LARRY BARNSON Larry H. Barnson, a native Nevadan, was an integral member of the Southern Nevada athletic community for more than 50 years. Coach Barnson passed away September 14, 2019, with his loving family by his side. He was born March 6, 1934, in Las Vegas, and grew up in Boulder City where he began setting records at an early age. In fact, it was a young Larry Barnson who scored the first touchdown on the Boulder City High School football field. In 1964, as a member of UNLV's first graduating class, Coach Barnson turned his love for sports into a full-time profession when he became a teacher and coach at Western High School, and then at Clark High School as a member of its first faculty. During his 29 years at Clark, Larry Barnson, affectionately known to many as "Barney," became one of the winningest coaches in the state of Nevada including seven collective Nevada AAA state championships in football and track and field. In addition to his distinguished coaching record, Coach Barnson was the recipient of many awards, including induction into the NIAA Hall of Fame in 2011, the Southern Nevada Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame in 1996, and the Southern Nevada Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 1996. Coach Barnson received the ultimate honor in 2014 when Clark High School debuted a new scoreboard bearing his name and officially named the field after him, the same field where he enjoyed so many victories and mentored so many young people. His contributions to athletics were not limited merely to coaching. Barnson shared his ability to execute well-managed athletic programs with many community organizations including Special Olympics, Police Olympics, Senior Olympics and the Barney-Brad-Guy Scholarship Track Meet. After making a difference in the lives of more than 17,000 students and athletes in Clark County, Coach Barnson retired in 1995. Perhaps a plaque hanging on Coach Barnson's wall at home, given to him by former student athletes, best sums up the essence of this man and his love for sports and youth. It reads, "Thank you, (Coach Barnson), not only for making us better athletes, but for making us better men." He is survived by his wife, Kathy, of 52 years; daughters, Ginnie Barnson and Lezlie Barnson-DeNardin; son-in-law, John DeNardin; and grandchildren, Abby DeNardin, Brady DeNardin and Christopher Reed. Visitation will be at 11:30 a.m. with services at 1 p.m., Sat., Sept. 21, both at Trinity United Methodist Church, 6151 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89146. Burial will be at 11 a.m.Mon., Sept. 23, at Memory Gardens Memorial Park, 7251 W. Lone Mountain Road, Las Vegas, NV 89129. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Clark High School Athletic Department.
Published in Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sep. 18, 2019.