After 42 years of leading Benedictine College football, legendary coach Larry Wilcox announced Tuesday to his team and his coaching staff that he will be retiring at the end of the 2020 football season.
According to Benedictine College Wilcox will retire at the end of June 2021.
Since being named the head coach in 1979, Wilcox has been the face of Raven football.
He has led the program to eight Heart Championships and 14 NAIA Football Championship berths, reaching the national semifinals in 1992 and 2001 and playing in the National Championship Game in 2018.
The Hall of Fame coach also served as Athletic Director for 24 years, six seasons as the head baseball coach, two as softball coach, and four as golf coach for the Ravens.
Wilcox said the plan to retire was in since late last season and wasn’t a last minute decision.
“I spoke with President Stephen Minnis and Charlie Gartenmayer a year ago about my intent to retire after this season,” Wilcox said. “I visited with them two weeks ago and confirmed with them that was still my intent.”
Wilcox said he wanted to tell his team in person before they had any chance to hear it from anyone else.
“I wanted to be able to tell our players personally before they departed campus,” Wilcox said. “I didn’t want them to find out on Facebook or Twitter. I wanted to be able to tell the staff and players myself.”
Wilcox said telling his team and staff certainly wasn’t easy and it was something he was uneasy about since making the decision in his mind.
“It was not easy for me,” Wilcox said. “It’s something I’ve dreaded doing for the whole year and there probably hasn’t been a day the past year where I haven’t thought about this.”
Wilcox said he wanted to give the college and the program the best opportunity to fill a position he anticipates will be highly sought after by many.
“I wanted the college to have the best opportunity to fill the position and this time of the year is the best to do that and not three or six months from now,” Wilcox said. “I think Benedictine College and the football program are an attractive offering and that they’ll be of interest from our staff and other outside applicants to take a look at.”
Coach Wilcox has an overall record of 304-153. He is just the 13th college head football coach at any level to achieve 300 victories. He is the second-winningest active head football coach in the NAIA and is also the winningest head football coach of any four-year Kansas college or university in history. Larry received the Kansas Monk Award in 2007, was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2018 and the Raven Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018.
“I’m excited about the future of Benedictine football and the college moving forward,” Wilcox said. “My hope is that we’re even better and as the college makes strides I want the football program to mirror it.”
Wilcox and the Ravens will close out the regular season on Thanksgiving Day against Baker University at noon on O’Malley Field at Larry Wilcox Stadium with an automatic bid into the 65th annual NAIA Football Championship Series on the line.
The championship is slated to start on April 17 and will conclude with the National Championship Game on May 10 inside Eddie G. Robinson Stadium on the campus of Grambling University in Grambling, La.