Leland Community Remembers Life of Legendary Basketball Coach

People across Leelanau County are mourning the loss of this longtime Leland girls’ basketball coach.

Larry Glass spent decades coaching and teaching in Leland.

Before that, he was the head men’s basketball coach at Northwestern University.

This is how generations of athletes will remember Larry Glass, in the huddle on the sidelines of a basketball court. Larry coached men’s basketball at Northwestern from 1963 to 1969 and girls basketball at Leland from 1978-2006.

Laurie Glass is his daughter and the volleyball coach at Leland.

“I think that he was a big believer in doing the right things for the right reasons, and not compromising that standard. I feel like he was a fundamentalist both in the classroom as an English teacher, grammar being something he mastered and required of everybody as well, as every detail of the basketball game,” said Laurie.

Larry took over the Leland girls’ basketball program shortly after the passage of Title IX. He captured state titles from 1980-1982, with a record of 82-1 during those three seasons.

“Growing up I watched his teams in 80, 81, and 82 and we were always amazed at what he could do with his teams. Those teams went 82-1 consecutive state championships, they were incredible, I think the thing Larry did is he brought excellence,” said Leland Superintendent Jason Stowe.

But off the court, Larry’s greatest accomplishment was without a doubt, his family.

“He loved having fun and playing with his children, his grandchildren and his great grandchildren. He was a big tease, he would always pretend to forget your name, or want to count your ribs or anything like that,” said Laurie.

Larry became the textbook the definition of what it meant to be a teacher and coach. His lessons helping mold students, even today.

“I don’t always have the tallest athletes for sure, and get we’re capable of competing with bigger and stronger athletes, and I think it’s because of him teaching me to use what I have to our fullest advantage and make kids believers in what they can accomplish,” said Laurie.

For information on a memorial service for Larry, click here.