Sports Person of the Week
Larson Enjoys First Campaign at Old Saybrook
Kurt Larson feels fortunate to be a part of the Old Saybrook boys’ basketball program as both a JV head coach and a varsity assistant coach with the Rams. (Photo courtesy of Kurt Larson )
Kurt Larson recently completed his first year as a coach with the Old Saybrook boys’ basketball team, and he feels quite pleased about how the season unfolded. Kurt was the head coach for the Rams’ JV team and helped the club finish with a record of 9-3, in addition to serving as an assistant for the varsity squad, which went 6-8.
Kurt grew up playing basketball and still competes in men’s leagues to this day. Kurt attended Portland High School, where he was a 1,110-point scorer while competing for the boys’ basketball team from 1991-94. Kurt also coached soccer before committing to basketball on a full-time basis.
“I got into coaching when my children were young. This is my second year as a high school assistant. Last year I was at Portland, and this year I’m with Old Saybrook. Prior to that, I coached youth [and] travel basketball for about 10 years,” says Kurt, 44, a Portland resident. “My favorite aspect of the sport is the mental aspect. I often refer to basketball as chess played extremely fast. If you play the game intelligently, you can make up for a lot of physical disparities.”
Kurt wholeheartedly enjoyed his experience coaching at Old Saybrook this winter. Kurt felt especially happy when junior Taber Marineau scored 15 points for the Rams’ JV team in their season finale against Westbrook. It meant a lot to Kurt to see Marineau, who has epilepsy, turn in such a big performance in the last game of the campaign.
“My favorite moment of this season was our final junior varsity game of the year. Taber Marineau had a huge game with 15 points on five 3-pointers,” Kurt says. “He is the kid that has overcome a lot in his life, and it was awesome to see him have such a great game to close out the season.”
Old Saybrook varsity Head Coach Chris Perras considers Kurt a valuable asset to the program. Perras says that Kurt brings a tremendous passion for basketball to the Rams.
“His passion for the game is second to none. I love his calming presence. We balance each other extremely well,” says Perras of Kurt. “His knowledge and IQ are extraordinary. He has a knack for working with players to help them get better, and he’s a great guy to have on the sidelines to bounce ideas off of. We have the same goals, beliefs, and philosophies.”
While Old Saybrook made some strides this season, Kurt is constantly looking for ways to refine his coaching style in order to benefit the Rams for future campaigns. Kurt feels confident about the cast of athletes that Old Saybrook will have returning to the court next winter.
“I watch a lot of basketball, read a lot about basketball and coaching philosophies, and I talk to a lot of other coaches. I try to suck up anything I can about basketball, as well as teaching and leadership philosophy,” Kurt says. “I have very high expectations for next season. We return a lot of scoring from this season, and our JV team had a very strong season this year, finishing 9-3. We have a lot of strong players returning to the program next year, so I think the future is bright.”
Old Saybrook’s hope for the future begins with the relationship between Kurt and Coach Perras, who are working quite well together thus far. Kurt says that he and Perras have been bouncing plenty of ideas off of each other and that both of them are already eager for the 2022 season to get started.
“I think I have a great relationship with Coach Perras. I think we complement each other well,” says Kurt. “I learned a lot coaching with him this season. He has done a great job of setting a solid foundation for future success at Old Saybrook.”