Providence Pioneers

Providence's Kaden Williams talks with head coach Larry Denison during the first half of the Pioneers' Class 2A Sectional 39 championship game at Paoli on Nov. 2, 2018.

CLARKSVILLE — After nine years on the job, Larry Denison has decided to step down as the Providence head coach. 

“It’s time for me to focus on my family,” Denison, a married father of four, said Sunday afternoon. 

Denison guided the Pioneers to a 53-48 mark in nine seasons after succeeding his mentor, and Indiana Football Hall of Famer, Gene Sartini. His tenure was highlighted by a sectional title in 2017 and concluded with three straight trips to the sectional championship game. 

“I’m happy with what we’ve done, I’m very proud of the accomplishments,” he said. “I’m going to miss being around the kids and being in the locker room. I’m going to miss the Friday nights.”

Denison said he and his wife, Bobbi, talked about “going out on top” after the winning the sectional in 2017, but ultimately decided to stick around. After losing their first two games of the 2018 season the Pioneers reeled off nine wins in a row before falling 21-17 at Paoli in the sectional final. 

“We came very close to winning back-to-back sectionals, we were one play away from it,” Denison said. 

Providence went 3-6 in the 2019 regular season before winning back-to-back road games to advance to its third consecutive sectional final, where Triton Central topped the Pioneers 20-0. 

“I’m very happy with what we were able to accomplish in those nine years,” Denison said. “The tradition that was handed to me, I tried to keep that up. I’m sure whoever comes in behind me will do an excellent job.” 

Denison, a teacher in the social studies department at Providence, said he plans to remain at the school in that capacity and would be happy to “help with the transition” of the next coach. 

Denison, 52, said he wouldn’t completely rule out returning to coaching at some point town the road, most likely as an assistant. 

For the time being, though, Denison said he will concentrate on spending more time with his wife and their four daughters — Samantha, Erica, Tori and Sophie. The eldest three are in college, while Sophie is a freshman at Providence. 

“Right now, for me and my family, I need to just kind of step aside and spend some time with them,” Denison said. 

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