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updated: 6/11/2014 10:21 PM

Friedrich's 27-year run at Stevenson is over

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  • Larry Friedrichs is through as Stevenson's softball head coach after 27 seasons and 515 victories.

       Larry Friedrichs is through as Stevenson's softball head coach after 27 seasons and 515 victories.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 

Today is Larry Friedrichs' last official day of teaching at Stevenson.

That was expected for the high school's retiring assistant director of special education.

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Two weeks ago marked Friedrichs' last day of coaching Stevenson's softball team.

That was not expected.

"My position was posted (Tuesday)," Friedrichs said.

Which means after 27 seasons and 515 wins as head coach, Friedrichs is out. It was not his decision.

"I had my end-of-the-season meeting and I was advised that they would be posting the position," said Friedrichs, adding that he received "not a lot of detail" as to why Stevenson was moving in another direction.

"I was thanked for all my years of service. I was thanked for mentoring all my young coaches. I was thanked for bringing things back a bit this year from where things were a couple of years ago."

Stevenson's 2014 Patriots finished 19-16, one victory shy of the 14th 20-win season under Friedrichs. The Patriots won just 10 games two seasons ago before posting 17 wins in 2013. Friedrichs coached the Patriots to two state-quarterfinal appearances (1998 and 1999), three sectional championships, nine regional titles and two North Suburban Conference crowns. He was inducted into the Illinois Softball Coaches Association hall of fame in 2008.

"We had our end-of-the-season barbecue (Monday) night here," said Friedrichs, who hosted the party at his home. "That was kind of awkward."

Friedrichs joins the likes of Bob Mackey (baseball), Bill Mitz (football) and Lino Martinez (wrestling) as longtime Stevenson head coaches who, once they retired from teaching, soon found themselves no longer the head coach of their respective sport.

This season's softball team started 3-11, before winning 16 of its last 21 games.

"I was disappointed (in not being asked back to coach) because I felt that we had made great progress this year," Friedrichs said. "This year's seniors did a great job of setting the tone for the team and the program. I was looking forward to trying to reload next year, as opposed to rebuild."

Friedrichs, 60, will be seeking out coaching opportunities.

"I don't feel like I'm done yet," he said. "I didn't really think I was done yet (at Stevenson), but apparently I am."

Korney steps down: Another Lake County softball coaching position opened up when Steve Korney announced that he resigned as Vernon Hills' head coach after four seasons. Korney said he made the announcement at his team's end-of-season party Monday night.

"My primary reason is my desire to spend more time at home with my family," said Korney, who has three young children -- Jacob, 6, Madelyn, 3, and Charlotte, 1.

"They actually want to spend time with me at their ages, and I know that won't last forever. I am also beginning what I hope to be an ongoing position with our summer school program this year. Finally, I am pursuing a master's degree in educational technology."

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