Longtime Southampton coach honored
Published 12:10 pm Saturday, April 19, 2014
FRANKLIN—When he received a message from the Lord, Calvin Barnes knew it was time to recognize longtime Southampton football assistant coach Larry Logan.
“Well, I was driving the church van and a vision came to me and said it’s time to do something for Coach Logan,” Barnes said. “I called my brother (Raymond Barnes) and (Logan’s) wife, Carol Logan, and I told them about my vision. I said the vision was to give to Logan an appreciation service, and they said, ‘OK, let’s do it.’”
Logan started his career in the area at Riverview in 1966, and worked there until full integration with Southampton High School in 1971. He remained at Southampton until after the 1980 season when he went into the insurance business. After leaving that industry, he returned to be an assistant football and track coach at Sussex Central, which won a state championship.
During his tenure at SHS as an assistant coach under Head Coach Wayne Cosby, the Indians made the playoffs eight years in a row, from 1972-1979, and won four state championships. Logan was also involved with the track team, which was successful as well.
“It’s been a hell of a run, and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it,” Logan said.
As far as the ceremony itself, the coach said he never saw it coming.
“I thought I was coming to Calvin’s mother’s birthday celebration,” Logan said with a laugh, talking about the event that was honoring him Saturday evening at the Regional Workforce Development Center. “I finally caught on when I got to the desk to sign in and they said, ‘You’re late. You know, my mom was mad because you are late.’ And that’s when it really hit me that something was going on.
“They took me completely by surprise.”
Barnes said the 72-year-old Logan was deserving of this honor and more.
“He’s done a lot for this community,” Barnes said. “I think he deserves it because he has done so much for folks that people just don’t realize. He’s a wonderful guy.
“He was a hell of a coach. I played linebacker for him, and we went to state three years under him, and we won two of the three.”
Ultimately, the surprise element depended on Carol Logan.
“They would contact me from time to time with ideas, but I told them that I was with it 100 percent because I feel he really does deserve it,” she said.
Former Southampton County Football Coach Littleton Parker said he had known Logan back when he was at Riverview, but that he really got to know him when he got a job at Southampton County as an assistant coach alongside him.
“He’s a wonderful individual and an outstanding coach,” said Parker. “He worked hard every day and was a great motivator of kids. He did a tremendous job with them.
“One of the biggest things I learned from him that helped me in my career is to take what you’ve got and make what you need. You can’t complain about what you don’t have. You’ve got to take what you have and make it what you need.”
Jackie Robertson, who graduated in 1974, ended up going to Livingstone University, which is also where Logan went to college.
“He got me there,” Robertson said. “And he encouraged me the whole time that I was there to stick it out, because I haven’t ever been anywhere and I got homesick.
“And thank God I listened. That’s where I received my four-year degree. It’s all due to Coach Logan.”
Outside of his father, Vernett Robertson, he doesn’t have more praise for another man.
“There’s no one that I can put in the front other than my daddy,” he said. “He’s the closet thing to daddy.”
Michael Goodwin played from 1977 to 1980 as a defensive tackle and offensive tackle.
“I think he’s an excellent, excellent man, and I love him to death,” Goodwin said. “I think I can say this for all of us that he coached, that he turned us from being young boys into men. He’s just like a father figure.
“And it wasn’t just about football. He was more than a coach. He taught us to not give up on things in life like going to school and getting your education.”
Roy Beale said Logan taught him a lot when he played for him in the 1970s.
“I learned to be the best that I can be,” Beale said. “He always said when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And we got going. That’s why we won state championships at Southampton.
“He’s the best coach that ever coached me in my high school career.”
Coach Logan enjoyed working with the student-athletes both on and off the field.
“I knew when they were giving it their all,” he said. “I’m a Virgo, and I don’t know but one way to do things, and that’s the right way. And that’s where my teaching came in. Teaching them to do the right thing.”
Logan said he had stories for each and every player who attended.
“It feels good, to know that they care enough to come and share this with me,” he said. “It’s a hell of a feeling, and it’s hard to put it into words.”