Fanshawe b-ball coach resigns
London Community News
By Jonathon Brodie/London Community News/Twitter: @jonathonbrodie
Fanshawe College basketball bench boss Glenn Johnston believes coaching can better prepare anyone for the real world and with 35 years experience behind him on the sidelines, the rest of his life should be a breeze.
The Falcons head coach heard the final buzzer of his college career after the Fanshawe men’s basketball team finished the season 12-6. Just as Johnston used to point out the finer skills of the game to his players, he makes it clear he’s resigning and not retiring.
It might take a few months though, before the curtain call finally sinks in for the three-time Ontario College Athletic Association coach of the year.
“I think it will hit more in the fall,” Johnston said, looking for a way to fill his time now that it won’t be consumed with practices and court strategy. “Suddenly I’ll have all this time on my hands, I won’t know what to do with it all.”
Johnston’s time as coach was busier than most, making the postseason plenty of times to bring a down-and-out basketball team to provincial and national prominence. He helped Fanshawe win back-to-back Canadian College Athletic Association titles in 1980 and 1981 and earned seven Ontario college gold medals, the last coming in 2007. Johnston finished at Fanshawe with 400 wins and 195 losses.
The many accolades aren’t what Johnston will remember most in his illustrious career; it’s the players that made up his roster that will always stick with him.
“Actually, one of the most rewarding teams I had wasn’t much over .500,” Johnston said, a coach at the London Badminton Club before taking the reigns over at Fanshawe. “We really didn’t have much talent, we had a couple of injuries and basically that team shouldn’t have won more than two games and they won about eight. Is that rewarding? Yeah, it’s huge.”
Seeing his players develop their basketball talent and mature into young adults gave him energy and kept him going throughout the years.
That attitude mixed with a huge passion for the game, doesn’t go unnoticed by his players.
“He’s one of the greatest coaches I’ve ever played for, hands down,” said Patrick Sewell, playing three years under Johnston at Fanshawe to prepare him for the National Basketball League of Canada’s London Lightning team he currently plays on. “He took me from a scrawny 18-year-old kid coming out of high school and he turned me into a superstar.”
Johnston coached Sewell’s father, Bill, at the college 25 years earlier, winning the national championships in the ‘80s.
To this day, that Canadian college crown team meets at Trout Lake for an annual fishing trip and there’s no doubt the coach is always invited.
“Well if they want to eat fish I’m the only guy who catches them really,” Johnston said with a chuckle.
When asked to look back on his career at Fanshawe, the coach briefly pauses, carefully crafting his words like he had done so many times in the dressing room to pump up his players.
“Some of it is emotional. You see a kid that plays in front of his parents and I don’t know, just getting to know the guys is a rush,” Johnston said. “I think I was blessed to be doing it.”
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