The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Larry Hawkins

Educator, youth organizer, championship coach, and sports authority Larry Hawkins was born on December 12, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois. The Wabash YMCA, the Southside Boys Club and Phillips High School formed a “golden triangle” of athletic activity for youth in his neighborhood. Hawkins attended Douglas Elementary School and graduated from Phillips High School, where he was a star basketball player in 1948. He received an A.A. degree from Wilson Junior College in 1950. Hawkins served in the United States Army from 1953 to 1955. He acquired his B.S. degree from George Williams College in 1956, his M.S. degree in 1972 from George Williams, another M.S. degree from Roosevelt University in 1980 and his Ed.D. from the University of Illinois in 1986.

As coach for Chicago’s Carver High School, Hawkins’ 1962 team featured future NBA champion, Cazzie Russell. This team lost the Illinois state championship by one point. In 1963, Hawkins cultivated the clutch potential in unknown sophomore Anthony Smedley, who hit a shot with five seconds left on the clock to clinch the championship. He coached volleyball at Hyde Park High School and advocated for girls athletics. Hawkins founded the Institute for Athletics and Education in 1972. Through this effort, he prepared hundreds of students to move on to college. Hawkins also founded the Parent Athletic Support Team and the National Parents Committee on Youth Sports. He served with Big Buddies Youth Services, Concerned Coaches of Chicago, the Educational Advisory Committee of the Urban League, the U.S. Olympic Committee on Youth Identification and the First Congressional District Legislative Council, among others. As director of the Office of Special Programs at the University of Chicago, Hawkins steered at risk youth towards college, while acting as mentor, counselor, and teacher.

Hawkins, who lived in Chicago, was sought nationally as an authority on African Americans in sports and has published widely. In 1984, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from George Williams College.

Hawkins passed away on January 30, 2009 at the age of 78.

Hawkins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 2, 2003.

Accession Number

A2003.283

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/2/2003

Last Name

Hawkins

Organizations
Schools

Douglas Elementary School

Wendell Phillips Academy High School

Kennedy–King College

George Williams College of Aurora University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Larry

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

HAW02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

South of Spain

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

12/12/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greek, Green Beans

Death Date

1/30/2009

Short Description

Nonprofit chief executive, academic administrator, high school basketball coach, and high school volleyball coach Larry Hawkins (1930 - 2009 ) founded the Institute for Athletics and Education in 1972, then the Parent Athletic Support Team and the National Parents Committee on Youth Sports. Hawkins also served as mentor and counselor while steering youth towards college as director of the Office of Special Programs at the University of Chicago.

Employment

Carver High School

Institute for Athletics and Education

University of Chicago

Favorite Color

Maroon

Timing Pairs
0,0:4437,115:7010,167:7923,186:9583,217:12406,231:21865,380:22540,391:23740,419:29428,501:34082,552:51145,656:60830,732:61246,737:62770,744:63388,752:64006,759:66426,784:67479,806:67884,812:71124,875:75822,951:93900,1094:95132,1225:105840,1349:108990,1433:111300,1495:111860,1504:121424,1575:124160,1612:126620,1638:127012,1643:129168,1675:141100,1771:141810,1777:148986,1876:153554,1943:154100,1951:158085,2002:160480,2042$0,0:10284,131:11649,149:12013,154:14664,234:19142,291:20494,329:21066,343:21482,352:21950,362:24061,377:24643,385:50835,738:56796,803:57363,811:67356,951:67946,958:68536,964:75410,998:76300,1011:93257,1200:93861,1205:100271,1253:106508,1380:108202,1411:115170,1463:116670,1487:129534,1661:130656,1689:130920,1694:135000,1732:139481,1781:139789,1786:146103,1917:150915,1967:151398,1975:155208,2023:162572,2135:169430,2216:185762,2436:187138,2471:187482,2476:194920,2603:200054,2667:200725,2695:219172,2970:227558,3099:228086,3165:265087,3558:268815,3613:269565,3635:269940,3641:272865,3707:277666,3761:287228,3862:299240,4000
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Larry Hawkins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Larry Hawkins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Larry Hawkins describes his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Larry Hawkins briefly describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Larry Hawkins talks briefly about his paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Larry Hawkins remembers his maternal grandfather and talks about inheriting the square-dance calling tradition

