Larry Cylc is back in the game.
The 58-year-old will begin his 39th year of coaching Delaware high school football with his sixth stop as a head coach. He replaced Tyran Rice at Charter of Wilmington this week.
The Force have gone 2-8 in four of the last five seasons, the lone bright spot being a 7-3 mark in 2010. But Cylc has seen it all, and he’s rested and ready for the challenge.
“We’ve got to be competitive in [Blue Hen] Flight A, the toughest conference around,” Cylc said Wednesday. “We need to be a player in that mix and get it going.”
That is music to the ears of Charter athletic director Chris Eddy. Charter fields winning teams in several other sports and would like to become prominent in football.
“We don’t measure everything in wins and losses, but we surely don’t sit there and look at each other and say, ‘We can’t win in Flight A,’ ” Eddy said. “We’re going to go out there and try to compete in everything we play in.
“We don’t regret anything we’ve done in the past. We just thought it was time to make some changes,” Eddy added. “Larry was available, and he was excited to get back into it.”
Cylc said he has compiled a 146-108-4 record as a head coach at Archmere (1983-87), Caravel (1988-91), Hodgson (1994-2002), A.I. du Pont (2004-07) and Brandywine (2010-11). His Caravel teams won back-to-back Division II state championships in 1989 and 1990.
Seven current Delaware high school head coaches – Salesianum’s Bill DiNardo, Archmere’s Jerry Ambrogi, Hodgson’s Frank Moffett, A.I. du Pont’s Zeb Blum, Caravel’s John Reed, Moyer Academy’s MacAdoo Harrison-Dixon and Concord’s Greg Mitchell – have served as assistant coaches under Cylc.
“Larry brings a lot of experience and history and a wealth of knowledge to the program,” Eddy said. “We’re excited to have him here at Charter, and I know our kids are excited to get in his program. … We’re excited for a fresh start.”
Cylc will continue teaching driver’s education at St. Georges Technical while coaching at Charter. He plans to install a multiple-formation offense emphasizing option and power running, and a base 52 defense.
“It will be a system that many other coaches have taken and used,” Cylc said. “… We just call it ‘The System.’ Anybody who knows the Archmere system knows that it has kind of satellited itself out through the Delaware football community. It’s not just offense or defense, it’s a whole program.”
Cylc believes his experience at a variety of high schools will pay dividends at Charter, which has some of the most rigorous academic standards in the state.
“They have strengths, obviously, and they have weaknesses,” Cylc said. “The numbers are a little low right now. But I think what we’re going to be able to offer a student-athlete at Charter is the same success I had at Archmere and Caravel. Taking the highly motivated student-athlete and turning them into a winner.”