New Coach, Old School

Published in the March 12, 2008 issue of Stow Independent

By Jordana Bieze Foster

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The girls' outdoor track and field team at Nashoba Regional has a new head coach for the first time in more than 30 years, but team members don't have to worry that the new guy can't relate. Dan Glover has been there.

A 1985 graduate of Nashoba, Glover ran cross country and track throughout his high school career, though he took a break each winter to play hockey. He has fond memories of training runs around Lake Boone, near where his family lived at that time, or along the quiet fairways of the Stow Acres golf course in the evenings, when no one would know he was there.

And if some Chieftain runners have aspirations of competing in college? Glover's been there too, having run cross-country and played hockey at St. Michael's College in Vermont. As an added bonus, he's spent the last four years helping Nashoba students—athletes and non-athletes alike—explore their college options as a guidance counselor. In his spare time, not that the father of five has much of it, he runs triathlons.

“I feel like what I bring in terms of my experience in athletics and my passion for running in general will hopefully help the girls in developing a lifelong love of staying in shape,” Glover said. “As a triathlete, I'm really looking forward to sharing the philosophy that running isn't the only way to get in shape, and that the upper and lower body both contribute.”

That's not to say the new coach doesn't want to win. With senior two-miler Lindsey Horowitz coming off a breakout indoor track season, junior Alee Wade establishing herself as a top sprinter, and hurdler Emily Clark leading a cadre of precocious freshmen, the pieces appear to be in place for the Chieftains to make some noise this season despite the departures of Whitney Koch and Courtney Baker.

But Glover emphatically espouses the school of thought that winning isn't everything.

“For me the most important thing is that the girls are working hard and doing the best they can, and victories will fall into place after that,” he said.

Although coaching legends Ley Ricker and Don Gribbons have said they plan return to coach cross country and indoor track this fall and winter, their departure from the outdoor track scene leaves Glover with some immense shoes to fill. (Ricker, who was named to the Massachusetts Track Coaches' Hall of Fame in 2001, will soon be joined by Gribbons, who will be inducted on April 10.) Nobody is more aware of their legacy than the man who has the unenviable task of succeeding them.

“They were my coaches when I was here, and in a sense it was disappointing that I never was able to coach with them,” Glover said. “But it's an honor to be able to step in and continue the tradition of success that they've had here for the last 30 years.”

As a first-time head coach, particularly in a multi-event sport like track and field where one coach simply can't work with all athletes at the same time, Glover will benefit from the leadership of his senior athletes. These include Stow senior distance runners Horowitz, Cristina Shea, and Izzy McKean, and sprinters Risa Langelo, Julie Heislein, and Sarah Brown.

Although practices have not yet officially started, many of the girls have stopped by Glover's office to talk about expectations. Some he knows through his day job, others he got to know during the fall as an assistant with the cross country teams, and some he's only known for a couple of weeks. But he's happy to report that all parties appear to be on the same page.

“It seems as though my goals and approach are going to dovetail nicely with what the girls are looking for in a coach,” he said. “They're a great group of girls with a great attitude. When I was in high school, being part of the cross country or track team, you were always around kids who worked hard, got good grades, and were fun to be around – and I find that to still be true. I'm just thrilled to be the head coach of this team.”

The first meet of the year will be April 4, with the girls making a tough road trip to Quabbin. The first home meet will be April 7 against Hudson.

Copyright 2008 Jordana Foster – 24 Kirkland Dr, Stow, MA – Email: – Fax: (815) 346-5239