Traverse City St. Francis
2016 Jim Crowley Award
Our 2016 recipient of the Jim Crowley Award is Larry Sellers, a 1958 graduate of Muskegon Catholic Central where he played football and baseball and was named all area in both. In the fall of 1958 he entered Central Michigan University where he played Freshman football. In 1959 he suffered a concussion, which ended his playing of football. He left CMU after the 1959-1960 school year, got a job and took classes at Muskegon Community College. Married in August of 1963, Coach Sellers returned to school at CMU, graduating in 1965 with a B.S. in Health, Physical Education and Recreation. Larry stayed on to work on his Masters Degree in HPER which was completed in the summer of 1966.
In the fall of 1966, Coach Sellers was hired by the Mount Pleasant School system where he taught social studies and coached junior varsity football and was an assistant coach in wrestling. In the summer of 1967 he became a certified Driver Education Instructor.
In 1968 Larry returned to his alma mater, Muskegon Catholic Central, as a social studies teacher, head junior varsity football coach, assistant freshman basketball coach and head baseball coach.
In 1972 Sellers took the job of principal of Traverse City St. Francis High School. In addition to his principal duties he was the assistant varsity football coach.
When the head coach retired in 1974, he Sellers took over as head coach. His first team went 9-0 and won the “mythical” (pre-playoff) Class C state championship. He coached the Gladiators of St. Francis High School until
his retirement in 2002, a period of 28 years. His teams won 16 of 20 league championships, were in the playoffs 17 times, 9 times in the semis, 4 times in the finals with 2 state championships. His teams in the 1990’s won 104 games. He was awarded league coach of the year 10 times, was named The Detroit Free Press Coach of the Year three times, the Detroit News Coach of the Year three times, was Associated Press Coach of the Year twice and UPI Coach of the Year twice.
Coach Sellers joined the Michigan High School Foot- ball Coaches Association in 1973 and became a director in 1982. He has been the Jim Crowley Award chair since 1983. He has coached in the MHSFCA All Star game, is in the MHSFCA Hall of Fame and served as President of the Association in 1999. Larry was awarded Regional Coach of the Year 11 times and state coach of the year three times. He was a Detroit Lions Coach of the Week recipient in 1998 and Detroit News Dream Team All State Coach in 1999. In 2001 he was a Coach of the Year finalist in football by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association. When he retired in 2002 with a record of 233-59 he was in the top ten of coaches with the best record percentage wise of all time in the state of Michigan.
Like Jim Crowley our recipient is a dedicated family man and committed not only to his family, church, team and school but also to making his community a better place in which to live. Since 1973 he has been a lector and minister of the Eucharist at St. Francis Church in Traverse City. He has been a blood donor for many years and has donated over 17 gallons.
Our recipient has given many life lessons to his play- ers, many of whom have gone on to become leaders in their communities; he loves all of them and they all love him.
The Sellers family consists of, Sue, his wife of 52 years, daughters Stacey, Stephanie and Kelly, and son Josh.