Larry Czer Obituary, Death – Longtime Martin Luther College English professor and coach Larry Czer died Monday morning at 66. From 2007 through 2014, Czer coached MLC’s women’s basketball team, which won the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference and qualified for the NCAA tournament in 2011-12. The lone women’s NCAA qualifier is that team. The Knights went 20-8 and 12-2 in the UMAC that season. As a starting forward, Amanda Carlson, née Burk, was one of the Knights’ senior leaders.
Carlson called Larry a great basketball coach. “His coaching showed his love for the game. His death saddened me. I knew him from high school. During the Knights’ NCAA tournament run, freshman Alex Maas, née Anthon, averaged 9.8 ppg and 4 RPG. She praised Czer’s classroom and court passion. She claimed Coach Czer was a terrific educator who loved books and teaching. “He was a great coach and we shared so many memories with him, especially winning the UMAC Championship and making the NCAA tournament. He’ll be missed, and we’ll pray for his family’s consolation.”
Czer taught English and coached girls’ basketball at Plymouth West Lutheran High School before joining MLC. Czer marked 40 years in the WELS ministry in 2019. Czer coached the women’s golf team for eight years after taking over in 2014. Czer helped develop a comprehensive women’s team in 2015. He coached women till 2022. Dave Biedenbender, MLC Activities Director, thanked Czer for his years of dedication in the classroom, on the basketball court, and on the golf course.
“We certainly thank Larry for all of his years of service to MLC as a professor of English and as a women’s basketball and golf coach,” Biedenbender said. “Very thankful for his time and effort to help our athletic program, and he was part of one of the greatest moments in MLC women’s basketball history with a trip to the NCAA tournament in 2012, and that’ll always be a memory we have. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Czer family as they mourn Larry, but rest assured that Larry is in heaven with his savior and that’s the best thing that could have happened to him. We’re thankful he’s in Jesus’ arms.”
As MLC searched for a Sports Information Director, Czer maintained MLC’s website with current athletic event information and news. “Larry really helped us out tremendously at the beginning [school] year when we had no SID,” Biedenbender added. “And Larry stepped in and basically learned how to put stories on the web and mentored our young students who were trying their best at writing stories. I would phone him and ask if he could help put a score or story online, and he was extremely proactive in helping us keep it going.”
Biedenbender became close to Czer while coaching his daughters at Minnesota Valley Lutheran in the early 2000s. Czer did MVL’s scorebook under Biedenbender. Czer worked with the New Ulm Human Rights Commission outside of school. Alma Marin-Millan posted about Czer on Facebook. She believed Larry Czer was a lucky find. “Integrity, courage, and grace. He lived his faith every day with his family, friends, and everyone he met. He led and taught by example. He was greatly missed! Ramona and his beloved family are in my thoughts. Until then, Larry.”