Earlier this week, Wellesley High School announced that Glen Magpiong, the boys’ varsity basketball coach since 2010, would be switching over to coach the girls’ team instead. We caught up with the coach — who is no stranger to coaching girls in basketball — via email to find out why he’s making the move now:
Why the switch from boys to girls?
Because it is the area I think I can make the biggest contribution. Research shows that boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 9 are equally interested in sports. Unfortunately, by the age of 14, girls drop out at a rate that is six times greater than boys. Having a daughter who played four years at Wellesley High School, attracting girls to the program and building on the existing foundation is a compelling opportunity.
Is part of the thinking here to give the girls team some instant stability, from a known entity (in you) in light of the previous coach not being rehired?
A known entity in the community at the youth and high school level is definitely one of the reasons why I chose to make the change.
Given your experience with the boys team, will there be any joint things that the teams do?
I hope the new boys coach will want to do things together. I think it could a very powerful environment. We have done things with the two programs in the past and I hope we can build on it.
Anything in particular you learned from coaching the boys that might be applied to the girls?
Not really. Basically, basketball is played on 94 feet of hardwood. The game is the same. I think I read somewhere where Mia Hamm said something like, “Coach us like boys, but treat us like ladies”. Pretty good way of looking at it.
I read that you treated the boys basketball coaching job as a full-time gig given that you had retired from State Farm before moving to the East Coast. Will that be the same case with the girls’ team or have you taken on any day job since then?
I am still a stay-at-home dad (only difference now is that my kids are in college). This is what I do, along with my Pride Basketball Clinics.
P.S. I mentioned to the coach that I recently broke my right pinky blocking a shot during a basketball game in Wellesley. His advice: “Don‘t block shots, stay down.”