Win or lose, Glover Smiley never changed.
Never too high. Never too low. Never too loud. Never too quiet.
His style of coaching worked. It's why he was the track and field coach at Spartanburg High School from 1993-2018. It's why he's a Hall of Famer. It's why he won championships.
Unfortunately, we lost one of the good ones earlier this month as Smiley died unexpectedly at the age of 68.
When I started as a part-timer at the Herald Journal in Spartanburg in 2005, it didn't take long to find out that Glover was one of those that you could approach no matter the outcome of the track meet. It didn't mean that he wasn't happy or disappointed. His demeanor was just always the same. He always smiled. He always shook your hand or even a hug here and there. He was always cordial and had something to laugh about. And one this was for sure, he could break down a track meet like nobody's business.
Upon taking the high school sports writer job full-time in 2009, I got to work more closely with Glover. There wasn't an e-mail for a preview of his team that he didn't answer pretty much immediately. There wasn't a "Whatever else you need just let me know'' attached in the body of the e-mail or in a phone call. He truly was one of the more pleasurable coaches to work alongside.
Glover didn't just coach years, he coached decades. And his memory of his athletes was impeccable. He could remember state meets, county meets or just regular midweek meets. If something stood out, he could recall it. He was a man that loved all his athletes whether the best of the best or those that tried their best. They were all his, and he didn't treat one better than the other male and female alike.
Rightfully so, a few years ago the old Viking Classic hosted by Spartanburg High was officially renamed the Glover Smiley Track Classic. It seemed more than fitting at the time. Now it will be a forever stamp on the legacy that Glover made at the school.