Longtime USC Beaufort cross country and track coach Larry Kimball has announced he will retire next summer, ending the run of the last remaining founder of the Sand Sharks’ athletics program.
Kimball came to USCB in 2006 as assistant director of athletics development, helping Kim Abbott lay the foundation for the program. He later became the Sand Sharks’ first coach, taking the cross country program into competition, and in 2009 added track to his coaching duties.
The Vermont native handed over the track programs to Bernard Gaither earlier this year, and Saturday’s NAIA Cross Country Championships marked his final races heading that program. Kimball’s final official day will come next June 30, though he’s agreed to stay connected as a volunteer coach and assist in fundraising for a track complex.
“Larry’s passion for the sport is as strong today as it ever has been,” said USCB athletics director Quin Monahan. “His decision to step away from the full-time coaching position does not come easy, I’m sure, because of his love for the student-athletes and competition.
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“He has offered his heart and soul to the program, and we are forever grateful to him for that.”
Kimball said: “It has been a real honor to be a part of USCB athletics since its inception in 2006. The student-athletes that have come through this program have been great, and their enthusiasm and zest for life has kept me energized.”
Kimball has coached six NAIA All-Americans during his tenure, along with 98 All-Sun Conference performers. Five of his athletes have been named the league’s Champions of Character winners in their sport, and he was named as the Sun Conference Women’s Track & Field Coach of the Year in 2013.
After handing the track duties to Gaither this fall, Kimball decided the timing was right to retire and allow a new coach to head up cross country. Monahan indicated he would begin an extensive search for a successor immediately.
“The program is in a really good place now and I am sure it will continue to thrive,” Kimball said. “I want to thank Kim Abbott for hiring me in 2006 and letting me be part of an incredible journey during the beginning of USCB athletics.
“I look forward to volunteering after this summer and helping Coach Gaither and the new cross country coach anywhere that I can. I will always be a Sand Shark.”