Larry Veronica 2016


Bennett High School (Buffalo Public Schools) 

Lawrence “Larry” Veronica graduated from Cleveland Hill High School in 1958.  He then attended the University at Buffalo where he Veronica obtained a bachelor’s degree in Education (1962) and a master’s degree in Education (1965).  


During his career, Larry wore a number of coaching hats.  He coached football, boys’ basketball, boys’ track, girls’ track, and co-ed tennis.  He was the boys’ basketball head coach from 1971 to 1996.  During that time, Larry’s teams won 3 Yale Cups (1984, 1987, and 1995), 8 Section VI Class B titles, 2 State Championships (1983 and 1984), and 1 Federation Championship (1984).  Two of Larry’s notably successful players include scoring leader Curtis Aiken with 2,162  (before the implementation of the 3 point shot) and individual game record holder (76 points) and former NBA player Trevor Ruffin. 


Larry was the assistant football coach from 1971 to 1984, then again from 1986 to 1990, which was then followed by his head coach position in 1985 (Harvard Cup Champions) and 1991 to 1995. 


He coached co-ed tennis from 1986 to 1996.  During this time, player Ross Nwachukwu became the first Section VI athlete to medal (2nd place) in the State competition. 


Most remarkable is his track coaching record.  He amassed 155 wins and only 4 losses between 1971 and 1988 in boys’ track and 30 wins and only 1 loss in girls’ track between 1979 and 1982.  He coached All-American Lamar Smith who qualified for the “Golden West” in Sacramento, California.  His Bennett track athletes, to this day, hold some of the Western New York track records—Lamar Smith, 100m, 10.4 (State record 10.5 FAT) and 200m, 21.1 (State record); and the 4x400m Relay Team, 3:17.4 (1982).  Three of his athletes even made it to the Olympic trials. 


Larry prides himself on being the first City of Buffalo coach to regularly play his teams outside of the city.  One year, he played as many home games as possible at Erie Community College North Campus.  In track, he accepted all outside meet invitations including the Big “E” Relays, the St. Francis Early Bird Relays, the Sweet Home “WNY Classic” meet, Nichols, Williamsville North, and St. Mary’s of the Deaf.  In tennis, his teams played their home matches at the University of Buffalo Main St. Campus.  His football teams participated in 4-way scrimmages for several years.  And, in the 1970s, before it became fashionable, his basketball teams played in the Syracuse, Dunkirk, Fredonia, and Medina tournaments. 


Larry is a member of 4 Hall of Fames: the Kenmore Knights of Columbus (1981), Bennett High School Sports (Career Achievement, 2003), Harvard Cup (2011), and Greater Buffalo Sports (2014). 


After 34 years, Larry retired from teaching in 1996.  Since 1997, he has been working for the Hertz Corporation as a         transporter.  Larry and his wife of 51 years, Josephine, reside in Tonawanda.  They have 4 children; Mark, Michael, Marisa, and Richard and 9 grandchildren.  Larry is a member of St. Amelia Parish in Tonawanda and the Kenmore Knights of         Columbus.  Since 2002, he has chaired the Bennett High School Sports Hall of Fame.  He also volunteers as a basketball coach for the C.Y.O. Diocese of Buffalo.