Coach Stoglin Continues to Give Back
A little less than five years ago, a man who looked vaguely familiar walked into my office to talk about something that was bothering him. We exchanged a few pleasantries before he addressed the subject that had been troubling him. “I don’t understand why you don’t have a basketball program at Mid-South Community College.” As you might have guessed from the blog title above, the man in my office was the legendary basketball coach Andy Stoglin
For 20 years I had wanted our institution to be in a position to have the opportunity and resources to establish an athletic program because I believe so strongly in what it can do for and to young people. Southland Park Gaming and Racing shared that view and made a 10-year pledge in 2010 to support an expanded athletic endeavor on our campus.
We planned, initially, to create a club sports program, but when Coach Stoglin entered the picture, we began to set our sights a little higher. A few months later, Mid-South Community College fielded intercollegiate basketball teams with Stoglin leading the men and Chris Parker guiding the women.
Obviously, Southland’s amazing support of our efforts played a crucial role in the evolution of the program, but if not for that stranger walking into my office to ask why we didn’t have a basketball team, I can’t imagine that we would have progressed so far so fast.
I can tell you unequivocally that we had dozens of instances of divine intervention during the birthing process of our program, and I know with certainty that Coach Stoglin was following a celestial path when he came to my office that day. He brought us the instant credibility that we desperately needed, and he was willing to work for nothing, which was about all we could afford.
Andy Stoglin is first-class person who just happens to be a great basketball coach. His track record of developing student athletes into successful players and citizens is nothing short of stellar, and we consider ourselves extremely blessed that he chose to bring his talents and impeccable character to Mid-South Community College.
Coach Stoglin found it necessary, because of family obligations, to pursue a more lucrative coaching opportunity after his first year at MSCC, but he promised me that he would always think of himself as part of the Greyhound program. A year later, he came back to our campus as “Coach Emeritus” to assist with the men’s and women’s programs while also serving as a mentor for our students.
When Kim Ezell, who guided the Lady Greyhounds to their first-ever regional championship, informed us earlier this summer that she wanted to spend more time with her growing family, we found ourselves with big shoes to fill in a short period of time.
Once again, Andy Stoglin offered his services. He will coach the Lady Greyhounds for the 2014-15 season, a move which will allow us to take our time finding a more permanent replacement. His reason for accepting the one-year appointment? “Basketball has been pretty good to me, and I see this as another opportunity to give back,” he said. “It’s all about helping the kids.”
Stoglin enjoys his profession so much that an acquaintance once told him he would probably pay a team to let him coach. That’s not quite happening here, but it’s close. Andy Stoglin is indeed a giver, and we’re proud to have him as a part of the Greyhound family.