Ruston’s Cordaro won’t return as LSUA head coach

Larry Cordaro has left the LSU-Alexandria basketball program after nine seasons. (Photo by T. Scott Boatright)

By T. Scott Boatright

Ruston High School alumnus Larry Cordaro has spent the past nine seasons relishing in the success of his first head-coaching stint at LSU-Alexandria.

But on Monday, Cordaro shifted into a bit of football mode in calling an audible, or a baseball throwing a change-up curveball, as he announced via social media that he will not return as head coach of the Generals next season.

That came after LSU of Alexandria’s Director of Athletics Tyler Unsicker announced that Cordaro will not return as head coach of the Generals.

Cordaro was the first head coach in LSUA men’s basketball history, leading them to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Championship game in 2017 and compiling an overall record of 224-50, going 107-10 at home and leading them to eight NAIA National Tournaments.

Simply put, Cordaro said he realized the time was right for a change.

“I was checking the same boxes off year after year at LSUA,” Cordaro said. “I just felt like it was time for me to learn from somebody else. Take a different class. 

“It’s just time for a change. Time to let somebody else put their footprint on this program and give a young guy or somebody else an opportunity. That’s what I’mI hoping to do myself.

Cordaro made this announcement on social media Monday morning:

“I’m grateful for my time at LSUA, however, to pursue my ultimate goals, I have decided to not return next season,” Cordaro wrote in that announcement. From taking a program from scratch and building it into a national power, much was accomplished. We created the winningest program in a tradition-rich basketball state while becoming the fastest NAIA program in history to reach 100 victories. To our fans, supporters and students, we could not have done it without you as you have defended The Fort (LSUA’s home floor) with an overall home record of 107-10.”

Other numbers Cordaro built leading the Generals are equally as impressive. 

He helped develop seven players into professional athletes, guiding his team to eight national tournament appearances, five regular-season titles, three conference tourney championships, two Final Four appearances while also reaching the NAIA title game once.

Why now? Codaro isn’t as concerned with that as to finding out what his next step will be.

“I don’t know if there’s ever a good time in this business to make a change like this,” Cordaro said. “I’m a spiritual guy and try to listen to the Spirit. I just felt like now is the time to do something different, step out of my comfort zone and to try my body of work, the network that I’ve built over the last 23 seasons coaching college basketball.”

“And I don’t know what that will be yet. I don’t have any birds in the hand right now. There’s probably two or three in the bush that hopefully I can grab. I’ve talked to a lot of coaches today. It’s been a very emotional, humbling day with the number of phone calls and texts I’ve been bombarded with. There are no definite job opportunities yet, but news that I’m now on the market so to speak will help me with that next opportunity because now people know that I’m actually available.”

Cordaro said he’s been close to taking other opportunities in recent years.

“But now it’s kind of like sink or swim,” Cordaro said. “I’m in full pursuit to see who’s next out there for me and what program I can assist or lead.”

Cordaro said he has had a few people ask if he’s getting out of coaching altogether.

“I responded with a one-word message in all caps – NEVER,” Cordaro said. “I hope I get to coach as long as I can stand, walk and see. Coaches change. It’s part of our industry. It’s odd to change after such a successful run, but it’s where we are today and I’m ready to see what next is out there for me.

“It doesn’t have to be a head coach. It doesn’t have to be in state. Change is about growth and that’s what this is for me. I just want to kind of expand my basketball resume, knowledge and expertise. I just came to realize that the time feels right.”