Larry Graf

Larry Graf had a successful 28-year coaching career leading the Hemlock High School Softball program. Beginning his career in as Art Tolfree’s assistant in 1985, he took over the varsity program in 1986 and when he retired in 2013, Larry had accumulated 702 wins and 272 losses adding up to a 72%-win percentage. Over this span he, his players, and his teams accumulated numerous championships and awards.  Larry was a coach who worked on fundamentals of his players so they could field and hit.  That was the only way to compete in the always tough Tri-Valley Conference.

During his tenure Coach Graf was District Coach of the Year five times and Regional Coach of the Year three times. In 2000 Coach Graf accepted the offer to coach the MHSAA D3 State All-Star game held at Ranney Park in Lansing, MI. 

Over his illustrious career Coach Graf had many successful teams qualifying for the state Quarterfinalist in 1993, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2006. In three of those years, 1993, 2000, and 2002, they reached the semifinals.

Coach Graf considered his 2000 team his best year by reaching the state semifinals that season because of the overall work and chemistry of the team.  That team made it to the semifinals before falling to Kalamazoo Christian 3-1.

The 1998 squad held a record of 38 wins and 4 losses. That team consisted of four First Team All-State players: Sarah Smith, Gena Schoer, Theresa Coty, Amber Cole all garnered honors.  They advanced to the quarterfinals before falling.  Along with those players receiving outstanding accolades, Coach Graf was named the 1998 Saginaw Area Dream Team Coach.  Many of his players went on to play at the collegiate level.

Graf also competed in softball himself.  He is a 2006 Michigan Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame inductee.  During his playing days, he played in 22 state, regional, or national fast pitch tournaments.