Larry Farmer, a long-time collegiate assistant and head coach with ties to one of the most storied basketball programs in the history of the college game, is now entering his fourth overall season as an assistant coach with the Western Michigan men's basketball program and second in a row. Farmer is in his second stint with the Broncos, having served as an assistant coach from 2010-12 previously. The winningest player in NCAA history, Farmer will continue to work with the team's post players.
Farmer's fingerprints were all over the success of the 2013-14 edition of the Broncos, who won their first Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament championships since the 2004 season and recorded the third-highest single-season wins total in program history. Shayne Whittington earned his second straight All-MAC honor, taking home First Team accolades for the first time in his career, and earning votes in the final Player of the Year voting. Connar Tava earned the first All-MAC honors of his career, as well, as he was voted an All-MAC Honorable Mention.
Farmer spent the 2012-13 season as the Director of Player Development for the North Carolina State program, where he assisted the Wolfpack's coaching staff with evaluation of video, development of practice and game schedules, and game planning. He also acted as the program's academic and community liaison.
In his first stint at WMU, Farmer spent two seasons with the Broncos from 2010-12, when he helped the Broncos to a Mid-American Conference West Division title in 2010-11 and a trip to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Working primarily with the post players, he was key in the development of Flenard Whitfield, who finished his career ranked 11th in all-time scoring at Western Michigan and was a two-time All-MAC Honorable Mention. The Broncos finished in the top-two in rebounding margin in each of Farmer's two years on the bench.
Farmer won 166 games in 12 seasons as a Division I head coach, holding the reins at his alma mater UCLA (1981-84), Weber State (1985-88), and Loyola-Chicago (1998-2004). Farmer previously spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Hawai'i from 2007-10 before his first stint with the Broncos, and was an assistant with Rhode Island during the 1997-98 season in which the Rams reached the Elite Eight. Farmer also carries an NBA coaching pedigree, having served as an assistant for the Golden State Warriors during the 1990-91 season.
At UCLA, Farmer guided his alma mater to a three-year record of 61-23, including a pair of 20-win seasons and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. During the 1982-83 season, he coached the Bruins to a 23-6 mark, Pac-10 championship and No. 7 final national ranking.
After several coaching stints, including a six-year term with the Kuwaiti National Team from 1992-97, Farmer was hired as head coach of Loyola-Chicago in 1998. In 2001-02, he led the Ramblers to a 17-13 season, which ended 15 years of losing records for the school. College Insider named him Horizon League Coach of the Year following that campaign.
Farmer’s players earned four all-conference nods and Paul McMillan was the 2003 Horizon League Newcomer of the Year. Farmer also recruited and coached guard David Bailey, the third all-time leading scorer in Loyola’s storied history.
At Weber State, Farmer coached the league leader in rebounding in both 1986-87 and 1987-88, while also coaching the conference’s leading shot blocker in 1985-86 and 1986-87. Farmer also brought 1986 Big Sky Newcomer of the Year and 1986 Reserve of the Year Walt Tyler to Ogden, Utah, when WSU went 18-11. Overall, Farmer produced four all-conference honors in his three seasons with the Wildcats.
As a player for the Bruins from 1970-73, Farmer played alongside Bill Walton and was a member of three NCAA championship teams during a stretch in which UCLA captured seven straight under legendary head coach John Wooden. In addition, Farmer has the distinguished honor of being the winningest player in NCAA history, losing only once in 90 career games.
Farmer earned multiple honors as he averaged 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game during his career, including 10.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game as a junior (1971-72) and 12.2 points per game as a senior (1972-73). He was presented the Seymour Armond Memorial Award in 1969-70 as the most valuable freshman player and then earned the Irv Pohlmeyer Memorial Trophy as the most outstanding first-year player in 1970-71. As a first-year starter, Farmer earned the Bruin Bench Award in 1971-72 as the most improved player. He was drafted by Cleveland in the NBA and Denver of the ABA in 1973, but became an assistant at UCLA from 1973-81, including a one-year stint playing in Germany (1975), before taking over as head coach in 1981-82.
Farmer has two children, son Larry, Jr. and daughter Kendall.