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Larry Hawkins describes his maternal grandmother and spending time with his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Larry Hawkins briefly describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Larry Hawkins talks about his family's migration to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Larry Hawkins describes the sights and sounds of his childhood neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Larry Hawkins describes the sights and sounds of his childhood neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Larry Hawkins talks briefly about gang activity in his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Larry Hawkins describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Larry Hawkins describes his experience at Stephen A. Douglas Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Larry Hawkins remembers his teachers at Stephen A. Douglas Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Larry Hawkins describes attending Olivet Baptist Church and Allen Temple AME Church in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Larry Hawkins talks about the tradition of square dancing in Chicago's African American communities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Larry Hawkins describes his experience at Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Larry Hawkins remembers playing basketball at Wendell Phillips Academy High School and with the Hartzell United Methodist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Larry Hawkins talks about the emergence of the Chicago Area Project delinquency prevention program

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Larry Hawkins talks about attending Woodrow Wilson Junior College in Chicago, Illinois and becoming one of Carson Pirie Scott's first black hires

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Larry Hawkins explains why he chose to attend George Williams College in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Larry Hawkins describes his experience as an undergraduate student at George Williams College Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Larry Hawkins talks about volleyball at George Williams College in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Larry Hawkins talks about lasting friendships he developed studying at George Williams College in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Larry Hawkins remembers Dr. Karl Zerfoss of George Williams College in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Larry Hawkins talks about being drafted into the United States Army in 1953

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Larry Hawkins describes joining the faculty at Carver High School in Chicago, Illinois as a physical education instructor and basketball coach

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Larry Hawkins talks about coaching basketball at Carver High School and the legacy of basketball at Wendell Phillips Academy High School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Larry Hawkins describes his coaching strategy, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Larry Hawkins describes his coaching strategy, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Larry Hawkins remembers coaching former NBA player Cazzie Russell at Carver High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Larry Hawkins talks about the players on the 1962 Carver High School basketball team that were recruited by colleges

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Larry Hawkins remembers the IHSA state championship game between Carver High School and Stephen Decatur High School out of Decatur, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Larry Hawkins remembers losing to Theodore Roosevelt High School out of Gary, Indiana, coached by Louis "Bo" Mallard

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Larry Hawkins talks about memorable games the Carver High School Boys Basketball team played during the 1963 season

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Larry Hawkins describes winning the IHSA boys basketball championship in 1963

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Larry Hawkins talks about where members of the 1963 Carver High School basketball team went post-graduation

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Larry Hawkins talks about Altgeld Gardens and Mayor Richard J. Daley's support of the Carver High School basketball team

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Larry Hawkins remembers his former player, Bishop Robert Lewis

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Larry Hawkins talks about how 1960s American politics affected high school students in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Larry Hawkins reflects upon his coaching career in high school sports and the sports community in Altgeld Gardens Homes

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Larry Hawkins talks about joining the faculty of the University of Chicago as director in the Office of Special Programs in 1968

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Larry Hawkins talks about tension between the University of Chicago and the Woodlawn and Hyde Park neighborhoods on Chicago, Illinois' South Side

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Larry Hawkins describes youth programming and initiatives in support of at-risk youth at the University of Chicago, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Larry Hawkins Larry Hawkins describes youth programming and initiatives in support of at-risk youth at the University of Chicago, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Larry Hawkins talks about field trips hosted by the Office of Special Programs at the University of Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Larry Hawkins describes his most rewarding moments in the Office of Special Programs at the University of Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Larry Hawkins describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Larry Hawkins talks about earning a doctorate degree in early childhood education from the University of Illinois in 1980

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Larry Hawkins reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Larry Hawkins describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

