return to Southeastern’s gym – also known as Larry Jordan Gymnasium – for his southeast Division II sectional games later this winter.