Glenn Hartson moving from head coach of the boy’s basketball team to the girl’s team may be a shock to most people, but in his mind, this has been a long time coming.
Hartson wanted to switch five years ago when his daughter was playing, but didn’t get the opportunity. Now he had another shot at changing the game and he took it.
“The chance came this time and the athletic director asked me if I would help him find a girls coach,” Hartson said. “He then asked me if I would do it, and I said no at first because I’ve got some good kids coming up for the boy’s program. But then I got to thinking about it some more, and it interested me more and my family said I would be great and I thought it would be a great challenge.”
Hartson, a Midlothian native, had been the Panther’s head coach for the last dozen years and despite last year’s tough ending, he took Midlothian further than it had in decades.
“The boy’s program was a challenge when I took over. They hadn’t been to the playoffs in 26 years and then we made it my first year and eight out of 12,” Hartson said. “Coach (Brooke) Walthall did a great job starting to turn the program around, but I think I can bring it all the way around and do what I did with the boys program and get it winning again.”
His tenure as boy’s coach ended with a 17-game losing streak and a (6-22, 0-14 in 5-5A) record. He will take over the girl’s team that finished last year at (11-16, 5-9 in 5-5A).
“I like challenges. Everybody told me I was stupid for going to Midlothian for the boy’s job,” Hartson said. “But I grew up there and I thought it would be good. I wish I could have made this change five years ago.”
Even though his daughter is no longer at Midlothian, he has still wanted to try his hand at the girl’s game and see what he can do for the Lady Panthers.
“It’s always intrigued me to coach the girls and now this door opened,” Hartson said. “The Lord leads you in mysterious ways sometimes, and I felt like this was the way I needed to go. It was a hard decision. But I finally came to the decision I was at peace with.”
With his move to the girl’s game, he left an opening on the boy’s side, which Midlothian filled recently with the hiring of Terrance McCloud from Kemp High School.
McCloud will have his hands full trying to turn around the boy’s program and Hartson will help him in anyway possible.
“I’ll give him anything he needs. I want to assist him in anyway he needs,” Hartson said. “He’s going to come in with his own perspective on things, but he may ask me about kids’ strengths and I will be able to help.”
Along with his own style, Hartson will change the philosphy of the Lady Panthers a little bit.
“We will try and play like I did with the guys,” Hartson said. “Play a quicker pace, try and trap a bit and get them out of their offense. It’s a tough district on both sides.”
He has been able to watch his team so far during its summer games in Waxahachie, but won’t be able to start coaching them until the fall.
The Lady Panthers have gone 4-3 in their summer games so far. Most recently, they lost to Waxahachie 52-47. The Lady Indians had a 23-point lead in that game, but the sharp shooting of Megan Turner and Kayla Robinson got them close late.
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