Law football coach Erik Larka has taken a leave of absence, according to a letter that went to team parents this week.
V.J. Sarullo, the school’s athletic director, confirmed Larka’s leave of absence and that Chris Haley, the team’s defensive coordinator, will serve as interim head coach for the rest of the season.
“We fully support Erik’s decision,” Sarullo said. “It’s the right thing to do, for both himself and the program.”
The letter, signed by principal Fran Thompson and Sarullo, thanked Larka, a Law alumnus, for his service to the school: “Words cannot express the gratitude for what he has done for our student-athletes, the football program, the athletic department and overall school community.”
An afternoon voicemail for Larka was not immediately returned.
Law (2-5) is scheduled to play Friday night at 7 at Harding.
Law reached the CIAC playoffs for the first time in 2017, Larka’s second season back at his alma mater, squeaking into the Class M tournament with a 34-28 Thanksgiving win over Foran. The Lawmen lost to Killingly, the eventual champion, in the quarterfinals.
The Lawmen went 7-3 last season but just missed the playoffs. They opened this season with a win and were 2-2 but had lost three in a row.
Larka had been a Law assistant coach a decade earlier — he was on the staff in 2007, the school’s last winning season before 2017 — but became head coach in 2016, coming from Bacon Academy after leading the Bobcats to their first CIAC playoff berth in 11 years.
He has a record of 19-19 at Law. He was 16-15 in three seasons at Bacon Academy.