Bellevue Christian HS
Hall of Fame Class of 2011
Larry Royce was offered an opportunity to work with the throwers at South Kitsap High School in 1970. Lloyd Pugh was the coach at the time and he recognized something in the young coach. That offer began a thirty-nine year love affair with high school track and field. Larry has been recognized nine times with coach of the year awards, including the 1992 Girls Coach of the Year for Washington State (all classifications) and the 1993 Washington State Class A Coach of the Year. He has coached five girls’ teams to State Championship titles. He has coached a state champion in every event with the exception of the javelin. He has coached athletes that have broken or hold five state records. More telling than any of his statistical achievements is the fact that many of his former athletes have gone on to become track and field coaches, a true testament to his mentorship over his thirty-nine year career.
After his first opportunity at South Kitsap, Larry served as a volunteer coach at Pilchuck High School from 1970 to 1972. His primary responsibility was initiating an aquatics program at the brand new high school. He worked with the throwers on the track team during that time. In 1973, Larry was approached by a group of girls he had been working with earlier in the year about the possibility of him coaching the girls track team at Port Townsend. In the spring of 1974, Larry led the team of four girls to the state A meet in Goldendale where they placed 3rd. Due to a strange set of circumstances involving illness and injuries, the girl’s team did not qualify for the state meet in 1975. In 1976, Larry led the core group of girls back to the state A meet in Yakima along with the addition of some new girls and the team won the State Championship.
In the fall of 1976, Larry began teaching and coaching at Bellevue Christian High School. His coaching career at Bellevue Christian includes head coaching jobs with girls soccer, girls basketball and boys and girls track and field. The Bellevue Christian girls track and field team is the 2nd leading all time points scoring team for Class A state meets. Four of those girls teams won state championships. His girls teams have had a relay team score at the state meet in 31 of the 33 years he served as head coach. He has coached numerous individual state champions, not to mention district and league champions. Two of the individual athletes that stand out in his long career are Kim Jones (Seelye) and Irene Griffith, both former Port Townsend athletes. Kim went on to become a world class distance runner and has more high level placings in world class marathons than any other U.S. female marathoner in history. Irene’s best event her freshman year in 1975 was the 3200m but the state did not offer that event for girls so she had to frequently run it in dual meets with the boys. She went on to dominate the event after it was added for girls but it was in 1976 when she competed at the AAU National Championships where she won the high school age 3200m and set the national record a time running of 10:25.4 in her race. Larry served as the head boys track and field coach at Bellevue Christian until 1999 when Ed Sloan took over. Larry turned the girls track program over to Mike Strong, and Bellevue Christian has since gone on to achieve a great deal of success, all a result of the foundation that Coach Royce poured over his thirty-nine year career.
Larry is one of the key coaches who helped in the reorganization of the Washington State Track and Field Coaches Association. He was an instrumental part of the group of volunteer coaches who started the Annual WSTFCA Convention. He has been instrumental in promoting the sport and advocating for increased opportunities in coaches education. It is with great honor that we recognize his achievement and welcome him into the Washington State Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame. His induction into the Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame is a testament to his numerous contributions to the sport in Washington State.