Troy Basketball hires former NAIA National Coach of the Year

Published 3:59 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2023

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The Troy University men’s basketball team recently hired longtime basketball coach Larry Cordaro to serve on Scott Cross’ staff as Director of Basketball Operations.

Cordaro comes to Troy after nine years as the head men’s basketball coach at LSU-Alexandria, where he put together an impressive resume as a head coach. Cordaro also previously served on the same staff with Cross in the past.

“It’s just a great opportunity for me to learn from what I consider to be one of the best coaches in the business,” Cordaro said of his decision to come to Troy. “Scott (Cross) is a man of integrity that knows his Xs and Os and is a hard-worker with great character and a family man. I love his family and obviously we have a history working together at UT-Arlington.

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“We’re in an ever-changing landscape in college basketball. I’ve been a head coach for awhile and I’m excited to be back at the DI level and am looking forward to helping further develop a winning culture here.”

Cordaro was born and raised in Ruston, La., where he originally attended Louisiana Tech University before transferring to Xavier University to pursue a basketball career.

“I started out as a walk-on player and then became a student-manager,” Cordaro said.

Cordaro originally earned his bachelor’s of science degree in accounting but soon found that accounting wasn’t the career for him.

“I asked myself what would I do for free,” Cordaro said. “I did an accounting internship in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and I liked it but didn’t love it. When I got back to Ruston, my high school coach lined up a job in Baton Rouge with Catholic High School and Antonio Hudson played a big part in me getting on with (LSU Coach) John Brady.

“I was able to get a lucky break there in Baton Rouge and never looked back. I have a drive and a passion for being around the sport but also, more importantly, to help young men develop not just as ball players but as people. It’s not just a career to me, it’s a calling.”

Cordaro started out as a student assistant and then became a graduate assistant on the staff at LSU. He then became Director of Basketball Operations at LSU, where he assisted with on-campus recruiting, academic monitoring coordinating pre-game meals and organizing team meetings with the LSU men’s basketball booster club.

Cordaro then moved on to UT-Arlington, where he was an assistant coach, spending time on the same staff with Cross. Returning to a staff with Cross was a big part of his decision to come to Troy, as well.

“I had a few options but when (Cross) called I jumped right on it,” he said. “I’ve been keeping an eye on the staff here and I’ve already hit it off with everyone here. It’s great to be around like-minded coaches, and that’s something that drew me to Troy. I didn’t really have an impression of Troy before I got here, but if I did it far exceeded them. The people, the facilities, the community; everything is great. It’s like a little hidden gem down here but I don’t think it’s that hidden anymore.”

After his stint at UTA, Cordaro spent eight seasons as the associate head coach at Southeastern Louisiana University. He then became the inaugural head coach of the upstart LSU-Alexandria (LSUA) program in 2014-2015.

During his nine years at the helm, his teams went an impressive 224-50 with an overall conference record of 126-23. In 2017, he was named the NABC NAIA National Coach of the Year, won the Don Meyer National Coach of the Year in 2015 and was three-time Conference Coach of the Year. His 2017 team finished as national runner-up. Cordaro is also well-known for the basketball camps he’s put together at all of his coaching stops.

“My goals (at Troy) are to be a team player and help the program in any way that I can,” Cordaro emphasized. “It’s not just about the win column but also about serving the community and doing whatever is asked of me and helping take the camps to another level and getting to know these Troy players, whether it’s returners or new players. It’s about fitting in with the staff and doing my part in helping lead the Trojans to a conference championship and to the NCAA Tournament. I want to be a part of a winning staff and program and I feel like I’ve found that at Troy.”