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From The Sports Desk: Special night for Glenn

April 04, 2011|By Steve Virgen
  • Dan Glenn is in his 25th year of coaching girls' and boys' volleyball at Newport Harbor High, an achievement honored by many Saturday night.
Dan Glenn is in his 25th year of coaching girls' and… (KENT TREPTOW, Daily…)

Laughter and tears intertwined while many reminisced during a special tribute for a one-of-a-kind coach Saturday night. Everyone at Anne Yardley Caldwell's home came to honor Dan Glenn for his 25 years and 50 seasons of coaching boys' and girls' volleyball at Newport Harbor High.

Many spoke with great fondness of memories, talking about all the greatness, and comedy and lessons that unfolded throughout the years. And while they spoke of the past, more memories were being created during this one special night for Danny Glenn. This certainly wasn't any type of retirement party. He's in his 25th year and ready to coach some more.

This week there are Sunset League matches against Edison and Huntington Beach. Glenn will try to keep his boys' team undefeated in league play. But Saturday night, strategies and scouting reports were left at the office.

It was time to pay attention to each speaker that came to the microphone. They each had something different, something funny and something poignant to say about Glenn.

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The coach known to bring out the best in his players also somehow brought out the best in those who spoke about him throughout the night.

Friends, fellow coaches and former players talked about the coach who has molded young men and women into champions.

He has coached girls' teams to seven CIF section titles and five CIF state championships, and guided boys' teams to two CIF section titles.

He also taught these kids to become men and women, to contribute to their communities. Not just to become star athletes, but to put forth their best at whatever they set out to do — to be the best parent, doctor or teacher.

Rob Espero, a Harbor alumnus who announces matches each year, served as the emcee of a meaningful program of speakers during the tribute.

Charlie Brande, the longtime club volleyball director who coached at Harbor, Corona del Mar and UC Irvine, opened the program. One great man spoke about another great man. They are friends who at one time competed against each other. Both are known for being stern coaches who push their players to succeed.

At first Brande thought he would have to follow Larry Hirst, the Newport Harbor boys' basketball coach who is a smooth talker and can deliver a punch line with the best of them.

But Brande spoke first, and it was fitting. Somehow everything seemed to fall into place during Glenn's tribute.

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