Larry "Coach" Ireland
Born: February 21, 1946
Died: May 21, 2020
Larry Ray Ireland, son of Kenneth and Viola (Rames) Ireland was born February 21, 1946 in Scotland, SD. Larry grew up on the family farm, attended one-room Bon Homme County School and was a member of the United Methodist Church. In high school he was named to first team All-State honors in football and basketball. After graduating from Scotland High School in 1964, Larry was recruited to play football at Yankton College in Yankton, SD. At Yankton College he earned All-Conference honors for three years as a defensive halfback and graduated in 1968. Larry received his Master’s degree in Education from the University of South Dakota and was a graduate assistant for the 1968-69 Coyote football team. Larry married Charlene Payne in 1968 and had two children Jay and Jacki.
Larry began his teaching and coaching career in Pierre, and later taught in Gregory, Hot Springs and Mitchell, SD. His coaching highlight was when the 1974 Hot Springs Bison football team was undefeated conference champions. Larry was named SD High School Football Coach of the Year. Larry remarried Sandy Bietz in 1979 and had three children Jill, Jake and Josh. Larry continued coaching football at Augustana College and then at South Dakota State University 1981-88. While at SDSU, Larry taught Fishing Techniques a favorite elective for many Jackrabbit students. Larry returned to his farming roots joining seed companies Keltgen Seed, Mycogen and Midwest Seed Company.
Larry was an avid outdoorsman. Hunting and fishing were instrumental in Larry’s life as he made many lifelong friends out on the lake and in the field. Larry was happiest out on a hunt or with a fishing rod in his hands with family or good friends by his side. The nickname “Coach” was a source of joy for Larry and he took great pride in his coaching accomplishments. Many of his former players, teammates and coaches became lifelong friends and an important part of Larry’s life. The past few years were at times challenging for Larry with his increasing health problems. Particularly difficult for Larry was being quarantined from everything and everyone he loved. However, Larry never got down on himself and kept an ever positive attitude. And as Larry’s health problems continued to increase, so too did his unwavering love for his siblings, children and grandchildren.
Larry “Coach” Ireland, age 74, died Thursday, May 21, 2020 at Ava House in Sioux Falls, SD.
He is survived by his five children: son Jay Ireland of Phoenix, AZ; daughter Jacki Ireland of Phoenix, AZ; daughter Jill Ireland of Dell Rapids, SD; son Jacob Ireland of Spencer, IA; and son Joshua Ireland of Jackson, MN; eight grandchildren: Jack, Isabella, Aiden, Andrew (Ireland); Sophia and Idan (Jones); Pearl and Ruby (Weiland); sister Karen Orth of Loveland, CO; brother Wayne Ireland, of Sioux Falls, SD; sister Mary Mathison of Sioux Falls, SD; and sister Kathy Manning of Vermillion, SD.
He was preceded in death by his second wife Sandra Ireland and his parents.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family asks that donations be made to the American Cancer Society.
5/28/2020 Linda Novak Wold Cass Lake, MN
Sympathy and prayers for comfort to the Ireland family.
5/26/2020 Tom Nelson Tea, South Dakota
Got to meet Larry through my dad (Roger Nelson). When you talked to Larry he always had things to say. He always asked how you were doing and what you been up to. We talked about Scotland and people we both knew. We then talked about football and different people we knew that played. Larry always had a good story to tell about football. He was a good guy to have around
5/26/2020 Ron Clough North Fort Myers, Florida
Wayne, Mary, Kathy and all the Ireland family, I send my most sincere condolences for the loss of Larry. I was lucky enough to play a lot of basketball, football and baseball with "LI". Not only was he a great athlete and student, he was a true lover of life. He was a close friend, great guy and will be always be remembered for that smile and wonderful personality. If we could go back in time, I know we would sure like to have that last half back in the 1964 State B Championship game! Who knows? An Old Highlander, Ron
5/26/2020 Paul Kautz Princeton, IL
Mary, so sorry about brother Larry. Looks like a life well lived with much accomplished. Just cut a little too short. Was hoping to see you and classmates this summer but it was not meant to be. Stay strong. Sincerely, Paul Kautz
5/25/2020 Pam Mason Plymouth, MN
Your ACS team loves you, Jill. I was so sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. You and your family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
5/25/2020 James Orth Summerville , South Carolina
Uncle Larry always told the best stories!!
