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Prep football: Larry Cox out as head coach at Lakota West

Larry Cox, the only head football coach in Lakota West High School history, has resigned after 21 seasons.

West athletic director Scott Kaufman said Cox informed him of his decision Friday morning.

“Larry made this decision on his own,” Kaufman said. “Coach Cox has always had the best interest of the kids at heart, and we greatly appreciate his service for the past 21 seasons.”

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Kaufman said Firebirds assistant coach Jeff Wadl will take over as interim head coach for the 2018 season “and we will conduct a thorough search as soon as the season ends.”

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Cox, a 1982 Badin graduate, was the head coach when West opened its doors in 1997 and went 114-103 with the Firebirds. He was 2-5 in five trips to the Division I playoffs (2004, 2006, 2009, 2013, 2014) and shared the Greater Miami Conference title with Colerain in 2009 and 2013.

Kaufman noted that Cox trained current and former NFL players, specifically Jordan Hicks, Ryan Kelly and John Conner, during his West tenure.

The Firebirds have been 2-8 the last two years. Cox was 13-7 in two seasons at Bellbrook before coming to West.

Wadl is the the Dean of Students at West and is a veteran assistant coach.

“He cares about football and is willing to do whatever it takes to help our kids,” Kaufman said.

West recently hired Jim Leon as its head boys basketball coach and is searching for a head baseball coach after Greg Leurck resigned this week to take the head position at La Salle, his alma mater.

Leurck coached West for three years with a 55-28 record and took the Firebirds to the state semifinals in 2017. He is a 1994 La Salle graduate who played shortstop and second base for the Lancers.

“It’s disappointing for us because I think Greg’s a great baseball coach, but as an athletic director, this is one of those things where it’s understandable,” Kaufman said. “When you live in Harrison and you’re teaching at Oak Hills (at Bridgetown Middle School) and the job at your alma mater comes open and it’s 20 minutes closer, that’s a pretty cool thing.”

He said he’ll take his time in choosing the next West baseball coach.

“We’re going to be fine, just like we were after Bill Dreisbach stepped down,” Kaufman said. “This is one of the top baseball jobs in the region. We’re going to keep moving forward.”

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