Clyde Glover has coached girls high school basketball for 30 years and enjoys building winning teams.
In two decades at Monsignor Edward Pace High School, the Lady Spartans won three state championships in 2002, 2003 and 2005 under his leadership, Glover said.
During the past nine years, Glover said he won five district championships at three schools: twice at Miramar High School, twice at Miami Northwestern Senior High and one for Booker T. Washington Senior High School.
He’s going to try and replicate his winning history at Barbara Goleman Senior High. It’s perhaps his biggest challenge.
Glover, 69, is coaching a program that was on hiatus for three years because the school didn’t have at least five players to compete against other schools.
His team of 13 has four freshmen, five sophomores and four juniors. Most of them, he said, played basketball in middle school and in pick-up games inparks.
Others had never played the game until the season began.
The girls are off to a 1-7 start; their only victory was against Avant Garde Academy in Hollywood on Nov. 19.
“The girls who played before have never been taught how to play the game at the high school level,” Glover said. “And the girls who never played basketball at all are being taught the basic fundamentals: pass, dribble and shoot.”
Gators’ freshman guard Jazlynn Tapia, who played basketball at Hialeah Gardens Middle School, said she taught herself the game when she was 7 years old.
The 5’3 player, who’s averaging seven points per game, said her biggest challenge is playing against taller opponents.
“I got to shoot over them, which is hard, but I have the speed to dribble by them and shoot in the open court,” she said.
When it was active, the girls basketball program made the playoffs in 2001, 2002 and 2003, according to Jay Flinchum, Goleman’s athletic director.
It never advanced to the regionals.
Glover, a Georgia native who graduated from
Savannah State University, said his modest goal this season is to make the playoffs.
A friend suggested to Glover that he restart the program since he embraces challenges, and he lives in town.
“I can walk there from my house,” he said.
Glover said he convinced the girls to play by asking them one question:
“Who wants to learn how to play basketball from an experienced coach?” he said.
“Not, ‘Who wants to play basketball?’ That’s how I developed good teams in the past, by first teaching them how to play basketball.”