5/25/2020 Karen Herman Hess Le Mars, IA
I knew Larry from High School and have fond memories of our High School days at SHS. He was such a great athlete and fun to be around. One of the highlights of our High School days was when Larry was Homecoming King and crowned me Homecoming Queen. I was so glad we were able to reminisce about our High School days and to catch up on what was happening in our lives over the years since graduation at our 50th class reunion.
My deepest sympathy to all the family. Praying you will be able to treasure all the memories through laughter and tears as you go on in life without Larry's presence.
5/25/2020 Suzanne Brown Simmonds ,
Kathy, I am praying for you as I know how hard it is to lose a brother. Praise the Lord we were raised in Christian families and know that we will see our brothers again. God’s blessings always for you and Larry’s family. The funeral was so nice and the pastor’s message was excellent.
5/25/2020 Robin Byrne Sioux Falls, SD
God Bless you Coach.
5/25/2020 Jan Goodwin Ireland San Mateo, California
Dear Kathy, Callie and Family of Larry Ireland, I am so sorry for your sorrow, and am holding you all in my heart. Growing up in Scotland, Larry was my first awareness of a great basketball player. I can still see him on the basketball court. May your blessed family memories help heal the sorrow in your hearts
5/25/2020 Nancy McIlvenna Highlands Ranch, Co
Larry was always the fun, loving uncle growing up with all his practical jokes and stories. He was adored by all of his nieces and nephews! My memories of him will live on.
5/25/2020 Daniel Lipkie Medina, WA
SHS Class of 64
5/25/2020 Rick Ackerman Bellingham, WA
Larry was a good friend and a great brother-in-law when I was a young man. He taught me more about hunting than anyone I ever knew. He always had a great spirit and enthusiasm for life. It was a privilege to know him.
5/25/2020 Milton Stuckey Phoenix, AZ
I have fond memories of coach Ireland during my tenure as a student-athlete at SDSU. He was a great coach and mentor. During those 2 years under his tutelage, I became better at my position and through his mentorship a better person. Thank you Coach!
5/24/2020 Alfred and Deanna Rude Lead, SD
We have fond memories of Larry and your family back in Brookings. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.
5/24/2020 Nancy Ireland Wagoner Bandon, Oregon
I remember cousin Larry from his hard-playing basketball days in high school. While we were not close, he later wrote to me when his eyesight was failing. I still have that letter. He certainly left behind many happy memories for so many people. But most of all, he left behind a smart, talented family of children and grandchildren. He was so very proud of them.
Peace and grace to his family.
Love, Cousin Nancy
5/24/2020 Don Mach Katy, TX
I have great memories of Larry back from our days at Scotland HS. In addition to being a great athlete, he was a true gentleman. I am very saddened that he struggled in recent years and has now passed away. My deepest condolences to Larry's family.
5/24/2020 Mike Tobin Midwest, Wyoming
Coach Ireland recruited me to play football at Augustana in 1979 and was my offensive line coach. He had such a positive influence on me during my college years, calling my professors biweekly to make sure I was passing my classes. I enjoyed the offensive line dinners at his home with him and Sandy. We remained good friends after he went to South Dakota State to coach, even though our teams were bitter rivals.
Rest in peace my friend.
Mike Tobin, Midwest Wyoming
5/24/2020 Joe Broome Littleton, Colorado
I remember Larry in High School, what an athlete. He was also a coach of mine at USD when I played there. I ran into him a couple yrs ago at Dakota Days and had a wonderful talk with him. A true gentlemen RIP-
5/24/2020 Jane and Max Hawk Yankton, SD
We offer our condolences to all of Larry's family. Together you created great memories.
Friendship with the extended Ireland family began in 1957, when we moved to Scotland; and we treasure the continuing connections.
Sincerely, Jane and Max
5/23/2020 Judy (Ireland) Strachan Mesquite, NV
My prayers and sympathy to Larry's family.
Comfort and strength as you grieve his passing on.
With Love, Cousin Judy
5/23/2020 Jon Orth Denver, CO
I will always remember the stories of the dreaded chicken heart. Rest in paradise.
Jon, AKA Colorado Charlie.
Monday, May 25, 2020
Goglin Funeral Home
Due to COVID-19, the family invites to you view the service online.
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Monday, May 25, 2020
Goglin Funeral Home