Larry Friend Officially Named Head Women's Soccer Coach
Feb. 1, 2010
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Larry Friend has agreed to become the head women's soccer coach at the Air Force Academy, athletic department officials announced this afternoon (Feb. 1). Friend, who has 14 years of coaching experience at the Academy, just recently completed the 2009 season as the interim head coach for the women's soccer team. Details of the contract are still being worked and are going through the Academy process.
He becomes the second head coach to lead the Falcons in their 18-year history, replacing Marty Buckley, who was head coach from the program's inception in 1992 to 2008.
"It is an honor to be given this opportunity at the Air Force Academy," Friend said. "We have some incredible cadets. Our staff is excited to develop them as student-athletes and future leaders in the Air Force. This is one of the youngest programs in the country. The athletes have a lot of potential and are ready for the challenge. We look forward to working with them and seeing what they can accomplish in the coming years."
"We couldn't be more excited about announcing the hiring of Larry Friend as our new head women's soccer coach," Col. Billy Walker, Deputy Director of Athletics said. "Larry is a nationally respected coach who brings with him fresh new ideas and a commitment to recruit only the finest young women to our Academy. He's a dynamic coach whose infectious enthusiasm is unmatched. Everything he does will be with an eye towards developing his cadet-athletes as both soccer players and officer candidates."
Friend was an assistant at Air Force from 1992-1996 and 2002-2008. He started the women's soccer program with Buckley while on active duty in 1992. In 1996, Friend helped Buckley and the Falcons transition from Division II to Division I. They coached the team to its first Division I tournament appearance in the Western Athletic Conference Championships.
Friend is a 1985 graduate of the Air Force Academy and played for coach Luis Sagastume as a four-year starter and team captain on the men's team. His teams compiled a 46-24-7 record, during which time he earned all-league honors four times and was selected to the all-midwest region team his junior year. Friend is ranked third in the men's program for career assists and 20th for most points overall. He was selected by his teammates as Best Offensive and Most Inspirational player in two different seasons.
Friend retired from the Air Force in 2005 after 20 years of service. He flew over 2,000 hours as an instructor pilot on search and rescue and VIP helicopters. Friend earned a Master's Degree in Sport Administration from the University of Northern Colorado in 1994. His professional military education includes Squadron Officer School in 1989 and Air Command and Staff College in 1999.
Friend and his wife, Maribeth, have been married 20 years and have three children, Corey, Carina, and Felicia.