December 17, 2014

Elyria
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H.S. Football: Avon Lake coach Larry Laird reportedly leaving for Strongsville after one season

AVON LAKE — Larry Laird appears set to leave Avon Lake football.

Laird is expected to be named Strongsville’s coach today, according to a Channel 8 report, ending his time with the Shoremen after an 8-3 record in his only year at the helm.

Laird and officials from both schools did not return calls for comment.

Laird will replace Russ Jacques, who resigned in February after spending 20 seasons with the Mustangs. He led them to 12 playoff appearances and three trips to the regional finals. Strongsville finished 5-5 last season and was a combined 6-24 the previous three.

Prior to taking over the Shoremen in 2013, Laird spent nine of the previous 10 years as their offensive coordinator under Dave Dlugosz. He helped guide the Shoremen to the Division II state championship in 2003 and state runner-up in 2004.

Laird coached Medina in 2010, leading the Bees to a 9-3 record in his only season there. Medina won its first playoff game in school history, an upset of No. 1 seed Canton McKinley in the regional quarterfinals.

He stepped down after the season to return to Avon Lake, citing financial problems the Medina school district faced that increased the probability he would not secure a teaching position in the 2011-12 school year.

Laird won a Division IV state title with Kenston as its offensive coordinator in 2001.

Dlugosz could be a candidate to replace Laird in his old job.

After stopping down as head coach after the 2012 season, Dlugosz served as Laird’s offensive coordinator. In 21 seasons he accumulated a 200-44 record, 15 playoff appearances, 18 conference championships and a 29-game winning streak from 2003-04.

Contact Chris Sweeney at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.