WILLIAMSON – In a surprise off-season move, Ambassador Christian Academy (ACA) Athletic Director Donald Lafferty has announced former Man High School Baseball Coach Larry Vance, will now lead the Eagles on the diamond.
In a press release that arrived on Friday afternoon, July 15, ACA stated that Vance will be the new head baseball coach at ACA beginning this school year. The move was surprising considering Vance’s success as the head coach at Man High School. The Hillbillies recently ended a state tournament run with a 3-0 loss to Wahama in the semi-final round of the Class-A WVSSAC Baseball tournament. In 2014 Man won the Class A state title in Charleston.
Lafferty said Vance made the move because of ACA’s lack of affiliation with the SSAC, meaning; they are able to practice all year since they are not confined by the regulations public schools adhere by.
Vance confirmed that report by saying, “The opportunity to coach a team all year round is why I decided on ACA. Where they are not affiliated with the SSAC, they are not governed by the rules of the SSAC, and instead of only coaching 3-to-4 months out of the year I can coach 8-to-10 months out of the year.”
Lafferty said, “I wish I could say I recruited a man of his caliber, but he came to us. Larry and I have had a good relationship for many years and he asked if we had any openings. I was a bit shocked myself. I was the head coach last year, but I am also a full-time pastor. We had been searching for someone who would be the right fit for our school and our structure and Larry came to us.”
“I have watched the kids during summer ball and I have met with them. We have a really good and athletic group of kids,” Vance stressed.
Rumors had circulated previously that ACA would make a push to become a member of the WVSSAC. Lafferty confirmed those reports by saying, “We did explore that option and we got all the way to the point where our board approved us to look into it but finally we made the decision that staying private would be a much better path for us. We like having year round sporting participation and access to our players. Our goal is to train our kids in spirit, soul and body.”
The original press release can be found below:
PRESS RELEASE: Ambassador Christian Academy announces appointment of Larry Vance as Head Baseball Coach.
WILLIAMSON, W. Va. – Ambassador Christian Academy (ACA) has appointed Larry Vance as its head baseball coach, it was announced Thursday by Director of Athletics Donald Lafferty.
“We’re thrilled to bring Coach Vance into the Eagles family,” director of athletics Donald Lafferty said. ” Erwin McManus quotes “We are all time voyagers leaving history in our wake, pioneering into the future.” Were grateful for all our pioneering coaches. This is an exciting day for ACA Baseball.”
“Excited to be a part of the ACA family”, said Vance. “The school’s academics, administration and personnel are amazing. The opportunity to train young men 7th through 12th grades year round is something I couldn’t turn down. The possibilities of this academy are endless. We hope to be a regional team participating spring, summer and fall and compete in the WVCAT state tournament. The team will also travel south competing at Myrtle Beach and the National Association of Christian Athletes (NACA) tournament in Tennessee. I’m thankful for the opportunity Mr. Lafferty has given me to be a part of the professional staff and coaches serving now.
· Coach Vance comes to ACA from his alma-mater Man High School where he served as head baseball coach from 2005-2006 and 2009-2016.
· In his 10-year stint Man High participated in the WVSSAC State Baseball Tournament 6 times.
· WVSSAC Baseball State Champions 2014
· Awarded Baseball Coach of the Year by the West Virginia Athletic Coaches Association 2014
· WVSSAC Baseball State Runner Up (2009, 2010, 2015)
· Made the WVSSAC Baseball State Tournament previous three years
· Played collegiately at West Virginia State for Head Coach Cal Bailey from 1981-1984.
Ambassador Christian Academy is a private Christian school founded 2014 and situated in Williamson, West Virginia. Ambassador Christian Academy is a consolidation of Regional Christian School, Delbarton WV (1999) and Williamson Christian School, Williamson WV (2008).
(William Plaster is the sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News, he can be reached at 304-235-4242 ext. 2274 or at [email protected] on on twitter @sidplaster.)