McGlone Takes The Helm Of Petersburg
By Ryan Lazo, sports editor
May 15, 2014, 10:59
Bill Lawson III and David McGlone stand at the podium during Thursday's press conference.
PETERSBURG — When Rick Hite announced his resignation one day after the Crimson Wave were ousted from the Conference 26 Tournament by bitter-rival Hopewell many within the community were stunned. They were taken aback by Hite's decision and worried about the future of the tradition-rich Petersburg basketball program.
After all, Hite compiled a 59-18 record during his three years at the helm of the Crimson Wave and continually pushed his players to get the best out of them. His in-game adjustments were second-to-none and the sheer volume of offensive sets Petersburg ran was enough to confuse any opponent.
Yet, almost exactly three months after Hite's resignation, Petersburg introduced a new leader to steer their program for the foreseeable future in front of a wide audience of friends, media, players and faculty members in Bill Lawson Gymnasium.
Petersburg activities director Bill Lawson III stood at the podium with the Crimson Wave insignia adorned on the front and stared out at the masses before reading off an impressive list of accomplishments of the man who was sitting in the first row with his family.
Enter David McGlone, formally of Washington Christian Academy where he helped nuture four different 1,000-point scorers over eight years while also winning a state championship in 2010 in the Christian School division. As McGlone stepped to the podium and adjusted the microphone, it was obvious the fears of those within the Petersburg community were immediately alleviated.
In McGlone, Petersburg has a high-character individual who has exemplified what it takes to succeed as a coach and most importantly as a person. He has shown this with the way he starred for a Saint Paul's College basketball team which ranked No. 15 in the country during the 1997 season and is still regarded as the high-point for the 85-year-old instituition.
And even more importantly, McGlone not only knew about the Petersburg tradition of excellence on the court, but desperately wanted to be a part of it.
"I made the call immediately that morning to coach Lawson," McGlone said after discovering the job opening. "I didn't put my resume out there and said first-come and first-serve. It was either going to be Petersburg or I'd be back at Washington Christian Academy."
But it was his yearning desire to play the best there is which drew him closer to the Crimson Wave job.
He had watched the program from afar for years and listened to his father talk about the high school he was a fan of. Then, he had the opportunity to face them himself three times over the last 10 years. It was during those games, he gained a sense of admiration for how the program was built to succeed.
McGlone noticed the community support, the advanced offensive and defensive systems employed by Hite and Lawson III before him and also dreaded the inability to beat the Crimson Wave himself. Much like others have done before him, he jokingly stated during his press conference that if you can't beat them, join them, showing off a nice dose of humor.
However, the real reason he craved the job was the competition he would face in a Conference 26 group which many believe will always have multiple state championship contenders.
"Coming out of the DMV, I'm used to the pressure," McGlone said of the type of competition which awaits. "Even as a player, I was never excited about the CBA, I wanted to play in the league. I always to play the best and I believe there is a lot of substance in that. It sounds like if we win the conference, we can win the state championship, so the goals are already there."
And those goals are not going to be foreign to McGlone.
David McGlone meets the media and is relishing the chance to face Conference 26 opponents.
He is not stepping into a position without hearing first-hand accounts of what Petersburg High School athletics represents and what it means to the surrounding community. Not only had he faced them, but he constantly heard about the Crimson Wave from his wife who is a Petersburg alum.
It's what made McGlone a perfect fit to continue a brand that does not need to be taken apart. Even during his introductory press conference, McGlone did not hide from the fact. He knows he is not there to turn around a stale program.
Even in a down year, the Crimson Wave won 14 games last season and were a gritty bunch who did not give in. It's why he knows he is stepping into a situation where a solid foundation is already in place because of the success of those before him and he's ready to be a part of the Petersburg tradition himself.
"My wife is a Petersburg alum and our conversations in the morning would include some of the names that are hanging in here," McGlone said as he pointed to the rafters which include the names of Moses Malone, Mark West and Kenny Harris. "Honestly, I was starting to get tired of hearing about Petersburg ... most recently at the last Fort Lee Tournament, my 8-year-old was rooting for Petersburg ... I've known about the tradition at this high school and they have a very good program."
Now, it's McGlone's responsibility to lead the program into the future and to build off the success already in place and if the ease in which he handled Thursday morning's press conference is any indication, the Crimson Wave are in good hands.