When the North Harford High School baseball team lost its final game of the 2021 season just over a week ago, it wasn’t just a season-ending loss. It was the end of a career for head coach Tim Larrimore, who has written lineups, given signals and anything else baseball related for 31 years.
Larrimore, a U.S. History teacher and the school’s Athletic Director, knew it was time.
“Honestly, I wanted to go out happy,” Larrimore said. “I’ve seen other people leave athletics unhappy and I didn’t want to go out like that. I wanted to go out while I was still enjoying it and have no regrets. I wanted to have a positive feeling when I left.”
Despite the uncertainty of this past 2021 season, Larrimore enjoyed it. “I had a great group of kids this year and after that year of COVID, no season, things like that, we were blessed to have a season this year,” he said. “I had a lot of nice kids on the team and I said, ‘you know what?’, this will be a great year to end it all.”
Larrimore added, “We had some talent and we had nice kids, so the combination, a good year to go out on.”
Even though the Hawks made the run this year, Larrimore says there was no chance of him changing his mind. “Actually not,” he said with a laugh. “I made my mind up and I have no regrets, none at all.”
This year’s final loss came in state semifinal play, something Larrimore and his teams were familiar with.
Under Larrimore, North Harford won regional championships in 1999, 2000, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2021.
The Hawks were beaten six times in a state semifinal and twice the Hawks reached the state final and lost. Those seasons were 2012 and 2014.
North Harford teams also won Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference Chesapeake Division titles in 2012 and 2014.
In this 31 years (30 seasons), Larrimore won 386 games and lost 231. Had there been a season in 2020, Larrimore was more than likely to reach the 400-win plateau.
Oddly enough, Larrimore never coached a child of a former player at North Harford. “No, unbelievably I’ve taught many of them, but I’ve never coached a kid,” Larrimore said. “I taught many, many kids, dozens and dozens, but never coached one.”
Looking back, Larrimore says he has no regrets of stepping away, but never winning a state championship lingers. “I obviously wanted to win a state championship, there’s no doubt about it,” Larrimore said. “I mean, it hits me hard. I think about those games, I think about this year’s games.”
This year, the Hawks just ran out of pitching. “I thought we could have won a state championship this year, but, obviously we ran out of pitching and the other team wasn’t out of pitching,” he said.
“I don’t want to just focus on this year, but I think about it every day...what could I have done differently,” Larrimore said. Larrimore says there are things he knows he could have done differently.
Larrimore notes that his teams had great chances in 2012 and 2014. A pair of two-run losses in Class 3A play; 4-2 to James M. Bennett in 2012 and 2-0 to Reservoir in 2014.
In 2011, the Hawks fell in 3A semifinal play, 2-1, in 15 innings to La Plata. In 2015, the Hawks took a no-hitter and 2-0 lead into the seventh inning, only to lose, 3-2.
The Hawks did win the Paul Fahrner Sportsmanship Award in 2011 and 2015. The trophy was presented to the one school that displayed the best overall sportsmanship while participating in the state tournament.
Larrimore is still planning to teach and be the AD for at least one more year. “The plan is one more, I haven’t announced my retirement, I haven’t signed anything,” Larrimore said. “As of right now, I’m planning one more year but I’ll definitely be the AD next year and teach U.S. History.”
Current assistant coach Jeff Burrows will take over the head coaching duties, according to Larrimore.
Larrimore attended and graduated from North Caroline High School in Denton, where he played baseball and football.
Larrimore says he played every position growing up, except second base, which he believes is what helped him a lot with coaching. “I always loved pitching and I always loved catching and I had done both at certain times in my life,” Larrimore said.
Larrimore played and pitched for two seasons at Salisbury State College in the mid-1980s.
Larrimore’s run and successes pairs him with an elite group of retired North Harford coaching legends. Lin James (girls basketball), John Grubb (boys lacrosse), and the late Tom Berg (girls soccer).
The thought of his name associated with those greats is overwhelming. “That is the most honoring, flattering thing anyone could ever say, I’m humbled by that,” Larrimore said. “I’ve never thought of myself in that category. I know all three of those people very well, I call of the my dear friends and Ton Berg, God rest his soul, passed away.”
Larrimore added, “I was lucky enough to be around when they were there and learn so much from them. I inducted all three of them into the North Harford Athletic Hall of Fame. It was an honor. That means so much to me, it’s very humbling.”
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Larrimore, who turns 55 this summer, is married to Muriel and they have three adult children. Kaitlyn, 29; Christian, 27; and Maddison, 21. They also have two granddaughters.