Dave Glassey had been coaching for 47 years when he was named the High School Sports Association’s (HSSA) Coach of the Year for 2018. The former Parker baseball coach and longtime teacher accepted his award on Feb. 4 in front of colleagues, family, and friends at Marina Village in Mission Bay.
Dave has been awarded many times in his nearly five-decade career, but this award was extra special to him. Not only did it come at the end of his varsity coaching career at Parker, but it was also awarded based on recommendations from his fellow coaches—not statistics.
“I was excited about it,” he says. “This award was based on people I’ve worked with over the years. They know the program and what we’ve done in the past. Anytime your peers recognize you it makes you feel good.”
Dave’s coaching journey began in 1971. He jokes that he was awarded Coach of the Year for “longevity more than anything else,” but Parker students and parents must surely believe otherwise. Dave has been a staple at Parker for decades.
“I thought about stepping down six years ago,” he admits, but he didn’t. “We had a really good season last year. The seniors were really special to me and as they moved on, I thought that I should move on with them. It’s time for someone else to take the ship and steer it. I know Amad will do a fantastic job.”
Though he chose to step down as coach of Parker’s varsity baseball team last year, he continues to teach and coach Middle School students as the Middle School Athletics Director and P.E. teacher. Coaching young players in this age group is especially rewarding for Dave.
“Stats don’t necessarily equal worth or value. Colleges are always going to want to know stats. But I didn’t focus on winning. I focused on teaching my players to play the game as hard as they can.”Dave Glassey
“Some kids are already burned out by the time they get to high school and don’t want to play anymore,” he says, calling out club sports for their emphasis on winning over everything. “I never focused on winning. I never will. I want my kids to play hard and learn something from each game, win or lose.”
His favorite time coaching high school teams was back in the ’70s and ’80s when he felt he had more freedom to develop inexperienced kids into great players. “They learned to love playing baseball,” he says.
Now, he asks student-athletes, “Are you still having fun playing?” That essential question is why he enjoys teaching Middle School so much and why he is averse to publishing player stats.
“Stats don’t necessarily equal worth or value,” he says. Instead, Glassey focuses on the type of player and their cohesion on the team. “Colleges are always going to want to know stats. But I didn’t focus on winning. I focused on teaching my players to play the game as hard as they can.”
The 2018-19 baseball season is in full swing now with head coach Amad Stephens at the helm. So far, the team has won seven of its 15 games, but if you asked Dave what he thought about those numbers, he’d probably say it doesn’t matter as long as they’re on the diamond playing for the love of the game.