Lakeview brings back Herrholtz

CORTLAND – All Larry Herrholtz needed to do was check Twitter.

Herrholtz, who coached the Lakeview boys basketball team from 2001 to 2006, was recommended to be the Bulldogs’ coach once again, and the Board of Education voted on the matter Monday night.

Herrholtz was with his family and couldn’t attend the meeting, so he first found out over the phone during an interview with the Tribune Chronicle.

“Did I get hired today?” laughed Herrholtz, who later joked that he didn’t even need to meet and inform the kids of his hiring because they found out last week when rumors swirled of his return on Twitter. “(Lakeview athletic director) Michael (DeToro) texted me and said, ‘Hey, everybody knows.’ I said, ‘The board hasn’t approved it yet.’ He said, ‘Well, everybody knows. Go on Twitter.’ “

In the end, the board – not Twitter – did indeed vote to bring back Herrholtz, who won five consecutive conference titles during his tenure at Lakeview. Several media outlets first reported the news on Twitter.

Herrholtz left the program when his first child was born, and while the Bulldogs stayed competitive for much of his time away, they fell on hard times the past two years, finishing 4-20 in 2012-13 and 4-19 in 2013-14 under Craig Mild, who stepped down after his second season at Lakeview.

Herrholtz has been in the Lakeview school district for 17 years (he’s currently an assistant principal at the high school), so he doesn’t expect there to be an issue getting to know the kids. The 41-year-old also doesn’t anticipate too many growing pains.

“We have the talent,” Herrholtz said. “It’s what we do in practice that’s going to count. It’s going to be our dedication in the offseason – whether individuals want to get better or not – but the talent is there. It’s what we want to do with it.”

DeToro said the decision to bring back Herrholtz was an easy one considering his past success. He also likes the style and attention to detail that Herrholtz incorporates in his coaching.

“When the time came this year to pick a new coach moving forward, we wanted to emphasize bringing that spark back to the program that we had back in the early 2000s when we rolled off consecutive conference titles and made constant appearances in the district,” DeToro said. “What Larry represents is a chance for us to get back to fundamentals and really kind of harness in some of the young talent that we have.”

Herrholtz said he will run an up-tempo style that is based on fast breaks. His half-court offense will be centered around constant motion and reading the defense. Mostly though, expect the Bulldogs to push the ball.

“Who slows it down anymore?,” he laughed. “That’s like 1984 basketball right there.

“We try to push the ball up the floor. It’s a motion-style offense, fast-break mentality. Push the ball up the court, try to get quick baskets. And no one wants to work against a good defense.”

Herrholtz said he returned to coaching because he felt the time was right. He talked with his family before making the decision, and when he got their blessing, it was all up to the board.

He may have received an extra vote of confidence from a few Twitter followers.

“I am on Twitter, but the only friends I have are my family, so I don’t normally look on Twitter,” said Herrholtz, who said he’s looking forward to being back in a coaching environment. “I stepped down because we were having kids and I wanted to be able to help out at home, and I meant it. I talked to my family, and I thought it was an opportunity to get back into more of a teaching setting.

“It takes a lot of time to be good at a skill game like basketball,” he added. “You’ve gotta work on your skills and you’ve got to go out and want it. If you don’t work on your skills, it’s not going to happen. We have the talent, and I already told the kids that, but you’ve got to want to go work on your skills.”