11$5

DATitle
Larry Hawkins describes his experience as an undergraduate student at George Williams College Chicago, Illinois
Larry Hawkins describes joining the faculty at Carver High School in Chicago, Illinois as a physical education instructor and basketball coach
Transcript
Well, tell, tell me about George Williams [George Williams College, Chicago, Illinois]. I mean--$$Well, there was another of those interesting experiences. It was a small school about five hundred people, maybe six hundred. And their philosophy was that you had to work in the field that you were studying in so you'd understand it. So they had us all in different places all around the city while we were going to school. But it was there that I learned a whole set of things about working with groups and how you handled them. And where I came across a man named Karl Zerfoss, and I think that's F-O-S-S--$$Can you spell, yeah.$$Z-E-R-F-O-S-S. He would, he'd been a former basketball player, came out of Georgia, and wrote some papers that we talked about, 'cause it was the first time I was in a place where you could go by your instructor's house and sit and have dinner with him and talk about things. You know, because that--it was that kind of atmosphere, so that this guy wrote the guidance point of view for coaches. And, of course, that started my thinking in that direction that coaches might be able to do something other than just win games while they're working with young kids. But he was a favorite teacher of mine, but I had a lot of good teachers there. There was a guy named Fenszemacher [ph.] who was, who argued, you have to be a professional like other professionals or they'll, they won't treat you like one. And he argued that to people who wanted to go into physical education. And the, the real heavy there was Arthur Steinhaus, who in physiology, was, you know, respected around the world. So, in that college, you had to take enough science to go to medical school. A lot of kids did. We had about six courses we had to take. There were, there were people in other aspects that were good--swimming, (unclear). It was just a staff that was good only because you could get to know them. There were several ways that you got to know them. And it wasn't the teacher over there and you're over here.$So what did you do next?$$Well, then I--a friend of mine named Ben Blewett [ph.], who was one of the guys in the neighborhood, was working at Carver High School [later, Carver Military Academy High School, Chicago, Illinois]. And he knew I was graduating and told me that the coach at this school had just passed, and they were looking for a physical education teacher. So I went to apply and was accepted and got cleared with the local Board of Education. And I went to Carver, and that began another adventure that was different.$$Okay. Now, what was--now Carver is on the far South Side of Chicago [Illinois].$$It was in Altgeld Gardens.$$That's a housing project.$$Yeah. It was a housing project. It was originally built for war workers, I think, for those steel mills out there. But it was a housing project and at the time, the Chicago Housing Authority had an interesting approach to this whole thing. It was a nice garden area. It was like a small town. People knew each other and there was an established kind of order because people had lived there for a while. It was a terrific place to be. The high school was located at the edge of the, the project. It was never a very big high school, about five or 600, 700 kids. And I was dropped there. And basketball, of course, still my interest and I, of course, that was what I did--was a basketball coach, as well as the physical education teacher. And the kind of experience there that was interesting is I worked with a woman named June McLaren [ph.] who had been a classmate of mine at Phillips [Wendell Phillips Academy High School, Chicago, Illinois]. She--we, we both worked in the same gym, worked out of the same office. So, I think she helped me to understand that, you know, everybody had to have some time in the gym because she did the cheerleaders, and I did the basketball team. And we would argue and fuss about who would have time, but we eventually worked it out. And it was helpful later when it got to be more imperative that we share. And I already had the idea, you know, that you had--we had to take the kids to the library or for a pep talk or something, so she could have the gym so she could work that out. But my first experiences at Carver were, were pretty good, and then it just kept getting better and better and better. And one year, a fellow named Carl Dennums [ph.] bought me a group of students who were in his eighth grade class. Now, Carver was kinda half high school and half upper grade center. On one side of the school is seventh and eighth grades, so on the other side was the high school. That sounds smaller--was really, and he said, I've got some guys--they're going to really make the team go. And I said, okay, I'd like to see that. And then, I went over to see Mr. [William] McQuitter who worked in the park district. And he pointed out, these guys are gonna be something and so on, so on, so on, and so. And they were alright. It was a group of young fellows, they were all friends and they were the damnedest group of kids I've worked with. There's one of them I never did understand until I saw Michael Jordan. I really didn't understand it until I saw Michael Jordan. If--$$You were--expect him and what, what?$$Because of what he could do.$$Who was he?$$Darius Cunningham, Peter Cunningham [Darius "Pete" Cunningham].$$Okay.$$At about 5'9", maybe 5'10", he was able to do just a whole lot of things--shoot it. He could--oh, he could just do a lot of stuff. He was a terrific guy. But it's not just him, it was the height. And Cody [William "Cody" Anderson] and Harold Jenkins [ph.], all of those guys who made up a kind of whole cloth and they were our freshman group. And I, I really think that one of the reasons people think of me as a good coach is because of those young people. Because no matter how screwy I came out with ideas, they took them and made them sense of what I wanted them. So I spent four years with them and it was, it was a lark.

Sanford T. Roach

Educator and basketball coach, Sanford T. Roach, was born in Frankfort, Kentucky. Roach graduated from Danville Bate High School in 1933 in Danville, Kentucky, where he was a basketball and football star and salutatorian of his class. In 1937, Roach earned his B.S. degree in natural sciences from Kentucky State University, where he was the captain of the basketball team, a track and field star, editor of the student newspaper, and a student council member. In 1955, Roach earned his M.A. degree in education from the University of Kentucky.

