New UPEI Panthers Head Coach Darrell Glenn is clearly excited about his newest coaching challenge in Charlottetown and his motivation, commitment and energy levels were evident during our recent conversation. Glenn has hit the ground running, already connecting with all returning players and recruits – note that while the Panthers lost 5 graduating seniors (Tyler Scott, Dut Dut, Lorenzo Parker, Mark Matheson and Jake Kendrick) encompassing 70% of the shots taken and 140 minutes per game, the program had, prior to Glenn’s hiring, announced 5 recruits all from Atlantic Canada to help rebuild the roster.
While longer-term Glenn has plans to bring in a new crop of talent to re-build the Panthers in his mould, with regard to the recruits he is inheriting, he has taken the classy step of honoring the scholarship commitments that were made prior to his arrival. Those recruits include 6’4″ Bryce Corless, a combo wing forward out of Kennebecasis Valley H.S. (KVHS) and a veteran of the New Brunswick provincial team program, 6’6″ Vernelle Johnson from Halifax Grammar School and the Nova Scotia provincial team program, 6’2″ Brett Curtis, a sharpshooting wing from three-time defending New Brunswick “A” champions Harvey High Lakers and two local PEI products: 6’0″ Matt Connolly, from PEI “AAA” Provincial champions Charlottetown Colonel Gray – he was an all-star at that championship tournament and 6’3″ Adam Ryan from Charlottetown Rural which Colonel Gray defeated in the championship game – Ryan was also an all-star at the tournament.
Key veterans scheduled to return as part of Glenn’s first UPEI team in 2017-18 include 6’7″ Mickey Sedlarevic, 6’9″ Stefan Vujisic, 5’11” Shavon Gayle, 6’0″ Samy Mohamed and 6’2″ Almin Dervisevic among others.
Glenn has secured at least one new commitment from 5’11” Yusuf Ali (Toronto Vaughan Road), who played for Glenn at Seneca College for the past two seasons, this past season leading the Sting, who finished 17-3 in OCAA, in scoring at 15.1 ppg. For his efforts, Ali was named 1st OCAA East Division All-Star. Expectations are high that at least three other newcomers could be announced by coach Glenn within the coming weeks.
As many also know, Glenn also spent time as an Assistant Coach at York University and when asked about the recent coaching change with the Lions, Glenn was quick to dispel any notion of interest in pursuing the York job: “I am blessed to be able to coach at my alma-mater, my family is excited about the move to Charlottetown and I have no interest in the York position. My sole focus is on making our UPEI program one of Canada’s finest”.
Glenn is in the process of moving his family to Charlottetown and expects to be settled in time for his official start date on 1st July, 2017.