Larry McKenzie becomes first African-American inducted to state basketball coaches hall of fame


Larry McKenzie, North High School’s basketball coach, was among four inductees to the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association (MBCA) Hall of Fame on Nov. 1.

The Hall of Fame recognizes Minnesota coaches who have made significant contributions to high school basketball through their achievements and service. McKenzie is the first African-American coach to receive this honor.

“Mr. McKenzie has not only led our teams to succeed in athletics, he has also served as a powerful role model and mentor to students during critical high school years,” said Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson. “His influence on and off the court has undoubtedly contributed to the academic and social success of many students.”

McKenzie led the Patrick Henry High School’s boys basketball team to four consecutive Class AAA state titles in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003. He also led the Henry Patriots to six Minneapolis City Conference championships, three Twin Cities championships and six state section titles.

After coaching semi-professional basketball for a short time, McKenzie transitioned to coaching high school athletes at the Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield, and in 2013 he returned to his Minneapolis roots to lead the North High School boys basketball program. McKenzie’s team at North was primarily composed of underclassmen and came within one win of qualifying for the state tournament.

McKenzie’s coaching achievements earned him four Section Coach of the Year awards. In 2001 he was named State Class AAA Coach of the Year and National Coach of the Year.

Off the court, McKenzie is a member of the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Boys Basketball Advisory Committee, has authored three books and is a motivational speaker.

The other 2014 inductees are Gary Holmseth of Blue Earth, John Holsten of Glenwood, Alexandria and Brandon-Evansville, and Dean Schnaible of Adrian.

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