By Matthew Scheidel
Grand Rapids Community College women’s basketball coach Dave Glazier has been involved with the game of basketball for his entire life.
Glazier comes by his love of the game honestly, as he was born into a family that was involved in not just basketball, but a number of other sports, too.
“I’m the son of a coach,” said Glazier. “He spent my childhood coaching varsity basketball, but he’s coached a number of different sports. Growing up in Grandville, I always had a ball in my hands. I played through high school. Some college opportunities came up, but it wasn’t quite right for me. I would have had to walk on at a Division-III school, and pay a lot of money to do so.”
Glazier, 38, of Grand Rapids, has maintained a close relationship with his father, James, especially when it comes to coaching. He coached at Jonesville High School, Mason High School and Vestaburg High School.
“We talk a lot,” Glazier said. “When I was a kid I would come home frustrated from practice or a game and he would say, ‘What is coach saying?’ and encourage me to listen to him and try to get better. To this day, I still ask him for help coaching. A lot of what we (the GRCC women’s basketball team) do is what I’ve learned from him. We draw up plays on a dry erase board at the dinner table all the time. It’s a lot of x’s and o’s.”
Glazier did some intramural officiating for 15 years at Central Michigan University, which helped him get into coaching.
“There was a lot of learning involved, since it was intramurals,” said Glazier. “I officiated everything, even floor hockey, which was the most fun. But basketball was the sport I had the closest relationship with. Overall, it was a great experience in my life. I don’t know where I would be had I not taken that opportunity.”
Glazier was hired as the head women’s basketball coach at GRCC after three years of being an assistant.
“When the opportunity came to take over the program, I jumped at it,” said Glazier. “I wanted to pass on the knowledge that I have. I love the game. This is something I could do for the rest of my life.”
GRCC Athletic Director Bill Firn appreciates Glazier’s knowledge of the game and his dedication to improvement
“He’s a student of the game,” Firn said. “He’s constantly looking for ways to improve his team as well as ways for his system to fit his players.”
Glazier had a number of basketball idols growing up, including the great Michael Jordan.
“The Pistons were in their heyday when I was growing up,” Glazier said. “I really like watching Isaiah Thomas. All the kids these days talk about Lebron (James) when talking about the all-time greats. Of course, to me that’s MJ. I’ve actually met Bobby Hurley when we were on a family trip to Washington D.C. He was also a part of that great Pistons team. So for me, my favorite player is either Isaiah Thomas or Bobby Hurley.”
Glazier is a graduate of Central Michigan University and currently works for the water and sanitary sewer system for the city of Grand Rapids. He does have hobbies and interests outside of basketball, like spending time with his niece, but basketball is always on Glazier’s mind.
“I have a four-month old niece that has taken over my life,” said Glazier. “We chat with relatives about how she is coming along. I am also a huge college football fan. But most of my time is spent watching basketball. You can learn a lot by just watching it.”
Glazier’s favorite restaurant in the Grand Rapids area is Florentine, located in Grandville.
“Both of my brothers work there,” Glazier said. “We know the owners pretty well. It’s a good place to go and unwind and have some family time.”
Glazier said that the key for his team to succeed this season is to continue to get better at the things that they struggle with.
“A 9-2 start in non-conference play is nothing to not get excited about,” said Glazier. “But we’ve struggled a bit in conference so far… so we have to continue to get better and compete every day. Every coach says that if you practice like it’s a game, the games become easier. I think there is certainly some truth to that.”
Firn said that Glazier has everything that he looks for in a head coach.
“He’s a great team player,” Firn said. “He’s very passionate about our team and our players and wants to be successful. He’s also very competitive. So he checks all of the boxes of what I look for in a head coach.”