Dec. 22—LONDON — After 13 years of leading the North Laurel Jaguar football program, Chris Larkey has decided go back home to Rockcastle County to become a head coach for a program that he was a star player for while also later coaching under his father, Tom.
Larkey stepped down as the Jaguar head coach after posting an 80-62 record which includes a 5-9 mark in the Class 5A playoffs.
His 80 wins is a program-best along with his five victories in the playoffs.
Larkey's best season as Jaguar coach came in 2015 when he guided North Laurel to a program-best 11 wins, a district championship along with an appearance in the Class 5A, Region 4 championship game.
"I'm leaving a program that's in better shape than I inherited it and that's a goal I always had one day, to leave it better than I got it," Larkey said. "I have made so many new friends and rekindled so many that I had not seen in years and that alone made this such a hard decision. I mean the people at North Laurel have treated my family and I so good, from the high school administration, coaches, and to the many parents that trusted me with their kids.
"I can never repay them for all they did and meant to me and my family," he added. "I never went in search of another job nor tried to get one because I was 100 percent committed to my players, and school. But it ultimately came down to what's going to be best and easiest for my family in the future and not just the next three to four years."
Larkey took over a North Laurel football program that had only won a combined six games from 2006-08.
He posted an 11-19 mark during his first three seasons before going 69-43 during the past 10 years.
Larkey surpassed former Laurel County/South Laurel football coach Jack Eicher's win total of 65 in 2019 points to become the all-time winningest football coach in Laurel County. Larkey's teams at North also went 13-2 vs rival South Laurel and surpassed them in the series and over took them for the most overall wins in Laurel County football history.
"I never thought of becoming the winningest coach, my only goal was to make North Laurel respectable and try to start a winning tradition with the kids here," Larkey said at the time of breaking the record.
"I think it's a great accomplishment and shows how hard the players and coaches I have had worked for us to even get to this point," he added. "I hate personal accomplishments because I don't want to take away anything from the players' season. It has never been about me, it's about the program."