Larry Shane

For more than half a century, Larry Shane left his mark on the local sports scene. He spent time as a player, moved into coaching at various levels, worked in sports administration, and moved back into the coaching ranks.

It all began for Larry as a four sport competitor at Olney High School from 1950-54 where he played and lettered in track, baseball, football, and basketball. After graduating he enrolled at West Chester University where he lettered in baseball and football in 1954-56.

The military called Larry and he spent the next 2 years serving his country. After spending 5 months in Texas and 10 months in Germany in the armor division, he was discharged and enrolled at Utah State to finish his undergraduate degree work.

In 1963 Larry began working full time for the Philadelphia School District as a physical education and health teacher. His first permanent assignment was at Bok Tech where he became a JV football coach. At the same time, he was taking graduate courses at night at Temple University. After a season at Bok, Larry moved to West Philadelphia High where he was an assistant football coach leading to an appointment in 1967 as head football coach. From 1967-72 he led the Speedboys football program. He also worked as a freshman basketball coach from 1971-76.

In 1965 while at West Philadelphia, Larry was appointed assistant varsity baseball coach at Villanova University. He stayed in that position until 1972 when he was appointed the head baseball coach and remained in this post until 1985.

Villanova had five players chosen in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft while Larry was head coach, including Jerry Holtz who was a fourth round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 1984. Shane’s other draft picks were Bob Majczan (1973, 19th round, Yankees); Michael Kavanagh (1973, 23rd round, Pirates); Bob Loscalzo (1981, 23rd round, Pirates); and Ray Paparella (1984, 23rd round, Astros).

Five of Larry’s players were inducted to the Villanova University Varsity Club Hall of Fame, including Majczan (Class of 1973), Steve Skammer (Class of 1981), Loscalzo (Class of 1983), Holtz (Class of 1985) and Jim White (Class of 1986).

Upon stepping down as head coach in 1985, as well as retiring from his teaching position at West Philadelphia High, Larry was appointed Assistant Athletic Director at Villanova.

At Villanova he entered a more diversified job. Working in the athletics department with all sports teams, he worked through admissions, financial aid, drug testing, and academic advisor to student athletes. All this while being the game manager for several sports including womens’ basketball, softball, and men and women’s soccer. He retired from this position in 1998.

Larry coached the USA baseball team in Israel’s Maccabiah Games in 1985, 1989, & 1993 winning two gold & a silver medal. He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. Larry also maintained close ties with the Villanova community and was proud to be inducted into the Villanova Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 2012. He continued to be active in retirement in various coaching positions at The Haverford School & Friends Central School. Larry was also well known at both the Wallingford Arts Center & the Main Line Arts Center for his work in stained glass, pottery, and sculpting.

Larry passed away in October 2019 and is survived by his two sons Brian and Andrew.