At the blink of an eye, Paul Glynn went from moving back to Northeast Louisiana to accepting a head coaching position as the new Sterlington head boys basketball coach. Or at least it feels that way.
“It’s incredibly quicker than I envisioned,” said Glynn, who spent last season as an assistant at Ouachita after moving back from Kentucky. “I went from organizing summer conditioning workouts through zoom for Coach (Jeremy) Madison to landing a head coaching job just like that.”
Glynn said he heard Sterlington was looking for a new coach after former coach Cory Emerson accepted the assistant principal gig at Caldwell Parish. As fate would have it, that brought him to a face-to-face meeting with someone he grew familiar with in his previous stint at Sterlington in the early 2000s.
“I’ve known Paul for a long time personally, but I’ve never actually worked with him,” Sterlington principal Jason Thompson said. “He’s a basketball guy. He’s been around the game a long time. This late in the game, to get somebody of his caliber is a big deal. And our kids certainly deserve it.”
When Glynn coached at Sterlington, his daughter played softball with Thompson's daughter. Thompson said he knew back then that Glynn was a high-character guy.
Since coaching at Sterlington in the early 2000s, Glynn and his family moved to Kentucky where he spent 13 years in the coaching ranks, rubbing elbows with Murray State coaches for the better part of it.
“I actually went to church with (former Murray State and Texas A&M coach) Billy Kennedy,” Glynn said. “Those coaches back then would allow me to come watch practices, and I just soaked it up like a sponge.”
Glynn has spent 11 years as a head coach, and has been a teacher for 29 years. Before Glynn made his way to Sterlington, he spent three years coaching at Huntington High School (Ferriday) and the next seven years at Monterey.
After playing against the big boys in Kentucky, and even checking one off the bucket list when he coached in the state tournament in Rupp Arena, Glynn had a conversation with his wife, Michelle, about coming back to Louisiana now that their four children had left the nest.
Glynn received a call from Ouachita principal Larry Long, who heard through the grapevine that Glynn was looking to come back home. After meeting with Madison and head football coach Jeff Fitzgerald, Glynn felt it was the right move for him to make.
“I told Jeremy, ‘You are way older than your years,’” Glynn said. “As long as I’ve been in this, I was still learning valuable things from Jeremy. You need to have a coach like him when you’re running a 5A program. Now I move to perhaps the toughest district in the state. Every district in this area is strong. We’re going to work hard and be the best team we could be.”
Thompson said Glynn knows good and well what type of competition awaits him in district, but he didn’t bat an eye at that. Thompson, the former championship-winning football coach for the Panthers, liked that.
“Two things come to mind with him taking this job — he hasn’t had the luxury of having the summer to work with them, and secondly, it’s no secret that we arguably play in the toughest basketball district in the state,” Thompson said. “Paul’s excited about that opportunity.”
Glynn said one of his strong suits as a coach does involve strength and conditioning, which is why Madison wanted him to work with Ouachita’s team this summer.
“That’s definitely a passion of mine because the more finely tuned the body, the more you can ask it to do,” Glynn said. “Everybody has limits, but we need to maximize what these kids have genetically.”
With an empty nest and a head coaching opportunity back in his home state, Michelle, couldn't help but share in her husband's excitement.
"I just got off the phone with her because she's a travel nurse and she's stuck in St. Louis," Glynn said. "But she told me, 'I'm excited about this. We get to get back into Friday night lights too. This is fixing to be cool.'"