Boys basketball: Gibbs’ Larry Murphy named overall state coach of the year — April 4, 2024

Larry Murphy, who led Gibbs to its first state boys basketball title since 1969, was named the state’s overall coach of the year by the Florida Dairy Farmers.

Murphy, who already won Class 4A coach of the year honors, was selected as the overall winner in the final round of voting by a statewide panel of high school coaches and media representatives. He ended up with 140 points and 10 first place votes to finish ahead of Miami Norland’s Lawton Williams (the 5A winner) and Miami Columbus’ Andrew Moran (the 7A winner).

By winning, Murphy joined Lakewood’s Dan Wright as the only boys basketball coaches from Pinellas County – and the Tampa Bay area – to ever win overall state honors.

After going to the state semifinals with a young team each of the previous two seasons,Murphy guided his more experienced lineup to a 27-5 record and that elusive state title.

In the final four, the Gladiators got past the state semifinal stumbling block by beating North Broward Prep in triple overtime before knocking off nemesis Jacksonville Andrew Jackson in the 4A title game.