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2004 PSAL Coach of the Year: Larry Cerulo - Townsend Harris

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Cerulo’s brilliant 16-year career with Townsend Harris, which saw his teams make the playoffs 14 times, concluded in the second round of the PSAL playoffs. His career ended with a 72-64 loss to Midwood.

“It’s going to hit me when I start taking all the pictures off the wall in my office,” Cerulo said after the game. “No one will be there though. It will just be me and my tears.”

That Cerulo has found success at Townsend Harris for such a long time is a testament to his coaching abilities. That’s because unlike some other hugely successful programs, Townsend Harris isn’t a basketball factory. Academics come first.

“Cerulo has been a great coach and he’s been encouraging us the whole season,” said Townsend Harris point guard Katie Driscoll. “It’s sad to see him leave.”

Despite having retired from teaching, Cerulo, who was also a softball coach at Townsend Harris, continued to coach the Hawks this season despite already moving to Florida. Before the second round playoff game against Midwood, Cerulo drove 18 hours north just for the two-hour game.

“Whatever he did worked because we did really well in my two years playing with him,” said Kathryn Dubowski. “He’s a really nice guy and he does really care about us. We worked well as a team because he’s our coach.”

Moments after the final game of his career, the Hawks presented a card, which along with a framed team photo, was signed by each player as well as a $150 American Express gift check on the court at Elmcor.

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