After graduating from college, Roach returned to his old high school to teach and coach basketball. Over the course of three years, Roach's coaching record was 98-24; in 1941 he gained notoriety for benching his five starting players the day of the district tournament for disobeying his curfew rule. Roach's strict sense of discipline on the court caught the attention of the principal of Lexington's Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, and he was soon hired as teacher and coach. Roach taught biology, physiology, and anatomy classes; by 1943 he had become head basketball coach. In his twenty-two years as head coach, Roach led Dunbar High to a 512-142 record.

In 1965, Roach's first wife, Mary, herself a basketball enthusiast, died unexpectedly. Shortly after, Roach retired from coaching. Between 1965 and 1966, Roach served as principal of George W. Carver Elementary School, becoming the first black principal of an integrated elementary school in Lexington. Between 1966 and 1975, Roach worked as an administrator at Lexington Junior High, and became the first black principal of a Fayette County secondary school. From 1975 to 1988, Roach worked as a minority recruiter and principal assistant for the state secretary of transportation, and from 1989 to 1995 he worked for Mayors Scotty Baseler and Pam Miller.

Roach received numerous awards and honors for his educational and coaching career. In 1974, Roach became the first African American board member of the University of Kentucky Athletic Association; in 1991, the new Paul Laurence Dunbar High School dedicated its S.T. Roach Sports Center in his honor. Roach was featured in the National High School Sports Hall of Fame; the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame; and the Kentucky State University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Roach passed away on September 2, 2010 at the age of 94.

Roach married Lettie in 1967, and had two children: Sandra Cole and Tom Roach.

Accession Number

A2002.225

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/10/2002

Last Name

Roach

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

T.

Organizations
Schools

Bate High School

Kentucky State University

University of Kentucky

Danville Bate High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sanford

Birth City, State, Country

Frankfort

HM ID

ROA01

Favorite Season

Football, Basketball Season

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Kentucky

Birth Date

2/26/1916

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Lexington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Death Date

9/2/2010

Short Description

Elementary school principal, high school basketball coach, and high school principal Sanford T. Roach (1916 - 2010 ) coached Lexington's Dunbar High basketball team for twenty-two years, in addition to teaching and becoming the first African American principal of an integrated elementary school in Lexington, Kentucky.

Employment

Bate High School

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

George W. Carver Elementary School

Lexington Junior High School

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sanford Roach interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sanford Roach's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sanford Roach discusses his family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sanford Roach remembers his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sanford Roach recalls his childhood home, Danville, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sanford Roach recalls his childhood activities

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sanford Roach recalls his high school years

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sanford Roach remembers his days playing high school basketball

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sanford Roach recounts an injury suffered while playing basketball

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sanford Roach discusses the successes of his high school basketball team

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sanford Roach remembers his father's death

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sanford Roach shares stories about his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sanford Roach recalls a humorous story from his college years at Kentucky State College

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sanford Roach discusses his sports career at Kentucky State College

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sanford Roach remembers his first teaching position after college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sanford Roach describes a rewarding professional experience

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sanford Roach remembers his mentors

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sanford Roach talks about his high school basketball coaching career during the 1940s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sanford Roach describes working for the Merchant Marines in the Great Lakes

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sanford Roach recalls episodes in courtship

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sanford Roach reviews his career at Bate High School, Danville, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sanford Roach discusses basketball strategy

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sanford Roach describes the concerns of a high school basketball coach

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sanford Roach discusses the discipline of his basketball players at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sanford Roach recalls the travels of his Paul Laurence Dunbar High School basketball team

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sanford Roach remembers basketball stars he coached at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sanford Roach discusses issues in mentoring youth

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sanford Roach discusses the successes of his teams at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sanford Roach explains why he retired from coaching basketball

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sanford Roach discusses segregation in the University of Kentucky's basketball program

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sanford Roach describes an instance of racism at a University of Kentucky basketball game

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sanford Roach explains how he helped Tubby Smith become head basketball coach at the University of Kentucky

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sanford Roach discusses race relations in the University of Kentucky's athletic department

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sanford Roach considers his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sanford Roach describes his mother's response to his career in basketball

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sanford Roach describes how he'd like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Photo - Sanford Roach and wife with P. G. Peeples at a Magic Johnson reception

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Photo - Sanford Roach with Earvin 'Magic' Johnson and Jacques Wigginton

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - 'Transition Game' by Billy Reed

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Sanford Roach receiving a hall of fame award in Tampa, Florida