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Larry Beckerle
Inducted: 2014 - Graduated: N/A


Track & Field, Cross Country

The Larry Beckerle name is a track tradition throughout Rockland County. 

Larry began his coaching career in Nanuet as an assistant coach in the fall of 1979. He started out just “filling in” for Dave Hanson, who took the winter season off to finish his administrative degree. Larry was two years out of college and recently back from Africa when he decided to coach his brother Michael when he had the opportunity. Larry didn’t just fill in – he coached all three seasons: cross country, indoor track and outdoor track from 1979 to 1993. He then retired from coaching to spend more time at his “real” job.

Larry was so successful and he accomplished so much in his coaching career by following the lead of his role models Dick Teetsel and Dave Hanson – both Rockland County Track & Field Hall of Fame coaches.

Even though most of his teams were small in size, they were big in effort and success. Larry’s goal for all of his athletes has always been not just to win championships but to foster a love for the sport. By improving their personal times and distances, the athletes also built their confidence and self esteem. His dream was, and still is, that every athlete who ran for him continues in the sport through running, coaching or being a supporting fan. 

Many people know Larry as the coach of the illustrious girls’ cross country team from 1990. That team broke Pearl River’s winning streak of 86 dual meets! That same team was league, county and sectional champions. The team continued on to become the New York State Class C champion and had a fantastic showing as the runner-up in the New York State Federation Meet, which groups all classes together in one winner-take-all finale.

Even though that team was the most successful in terms of achievement, some of Larry’s most memorable moments were from his earlier years of coaching. 

Some of Larry’s favorite memories are:

  • The 1980 boys spring track 4 x 800 New York State Championship;

  • His first girls’ league cross country championship in the fall of 1986 even though the team started the season with an incomplete team;

  • The boys’ cross country team from 1987 that beat Pearl River for the league championship;

  • The spring of 1984, finishing 3rd in the County meet with only a 10-man team (once again showing how Larry despite having small teams generates successful finishes);

  • The spring of 1980, the girls winning the County meet 4 x 800 and beating out all the favorites.

Larry is the kind of coach who does not keep track of his team records but rather focuses on each of his athletes and the teams he has each season. From school records and other bits and pieces of information gathered, we know that in cross country, his teams have been runner-up in the Federation meet, earned 1 state championship and had a fourth-place finish in the state, as well as 3 sectional championships, 2 county championships and 2 county runner-up teams. 

In the spring of 2002, Larry came running back out of retirement to coach indoor and outdoor track. He currently still coaches these two seasons.  One of his most recent memorable seasons was the spring of 2014, when the boys’ team won the Nanuet Relays and the girls’ and boys’ teams won the combined championship title. This is the ONLY time in the long Nanuet Relays history that Nanuet achieved that distinction!

Larry always says that every season brings something special, whether the team wins a championship or not. For his athletes, he has always gone above and beyond his responsibility as a coach. Over the years, Larry has supplied emotional support, a job, a recommendation for college, a place to live, transportation,  temporary financial support, and much more, for his current athletes or former athletes. He believes that once someone has been part of his team, they become part of his life. They know that they can call him (and even text) any time they need guidance and/or support. He has attended countless birthday parties, weddings, christenings, bar/bat mitzvahs, of his former athletes. Everyone who has come through the Nanuet track system knows that they have Larry Beckerle there to lend support for the rest of their lives. 

Larry credits his family – his father Laurence Jr. (Pete) and his mother Denise, as well has his brothers Stephen, Michael and Matthew with fostering his love of the sport. Without their support, he would never have been able to become a dedicated and respected high school coach at the same time he runs a successful family business, Beckerle Lumber.  

He currently resides in Nanuet. At the age of 59, he continues to run, racewalk and coach. He enjoys traveling the world with his track entourage and longtime friends for the Summer Olympics, World Championships for cross country and track and field, and other track-related premier events – no matter where they are held!  

In his “spare” time, Larry is the president of Elmwood Playhouse and he can be seen there on stage or backstage in numerous productions. He is also very active in the Spring Valley Rotary and the Salvation Army. 

Although he would never tell you about his contributions, his generous donations of time and financial support are evident all over the county. To use his business slogan, Larry is Lumber 1!

Congratulations to Coach Larry Beckerle on his well-deserved induction into the Nanuet High School Sports Hall of Fame!