When Larry Joe Inman retired from Eastern Kentucky University, he thought he was hanging up his whistle for good.
Turns out, the Tennessee State coach and longtime Colonels coach wasn’t quite finished.
Coming out of retirement and taking over at Tennessee State, he now has led three different teams to the NCAA Tournament, and for the Tigers this is their first trip in 20 years. Inman also coached Middle Tennessee State and EKU to NCAA appearances.
To do it with this team and returning to Central Kentucky while doing it made it extra special for Inman.
“I spent 20-something years up here in this neck of the woods,” he said. “It’s always very special. … It’s always special to be here and to be playing. I said that if I was going to go anywhere, I was hoping here to be able to share this great memory with my family and friends. It’s always special for anybody that goes back home in any situation.”
Kentucky’s Mitchell was happy to be facing off against a legend and friend.
“I have the utmost respect for him, and he’s one of the great coaches in women’s college basketball and one of the real legends of Ohio Valley basketball, and this is the third school he’s done it at,” he said of Inman. “Probably hasn’t been anyone better.”