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McKENZIE (July 14) — Having been a head coach at the school for the past 13 years, Bethel Golf Coach Larry Geraldi announced his retirement Tuesday. Coach Geraldi served as head softball …
McKENZIE (July 14) — Having been a head coach at the school for the past 13 years, Bethel Golf Coach Larry Geraldi announced his retirement Tuesday. Coach Geraldi served as head softball coach for 10 years at the school before being the golf coach for the past three years.
“Bethel has been a major part of my life. I attended and played baseball at the school from 1970 to my graduation in 1973. My wife Rita and I got married in the chapel on top of Odom Hall. My daughter Leslie played softball here and graduated. She was my GA and met her husband Shaun at Bethel. Presently, my grandson Jacob is a member of the Wildcat baseball team following in this old man’s footsteps,” Coach Geraldi stated.
Prior to his coaching career at Bethel, he was an educator from 1973 until 2011 in the Benton and Humphreys County school systems as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal and supervisor of instruction.
“There are many thanks to give credit to so many who were a part of my Bethel experience. Glenn Hayes and Dr. Bob Prosser had the confidence in me at the age 61 to hire me as the softball coach in 2007. I was so blessed with such wonderful young ladies and their supporting parents for those 10 seasons with us going to the NAIA National Championship in 2009 as a great highlight. Watching those girls achieve at a high level and now being such productive Christian examples is a greater award. I eventually changed careers and took over the Bethel golf program. It was a challenge, but we made major improvements. The men and lady golfers and their parents are top-notch and great things are in their future. Leaving them is a very difficult thing for me to do and I wish them the very best and God’s blessings,” Coach Geraldi added.
Geraldi thanked President Butler, Athletic Director Dale Kelley and Associate Athletic Director Brad Chappell for their support. He also thanked many others at the school for their support of his career at Bethel.
“One of the main reasons I made this very tough decision was my family. I want to spend more time with them. Rita is still by my side and has been my biggest supporter. We have been blessed with three daughters, Lori, Maria and Leslie, who are all educators. Along with their husbands, Shane, Mark and Shaun, they have blessed us with five grandchildren — Jacob, Noah, Annsley, Addison and Maddox.”
“Larry has been and will always be a part of the Bethel family. He did a fantastic job with both the softball and golf programs. He is a professional in every way and not only taught his student-athletes about the respective sports but also taught them how to be great citizens and be contributors in life. We wish him and Rita the very best. Coach G will always be a Wildcat,” Kelley said.
“Larry Geraldi has been a standard bearer for our university and department ever since I arrived on campus. Integrity, work ethic, leadership skills — if I was building a dream team of BU coaches, Larry Geraldi would be a lead pipe lock first rounder. His departure will leave a hole in our department and institution that will be very difficult to fill. He will be sorely missed, not just as a coach, but as a friend. I wish him and Mrs. Rita the very best as they enjoy their retirement,” Chappell noted.