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Linfield College men’s basketball coach Larry Doty is retiring after 26 seasons and a school-record 330 victories, director of athletics Scott Carnahan announced Tuesday.
Doty, the longest-tenured and winningest coach in program history, will remain at Linfield as a member of the Health, Human Performance and Athletics faculty. He will continue to teach health courses and is taking on expanded responsibilities that include supervision of HHPA student internships within the community.
“I believe this will be a positive move for Larry and for our department,” said Carnahan. “With the many opportunities that can be expanded for our students through internships, Larry will provide them with outreach and experience that will be most valuable.”
“Coaching basketball at Linfield has been a joy,” said Doty. “But the decision to step aside as coach is the right decision for me, our family and for the basketball program.”
Doty has served as Linfield men’s basketball coach since 1987. He guided the Wildcats to Northwest Conference championships in 1999 and 2001, but the program has struggled to maintain its winning tradition in recent seasons.
Doty’s best stretch of basketball at Linfield came from 1998-99 until 2000-01. During that span, the Wildcats won 57 games against just 21 defeats and advanced to the NCAA Division III playoffs in 2001.
“We have appreciation for the length of service Larry has given to the men’s basketball program,” Carnahan said. “Although our teams have struggled recently, they have always worked extremely hard to improve throughout the season.”
Doty retires from coaching with a collegiate coaching record of 330-347 (.487).
He said he will remember the relationships he’s developed with players, opposing coaches and fans over the years more than any single victory or particular season.
“Working at Linfield has afforded me the privilege to interact with thousands of students and student-athletes,” said Doty, reflecting on his long career at Linfield. “While I have been able to positively impact many young lives, in turn, those vast experiences have enriched my life and that of my family many times over. My wife, Devri, and I feel a substantial gratitude, especially to the deep and close connections that our family has made over the years to those associated with the basketball program. They have helped us shape our own children into respectful, resourceful young adults.”
A three-sport athlete in football, basketball and baseball while a student at Linfield, Doty earned his bachelor’s degree from the college in 1978 followed by a master’s degree in 1979.
“I would like to thank former President Charles Walker and Athletic Director Ad Rutschman for hiring me, having faith in me and for giving me the opportunity as a young head coach and faculty member,” he said.
A national search for a successor begins immediately.