Larney Edward “Coach” Owens Jr.
Larney Edward Owens Jr. was an educator, coach, and the ultimate sportsmanLarney, affectionately known as “Coach” was born in Englewood, New Jersey on July 10, 1913.
Larney’s outstanding athletic talents led to a successful career at Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia where he graduated in 1937. He later received his master’s degree from Columbia University. At Hampton he met Wilhelmina “Billie” V. Rutledge, who became his wife of 59 years. Larney served with honor overseas in the U.S. Army during World War II. Larney’s first job coaching was at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina. After one year as an assistant at Southern University in 1947, he became the head coach at Southern Laboratory School for football, basketball, track, tennis and baseball. “Coach” led an outstanding program in all sports. Coach won numerous state titles in football, basketball and tennis. Under his leadership, the Southern Lab “Kittens” were a fierce force in Louisiana sports. In addition to compiling a career record of 198-61-1 as a football coach, he had a 377-166 record in basketball. All of these wins/successes capped a great 32-year coaching career. Many of his athletes went on to outstanding college and professional careers.
An avid golfer, Larney helped found the Capital City Golf Association. He competed in senior Olympics golf events. He was inducted into the Senior Olympics Hall of Fame, the Louisiana High school Coaches Hall of Fame and the Southern Lab School Hall of Fame. He also was honored by the Southern University Lab School Foundation. He was a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity.
Coach read his bible and encouraged his family to love and trust in God. He loved his home church, Camphor Memorial. Coach Owens was witty and sharp, loved travel and loved learning. At the ripe young age of 90, he became a computer buff. He gave the best fist bump greeting to people he would meet. Coach never forgot the name or the face of a player or friend. He was a true gentleman and a great teacher.