Larry Ginsburg, 84, the highly successful football coach at Woodbury and Eastern high schools and one of the founders of the Adam Taliaferro Foundation, has died.
Mr. Ginsburg died from complications from amyloidosis, a blood disorder, according to his son, Andrew. Funeral services will be private with plans for a celebration of life in the future, Andrew Ginsburg said.
Mr. Ginsburg was the coach at Eastern Regional during Taliaferro’s playing career and was one of the driving forces in the creation of the foundation when Taliaferro suffered a severe spinal-cord injury during his freshman season at Penn State in 2000.
“Coach had a profound impact on my life,” Taliaferro, now a New Jersey state assemblyman, said Thursday morning. “He believed in me before I even believed in myself as a young sophomore.”
In a 33-year coaching career that began in Delaware, Mr. Ginsburg’s teams won 213 games and multiple championships.
A graduate of Southern High in Philadelphia, Mr. Ginsburg began his coaching career at Dover High, where his teams went 73-25-1 in 10 seasons. Two of his teams were undefeated.
At Woodbury, Mr. Ginsburg’s teams went 70-48-5 and won four Colonial Conference titles and three South Jersey Group 1 sectional titles. Featuring star running back Jimmer Bundy among other standouts, Mr. Ginsburg’s last three teams went a combined 31-1, including back-to-back,11-0 seasons, according to research by South Jersey sports historian Chuck Langerman.
Mr. Ginsburg was the Brooks Irvine Football Club’s coach of the year in 1989, his final season at Woodbury. He won his final 23 games as Woodbury’s coach.
At Eastern, Mr. Ginsburg’s teams went 69-28-2 and won three Olympic Conference American Division titles. His last team, with Taliaferro as a star running back and defensive back, won the division title and advanced to the South Jersey Group 4 title game, losing to Atlantic City on a last-second field goal.
Taliaferro was a starting defensive back as a freshman at Penn State in 2000, when he suffered the injury in a game at Ohio State. Doctors predicted that Taliaferro would not walk again, but he made a remarkable recovery, earned his law degree, and pursued a career in politics.
Mr. Ginsburg helped start the Adam Taliaferro Foundation, which has provided financial and logistical support to dozens of people who have suffered spinal-cord injuries, as well as their families.
After high school, Mr. Ginsburg enlisted in the Marines. After his discharge, he attended West Chester State University.
Mr. Ginsburg is survived by his wife of 56 years, Harriet, as well as son Andrew and daughter Felice.
“A wonderful man who was a giant in South Jersey football,” said Tom Iacovone, president of the Adam Taliaferro Foundation and former coach at Gloucester Catholic. “I’m blessed he was my friend for 45 years.”
Iacovone said Mr. Ginsburg remained deeply involved with the foundation during its 20 years of existence. When the foundation switched its annual June all-star game to a seven-on-seven format in 2019, the new event was known as the Larry Ginsburg ATF Classic.
“We lost one of our rocks,” Iacovone said. “Larry helped so many people on so many levels it’s impossible to quantify his impact.”
Taliaferro said Mr. Ginsburg was a mentor and friend.
“Coach has been there for me every phase of my life over the last 25 years,” Taliaferro said. “He gave me the tools to become a football player. He was the catalyst behind the foundation. And as an adult, he has been a great friend.