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Glenn thrives amid adversity

Longtime Newport Harbor coach diagnosed with iris melanoma earlier this year, but has remained positive.

November 04, 2009|By Steve Virgen

During all of the horror earlier this year, Glenn, of course, saw a fairy-tale ending. He pointed out there was some good news, just a 5% chance of the cancer spreading. If he maintained his healthy lifestyle and didn’t become careless with his eye-doctor appointments, that would increase his chances of beating the cancer.

It was a good thing that the freckle of melanoma on his iris was surgically removed.

Yes, everyone seems to want to be around the man who virtually welcomes adversity for that is perhaps the best way to build character.

At the core of Glenn is a man who is happy, upbeat. Away from the court, he’s actually laid back. Of course there are times when he is sad, when he cries. Like the time when his players came with flowers to the hospital to visit Mary when she delivered Glenn’s third child, Tegan. Tears welled in Glenn’s eyes when he told the story later during the team’s season-ending banquet. The Newport Harbor girls also broke into the Glenns’ house to decorate the place to welcome mom and dad home.

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But with Glenn, or mostly any coach for that matter, there are times when he is frustrated. He says he’ll probably never get over a certain loss that happened nearly two years ago. That was with the boys’ team that seemed invincible, yet lost in the CIF Southern Section Division I final.

That one crushed him so. He grew close to the players on the team. Yet that could be said for the majority of his teams, boys and girls, as he has watched his players grow since they were toddlers and then eventually taught them in the classroom and then on the court.

He now teaches economics at Newport Harbor. On the court, he also teaches values: the importance of hard work, team and sportsmanship. Respect the game, respect others. Stay on top of your academics.

They listen and execute and Glenn respects them for it.

He can be rough on the players, at times bringing them to tears, but he also holds them in high regard.

“I can’t think of a better influence to have on my children than those young boys and girls,” Glenn says. “That’s why I love to have my kids around the team.”

At any Newport Harbor volleyball match, it’s a family affair for the Glenns. Mary comes with the four kids, Hailey, age 9, Jaden, 7, Tegan, 5, and little Brogan, 2. Glenn’s father, Tom, and mother, Phyllis, also attend and support their son.

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