Coaching high-school kids can get in your blood.
It’s an addiction that some men and women simply can’t shake.
There’s really no other way to explain what’s happened here in York County over the past couple of weeks.
The competition, the teaching and the opportunity to mentor young people in their formative years becomes an all-consuming passion.
That certainly must be the case with Dick Guyer and Kevin Glover.
Both men had very good reasons to give up on high-school coaching and move on to other endeavors, but they just couldn’t do it.
The pull to get back into the game was just too great.
That’s why Guyer has returned as the head swimming coach at York Suburban and why Glover is the new head coach of the York High girls’ basketball program.
The Guyer story: Guyer led the Suburban swim program for 41 years, molding the Trojans into a state-wide juggernaut, before resigning in 2009 while he battled leukemia. The fight wasn’t easy. He underwent a year’s worth of chemotherapy, a bone-marrow transplant and dropped 50 pounds.
Ultimately, however, he received a clean bill of health and returned to Suburban as an assistant under one of his former swimmers, Craig Brennan, who took over after Guyer resigned. During his tenure, Brennan kept the program achieving at a very high level.
When Brennan was forced to resign because of work commitments, Guyer recently stepped back into the head-coaching role with the Trojans.
Most men in their 70s would be looking to slow down and enjoy the leisure of retirement.
That’s not Guyer’s style.
“I never really left voluntarily. Had I been healthy, I’d probably still be teaching and coaching, believe it or not,” Guyer said recently. “It’s a way of life for me. It’s a commitment, a dedication. It just makes my wheels spin.”
The Glover story: Glover’s story is very different. He’s a young coach, having graduated from York High in 2001. By 2016-17, however, he had already earned a head-coaching job with the Dover girls’ basketball program, leading that team to the District 3 Class 5-A playoffs.
The trajectory on his coaching career appeared headed straight up. Then it came crashing down.
He was suspended from his Dover coaching job in December when one of his assistants was alleged to have had a sexual relationship with one of her players. Eventually, that assistant was charged with third-degree felonies of institutional sexual assault and unlawful contact with a minor.
Glover, however, was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing in the case by authorities, Still, despite strong support from players, coaches and fans, he never returned as Dover’s head coach. After meeting with school officials following the season, Glover opted to resign.
“They had concerns, and obviously I had concerns with the whole ordeal and how everything happened. And I kind of left the meeting with no answer,” Glover said at the time. “… I just felt that it was mutually in everyone’s best interest to just part ways.”
Glover was done at Dover, but he wasn’t done with high-school coaching. His tumultuous experience during the winter apparently didn’t sour him on the vocation.
He soon learned that his good friend, Larry Corbin, was leaving as the York High girls’ coach. Glover saw the job at his alma mater as a good opportunity, despite the fact that the Bearcats were coming off an 0-21 season.
He got a great recommendation from Corbin.
“There's not another person that would be able to do the things that I believe that he can do to help turn this program around,” Corbin said. “He’s a city resident and he knows everyone and he’s a great dude both on and off the court.”
Doing what they love: So now Guyer and Glover are back doing what they love.
They’ve returned to a profession that has more than its fair share of negatives — the pay is low, the hours are lousy, the parents and fans can be overbearing and the administrative duties can seem endless.
Still, they couldn’t stay away.
Guyer likely explained it best.
“I love it," he said. "It’s not a job, it’s my life. I’m living my dream.”
For Guyer and Glover, the dream continues.
Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.