After a tremendous career as a player and coach at all levels, Western Michigan men’s basketball assistant coach Larry Farmer announced his retirement on Thursday.
“We all wish Coach Farmer the very best in his retirement as he has certainly earned it,” said head coach Steve Hawkins. “There is not a lot he has not seen in his time as a coach. He has given WMU everything he has got and has done a wonderful job over the years due to his basketball knowledge.”
“There is not a nicer guy than Coach Farmer. I think every person that comes in contact with him walks away feeling better,” said Hawkins. “He has been an incredible ambassador not only for our basketball program but for the university as a whole.”
In two stints at Western Michigan, Farmer completed his seventh season and third in a row as an assistant coach for the Broncos this past year. Farmer primarily worked with the team’s post players.
Farmer was a key part of developing the Broncos’ first NBA player in over a decade in two-time All-MAC center Shayne Whittington. He also guided two-time All-MAC selection Connor Tava to lead WMU in scoring, rebounding, assists and field goal percentage in 2014-15.
Prior to WMU, Farmer spent 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 also has multiple years of experience as an assistant, working at Hawaii (2007-10), Rhode Island (1997-98) and with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors (1990-91).
As a player for the Bruins from 1970-73, Farmer played alongside Bill Walton and was a member of three NCAA championship teams 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. Earlier this month, Farmer was inducted in to the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame.
“I have known Coach Farmer close to 30 years and he has been a great friend through the years. Having somebody on the staff that has been a former head coach and knows what the head coach goes through every day has been invaluable,” said Hawkins. “Coach Farmer has been a very calming voice in our basketball program over the years,” said Hawkins. “He will surely be missed but his retirement is well-deserved.”