Introducing Avon’s New Athletic Director Josh Larsh

Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photography Provided

Josh LarshThe phrase “Find something you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life” certainly resonates with Josh Larsh, Avon High School’s new athletic director (AD). Though he logs a ton of hours, he’s having the time of his life settling into his dream job.

Larsh, who grew up on a small farm outside of Colfax, Indiana, claims he was never a great athlete, but that didn’t stop him from playing sports. He especially loved baseball and basketball.

“I was always really small for my age, but I loved sports,” says Larsh, who got involved in multiple ways throughout high school and college.

For instance, he was a manager for his high school’s football team. He also filmed the basketball games. While at Purdue University, he acted as student manager of the men’s basketball team from 1999 to 2003, going above and beyond when it came to fulfilling his responsibilities.

“I spent every day in the basketball office at Purdue, all summer and during vacations, because I loved it so much,” Larsh says.

Following graduation, he became a teacher and a coach, coaching everything from basketball to track to baseball to volleyball. He worked for eight years as the AD at Western High School in Russiaville, Indiana. He thoroughly enjoyed his time there, but when the opportunity arose to apply for the AD position at Avon, he couldn’t pass it up.

“Avon is one of the best high schools in the state with one of the best athletic programs in the state,” he says. “Those opportunities don’t present themselves very often. It was always a goal of mine to be at a 6A school. I wanted to know what it was like to be in the Indianapolis doughnut with that caliber of athletes.”

Larsh was appointed as Avon’s AD in the summer of 2021, embracing the school’s mantra, “We are Avon. We are one.” As such, he appreciates the team approach of his colleagues, including Lance Larkey, assistant AD; Amy Lex, athletics treasurer; Sarah Hancock, athletics secretary; and Tiffany Trusnik, building access supervisor.

“Working with these people every day makes the job fun and rewarding,” Larsh says. “I know some people like to work by themselves, but I’m not one of those people.”

Larsh maintains that the most enjoyable aspect about a career in athletics is watching student-athletes succeed. Success is not to be confused with winning, as he insists that the joy is not in the number of wins one collects.

“Our job is to help facilitate positive experiences for student athletes – COVID reminded us that things can be taken away from us and that so much is totally out of our control,” says Larsh, whose heart breaks for those students who lost a season of sports in the spring of 2020. “We had to learn how to work within the guidelines and parameters we had, and to try not to get discouraged. It would be naive to say we’ve done an excellent job of all of that because for everybody in the education world, it’s been a challenge. We’ve all had our bad days, sometimes for stretches at a time, but you stay the course and I think that’s what leaders have to do to the best of their ability.”

Larsh strives to make it to as many sporting events as possible, whether at home or away. This might mean spending 30 minutes at a tennis match, then catching 10 minutes of boys soccer, before taking in the tail end of a volleyball game.

Josh Larsh

“Also, you have to know that for months you are giving up your weekends because girls basketball bleeds into football, which bleeds into boys basketball,” he says. “Then after spring break you get into spring sports where everyone plays on Fridays. That’s the expectation, but it’s also a lot of fun. Honestly, if you don’t enjoy going to athletic events and watching kids compete, this definitely is not the profession for you.”

As an AD, Larsh wears two hats – that of event manager as well as human resources director. Working through the details and intricacies of planning so many athletic events is a big part of the job. On the human resource side, he and his staff handle the expectations of their athletes, coaches and parents.

In his free time, Larsh likes to travel and relax with a good book. The hobby that most surprises people when they hear about it is that he is a professional pyrotechnician – something that he does primarily in the summertime when he shoots off fireworks for the Indianapolis Indians games, Purdue football games, and Symphony on the Prairie shows. However, most of his free time is spent at sporting events.                                    

While some people count down the days until they get to leave school, Larsh looks for opportunities to stay.

“I like school,” he says.

That’s due in part to the environment in which he was raised. His dad was a high school principal, and his grandmother worked in the front office.

“School is always something I enjoyed,” he says. “I don’t look at it as going to work. I look at it as getting to go to school.”

It seems, then, that he will continue “not working,” as he’s loving every minute of his life.

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