Another Honor for the Glass Family

By Bill Kauffman | Jan. 19, 2015, 11:33 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 19, 2015) - U.S. Women's National Team setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) has received quality training from elite coaches including Penn State head coach Russ Rose and National Team head coaches Hugh McCutcheon and now Karch Kiraly.

Along the way, she led Penn State to three NCAA Division I volleyball titles and has been USA Volleyball's Indoor Female Athlete of the Year two years running in 2013 and 2014. Glass was the Best Setter at the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World Championship in which Team USA won for the first time in program history.

Yet, her first volleyball coach has been her most important coach in her life, her mother Laurie Glass. And now Laurie has hardware of her own as the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association named her its volleyball coach of the year after leading Leland High to the Class D Michigan state volleyball championship match last November.

News: U.S. Women's Update for Jan. 19

Laurie coached Alisha and the rest of the Leland Comets to the 2006 Class D Michigan state championship, and Alisha proceeded to win the Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year and was Miss Volleyball for the state in 2006. Alisha, who left Leland as the state record holder in season aces (296), career aces (937) and career kills (3,584), was a four-time All-Michigan first-team selection in high school under the tutelage of her mother Laurie.

According to Alisha, her mom is successful as a coach because she develops key relationships with her players that translates into a cohesive family while on the court.

"She really goes above and beyond, she helps her girls in more ways than just volleyball," Alisha said. "She finds out what they need most as a person and helps create an environment to help them grow. She challenges them to hold themselves to a higher standard, to set goals, to have dreams. She's there for them when life is tough and she provides a support system outside their family. She gets the most out of her players. She assesses her team’s strengths and weaknesses and finds a way to highlight those strengths and we ended up beating people who we had no business beating because she had such a great plan."

Alisha learned many things from her mother, both on and off the court.

"I've learned how to go after what I want," Alisha said. "She always asked me, 'What are your dreams?' and after hearing what they were, she said 'What are you going to do about it? Make a plan, make goals in order for you to reach those dreams.' She showed me how to be a great coach, but she also showed me how to be a great mother. She sacrificed a lot for me to go after my dreams and when I have children, she's the model, her guidance is what I'll strive for."

Being the daughter of a coach wasn't an easy route to success, and Alisha said she would not have it any other way.

"It was a great experience playing for my mom," Alisha said. "She was tough on me so that nobody thought she was favoring me, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. She's tough in general, she sets a high standard, but not an impossible one. She cares and it shows, so that when she's tough, you know that it's coming from someone who is in your corner."

According to a news report in the Traverse City Record Eagle, Laurie said one of the first to know about her award was Alisha, who quickly relayed back two messages.

“She sent two texts,” Laurie was quoted as saying in the Traverse City Record Eagle. "(They read:) ‘I don’t know that coaches do what you do for other girls. You go above and beyond. You get out a lot from not a lot sometimes. If I become a coach I will take so much of what you do.’”

In the news article, Laurie said she was very touched by her daughter’s message, especially because of all the great coaches she has had in the USA Volleyball High Performance pipeline, National Teams, college and now in overseas clubs.