The former UPEI Panthers point guard was announced as the new head coach of the men’s basketball team on Tuesday. He signed a three-year contract with the Panthers that begins July 1. He replaces Tim Kendrick, whose contract was not renewed earlier this year following five seasons as the Panthers bench boss.
Glenn visited the campus last week and had a chance to meet some of the players.
“Coming back to the Island and being in the sports centre brought back so many amazing memories,” he said on Tuesday. “It’s nice to be a part of the past and the present.”
Glenn attended UPEI from 1988 to 1994 and helped the Panthers win an Atlantic Universities Athletics Association (AUAA) championship in his rookie season. The George Morrison-coached squad contained the likes of Peter Gordon and Alonzo Wright.
After his playing career, Tracy (MacEachern) Ellsworth asked Glenn to join her coaching staff with the Panthers women’s team.
“At that time, I had never thought about coaching,” Glenn recalled. “I said, ‘Sure. I’m here. Why not?’”
The Panthers made it to the 1995 conference final before losing by a couple of points to Memorial.
“I remember standing on the court, crying with the girls,” Glenn admitted.
While painful at the moment, the year was very gratifying, he said, and opened his eyes to a new passion.
“I remember thinking . . . I want to do this for the rest of my life.”
Glenn returned home to Toronto and joined the staff at Centennial College, continued to take coaching courses and started working with provincial teams. After working at a bank for three years, he went to the University of Toronto to get his teaching degree.
He has spent the past 17 years teaching while coaching part-time at various school, college, university and club teams.
The Panthers position will be his first full-time head-coaching job.
“He’s passionate about the game and knows the game very well,” said Chris Huggan, director of UPEI athletics and recreation. “He’s very, very well-connected and very well-respected.”
While the university wouldn’t say how many people applied for the job, Huggan said there were a lot of excellent candidates.
Huggan said Glenn is a certified instructor, has an education background and can speak to players he’s trying to recruit to the Panthers from his own perspective.
“He really offers a lot to our coaching staff and our university,” Huggan said. “He is a great catch for UPEI.”
Glenn said he likes to play an up-tempo game, but he said he will adapt his style to the skills of the players on the roster.
The Panthers missed the playoffs this season and Tyler Scott, Dut Dut, Lorenzo Parker, Mark Matheson and Jake Kendrick all played their final university games, leaving a large hole on the UPEI roster.
Glenn said he would be reaching out to the returning players, and any players who had committed to UPEI, in the next couple of days. But the new bench boss knows more will be needed.
“We’re already working really, really hard at making phone calls and making connections because there are some kids that still haven’t committed,” Glenn said. “One of the strengths I think I bring to the job is having those connections. Hopefully those connections will pay off, and we’ll be able to bring a few top-notch players with us this year.”
He is familiar with Toronto hoopsters Amin Suleman and Samy Mohamed, who played with the Panthers last season.
The Panthers won conference titles in 1986, 1988, 1989 and 2003. They lost the 2016 final by two points to Dalhousie.
“I’m certainly going to do everything in my power to try and bring us back to that level and for us to be consistently there,” Glenn said. “It’s something I know I can’t do alone. It’s something that we’re going to have to do as a community.”
Need to know
A look at Darrell Glenn, the new head coach of the UPEI men’s basketball team.
Personal – Glenn is married to Koren Bogel-Glenn. They live in Richmond Hill, Ont., in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and have three children. Danika, who will be 25 this year, is working in Edmonton. Elesea will turn 13 this year while Rayner is 10.
Education – Arts degree from UPEI and an education degree from the University of Toronto.
Basketball experience – Played at UPEI from 1988 to 1994 and was an assistant coach with the women’s Panthers in 1994-95. He has held coaching positions at Humber College, Seneca College, high school, university, provincial and national teams. He won regional and provincial titles in 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009 at Humber.
Awards – Glenn was named the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) coach of the year for 2008-09 while at Humber College and is a three-time Ontario conference coach of the year.
Did you know? Glenn is 24th on the Atlantic University Sport career assist list with 346.
Glenn said: “I was a pass-first player. . . I was always fortunate during my time at UPEI to always play with outstanding talent, so I was never really called upon to score.”
Staff – Glenn said he is working on putting a staff together. He would like to get a couple of people from the Island involved, including his former coach George Morrison, and bring one of his assistants from Seneca.