MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Larry Thompson won two state titles coaching at Lakeville’s football team.
He retired after 42 seasons last year at Lakeville South.
So what does a coach who retires do? What else: coach.
How old school is Thompson? Well, he just got his first cell phone — a flip phone — two years ago.
He took over the varsity program about 40 years ago. He saw it move to two schools.
He then decided to return as the ninth grade coach about two months later.
“Retired a little bit, and we talked about coming back and coordinating the offense and the varsity and things. And I thought, ‘You know, I just want to come in here and have fun with football,'” Thompson said. “No Saturday meetings. I don’t have to watch film.”
And there another motivation: his grandson is on the team, and this is their opportunity to bond.
“He lives on the other end of our farm, and you pick him up in the morning, and then you come to practice, and you hang out here all day in the pre-season,” Thompson said. “Then you go home and, ‘Oh! Where do you want to eat?’ So we have a snack, and, ‘What do you want to do?'”
But what brings him back to this game is this game, and much more. Because being a part of a team is something that is difficult to replicate.
“To me it’s an association with the kids, you know, ripping around,” Thompson said. “Even though you’re 64 years old you still got a lot of young, young things in your heart.”
And his grandson is getting a rare tutor, with some grandfatherly and football-like counsel.