Veteran coach says ‘faith, family, friends’ are foundation for success
By John Herndon, 110forChrist.com
During his 33 years on the sidelines, Glen Drury was known for developing teams that scrapped to the end, got everything out of their athletic abilities and made life miserable for opponents with stingy defense.
But Drury says the x’s and o’s were not the foundation of his success.
“You have to have faith, family and friends,” he said as we sat on his front porch.
Drury built on that foundational trio to compile a 535-350, mostly at Anderson County High School, where he was the head coach from 1987-2018. Drury began his head coaching career just down the road at old Western Anderson High, where he coached for two seasons before returning to his alma mater. He also served as an assistant coach at Berea College and at Anderson.
Drury, who has been battling Parkinson’s Disease for several years, retired from coaching in 2018.
Along the way, Drury’s teams won Eighth Region championships in 1997 and 2009. His teams were regional runners-up three times and won seven 30th District championships. Drury was also active in the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches and was inducted into that group’s Court of Honor in 2009.
In 2011, Drury was selected to coach the Kentucky All-Stars for the annual summer series with Indiana. The outmanned Kentucky team took on Drury’s persona, fighting to the last second before Indiana’s Marquis Teague, who would go on to start on the University of Kentucky’s national championship team the following season, hit a last-second jump shot to give the Hoosiers a win in Louisville.
“One of the greatest things I have done is coaching the Kentucky All-Stars,” Drury says. “That was a great experience.”
Drury was also an assistant coach for the All-Stars in 2010.
Even though he’s been out of coaching for two seasons, the accolades continue to arrive Thursday as Drury was selected as the 2020 recipient of the Founders’ Coaching Award, presented by the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation.
The foundation also sponsors the Kentucky half of the summer all-star series with Indiana.
The Founders’ Coaching Award selection committee is headed up by Ralph Richardson, the state’s Mr. Basketball from 1958.
“This is a great honor,” Drury said. “It’s a very distinguished honor. The game of basketball should be about developing what you have and being the best you can be for your team with what you’ve got.”
Drury said the award is based on coaching longevity, character, integrity for the game and for student-athletes. Previous award winners include Randy Napier (M.C. Napier and Perry County Central), Billy Hicks (Scott County, Corbin, Harlan and Evarts) and Donna Moir (Louisville Sacred Heart).
Drury’s award was originally scheduled to be announced in April at the Mr. and Miss Basketball announcement banquet. However, the COVID-19 crisis forced the Lions Eye Foundation to cancel the ceremony and the summer all-star series. Drury will be honored during a virtual announcement to be held on Sunday, June 28 when the Mr. and Miss Basketball winners will be announced.
Drury’s teams were known for their tenacity and it is not uncommon for former opposing players and coaches to comment about that trait years after going against the Bearcats. “That makes me proud that I was able to coach teams with that competitiveness,” Drury says. “Part of that is having good coaches around you and people trying to do what they can to make the team and themselves better. When you have that, the chances are good for success.”
Drury also credited his hometown for supporting his Anderson teams. In his award video, a background picture will show the thousands of red-clad supporters filling one end zone of Rupp Arena when the Bearcats made their last trip to the Sweet 16.
“You’ve got to have faith, family and friends,” Drury said again. “You have got to have faith in God. That’s number one. You have to have your family. My wife and family have supported me through everything. And you have to have friends. We have a great support staff and administration and a great community.
“When you have those things, you can be successful.”