Life has been busy for Greg Glenn the past couple of months. Greg, a former member of the Lipscomb University basketball team (he was a member of the 1986 NAIA National Champions), has accepted the position of head of school at Lipscomb Academy after serving in the same position at the Westbury Christian School in Houston, Texas since 2007. He graduated from Lipscomb with a B.A. in math education in 1986 and later received a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction from Houston Baptist University.
Greg, at the request of the Meyer family, was one of the speakers at former Lipscomb basketball coaching legend Don Meyer’s memorial service earlier this month in Allen Arena. He has also been traveling between Houston, Texas and Little Rock, Arkansas to be with his first grandchild born June 11. Despite all of that activity Greg still found some time to talk with Lipscombsports.com.
Originally you were cut from the Lipscomb basketball team after a three-day open tryout, but before your career was over you were a member of an NAIA National Championship team. How did all of that happen?
“I knew I was going to try out when I came to Lipscomb and that is what I did. There were only a few of us left on day three when Coach Meyer told us he wasn’t going to keep anybody from the tryouts. It was disappointing, but I understood.
“I had only been gone from that last practice a few minutes when Coach Meyer came up to me and told me he wanted me to come by his office the next day after chapel. I don’t even know what happened. It was like a blur. He had me collating papers, stapling stuff and working as a student assistant before I even knew I was going to be a student assistant. He never really asked me if I wanted to be an assistant. There was nothing official about it. I just came back the next day.”
What do you think Coach Meyer saw in you during those tryouts that made him decide you would be a good student assistant?
“I don’t really know. I have to give God the credit on that for allowing me to be around Coach and get close to him. Rusty McCain was the assistant coach at that time. It was just an amazing opportunity when Coach Meyer asked me to do that. He was so compelling. From day one I was in. He had me. Even though it was a process going through that it was an amazing one.
“I only played the one year, my senior year. We had several players out. We didn’t even have enough players to scrimmage. That is when Coach Meyer asked both me and Duwain Houston if we wanted to play or coach. We looked at Coach thinking he was nuts, but we took him up on it. Chris Snoddy (Lipscomb trainer) already had our lockers ready with clothes in them.
“I look back on those days as some of the best days of my life.”
What was Coach Meyer's biggest influence on your life?
“Coach's biggest influence on me was his servant leadership and the consistent intensity with which he lived. Whenever you were around Coach, you wanted to be better, work hard and try to emulate his humble pursuit of excellence.”
As a student from Miami, Florida what attracted you to Lipscomb University?
“There are several clear points in my life where I look back and see how God directed me and coming to Lipscomb was one of them. Having a cousin that attended Lipscomb was certainly a pull, as was the business program under Dr. Axel Swang. After initially pursuing business, I changed my focus to math education, which helped pave the way for God’s plan for me as an educator.
“I have family in McMinnville, Tennessee. I visited there in the summers growing up. Jeff Mayfield was the cousin who went to Lipscomb, so I knew of it in that way.
“I wanted to go to a Christian school. I would say it was a God thing that led me to Lipscomb, especially coming out of Miami. The business department and the Christian environment are what drew me there.
“As I look back and see God’s hands in things there is no doubt that God led that decision for me. My first class at Lipscomb was “Life of Christ” with Rubel Shelly. I was taught truth there. It was a real blessing for me.”
Before becoming an administrator you were very successful as a high school basketball coach. What made you decide to switch from business to teaching?
“I thought I was going to go into business, but I had a couple of classes in accounting and they weren’t lighting me up.
“It is a funny story. In one of the first Bisons basketball programs it had me listed as a student assistant and had down there beside my name that I was going to teach and coach. I had never even told Coach I was going to do that. I had never really thought about it.
“But after I saw that in the program I decided I needed to teach and coach. It was weird the way it worked out.”
Why have you been drawn to working in Christian education?
“As a product of Christian education, I recognize value and appreciate firsthand the benefits of evangelistic teaching. I was taught the gospel through this ministry, and I will be forever thankful. Loa and I have also been blessed to see the role Christian education and discipleship training has played in the growth and development of our three children.
“I know of no other ministry with the potential to make such a positive difference. Allowing teachers to model the example of Jesus Christ while teaching truth from God's Word is the recipe for true success. I am excited about the opportunities Christian education presents to shape hearts and minds for Christ.”
What did you learn at Lipscomb that makes you better in your job?
“I learned a lot as a student at Lipscomb, but some of the most lasting lessons focused on the importance of using my talents and acquired skills to God's glory. I had professors who were not only passionate about their subject but also took an extra-mile interest in me. For instance, several invited me into their homes for meals. Having mentors like these who lived out a consistent philosophy both in and out of the classroom made a big impression on me. Those memories continue to motivate me to be better in my current interactions with and service to young people.”
Give us an update on the family.
“Loa (Collinson, a 1985 Lipscomb University graduate) and I have three children - Amber (26), Richard (24) and Cody (21). Amber (LU class of 2010) and her husband, Ben Pellicani, currently live in Orlando, Florida. Amber is a dietician at the Arnold Palmer Children's hospital. Richard and his wife, Callie, live in Little Rock, Arkansas and they just had their first child born on June 11. Emmalyn Marie Glenn is her full name. Richard is working with State Farm Insurance. Our youngest is Cody who is attending Lipscomb University (after transferring from Louisiana State) and will be playing baseball for the Bisons. We live with Loa's dad, Bill Gage who has dementia.”
How happy are you about Cody deciding to close out his pitching career at Lipscomb?
“I am very excited. Coach (Jeff) Forehand and his staff will be a great influence on Cody from a baseball standpoint as well as academics and the spiritual side. It should be very refreshing for Cody.
“He has been in summer school at Lipscomb this month and plans to play in a summer league. He has to sit out a year but he will come back bigger and stronger.”
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.