Nolan Larry takes reins of Elizabeth Forward boys basketball

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Monday, August 8, 2022 | 9:30 AM


Nolan Larry watched from afar last season while the Elizabeth Forward boys basketball team enjoyed quite a bit of success.

Larry, a newly hired chemistry teacher at the high school, sat in the gymnasium stands on a few occasions as Matt Loftis and his staff led the Warriors to a 14-win season and a playoff appearance.

“I was able to go to a few games, and I could immediately tell they were young and talented,” Larry said.

Now, Larry is stepping up to take over the program after being unanimously hired as the boys basketball coach during last week’s school board meeting.

The Greensburg Salem grad replaces Loftis, who resigned last month following four seasons at the helm to accept the girls basketball coaching position at South Park.

“It’s honestly hard to put into words, but it truly means everything to have this chance,” said Larry, who served as the head coach of the seventh grade team at Elizabeth Forward Middle School this past season. “I’ve been coaching for around 18 years and to finally be the leader of a boys team in the WPIAL, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

“I have a pretty decent idea of the talent that is coming up, and I’ve heard great things about the metro program, too. I have high expectations for the present and the future of the program.”

Larry inherits a team that has made three playoff appearances over the past four seasons.

The Warriors will welcome some new talent this winter while also being able to rely on a number of key contributors who gained valuable playing time last season. Among the players returning are senior-to-be Mekhi Daniels, juniors Isaiah Turner and Charlie Meehleib, and sophomore Charlie Nigut.

Senior Zach Boyd, one of the top players in the Mon Valley, will return this season after missing all of last year with an injury.

“There is a nice mix of young and experienced talent, and, hopefully, I can throw a few wrinkles in to help take us to the next level,” Larry said. “We just want to continue the recent trend of winning. Our goal every year is going to be to win the section and compete for a WPIAL championship. Until we get to that point, we’re not where we need to be.”

Larry already has begun hosting open gym sessions at Elizabeth Forward Middle School.

“I almost want to just roll the ball out to start and see them get up and down the floor and play,” Larry said. “I think in 10 or 15 minutes of watching them get up and down, you can kinda get a feel for what each one can bring to the table. Then, you can always work on what they have to do to get better and make the team better.”

In addition to having varsity and junior varsity teams this season, EF also will benefit from fielding a ninth grade team.

Larry’s father, Buck Larry, will serve as a varsity assistant coach and guide the JV team. Former EF head coach Sam Kosanovich will join’s Larry’s staff as a varsity assistant while also coaching the ninth grade team.

“The numbers at the middle school level are really high, so we’re opening the ninth grade team back up,” Larry said. “It will 100% benefit these kids. If they’re not talented enough to play JV and they’re just moving up and sitting on the bench, that’s not helping them in any way. If we have the ninth grade program, kids are going to be able to practice and develop every single day.”

Larry played high school ball at Greensburg Salem before moving on to Washington & Jefferson College, where he scored more than 1,600 career points.

In nearly two decades as a coach, Larry has helped guide teams at the middle school, high school and collegiate levels. He has made stops at W&J, Pitt-Greensburg, Riverview and Sto-Rox.

His most recent coaching experience came as the head girls basketball coach at Sto-Rox in 2020.

“I am extremely fortunate,” Larry said.

“To come into this opportunity with such talented and good kids, it’s a dream come true.”

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