Glenn Wilkes, Stetson
For the better part of seven decades, he has impacted the lives of countless individuals through playing, coaching, directing, scouting, teaching, and writing so others could better understand, improve and share the same love for the game that he holds so dear.
Once a recruit of the legendary Adolph Rupp, Wilkes played collegiately at Mercer University and spent 37 years at Stetson University filling numerous roles for the Hatters including head men's basketball coach, athletic director, a professor of sports and exercise medicine and even as his own sports information director. Even after his retirement from coaching in 1993, he used a Ph.D. in physical education to continue to mold and shape young people.
As head coach for the Hatters from 1957 to 1993, Wilkes tallied 552 wins, helped the program transition into NCAA Division I status and led Stetson from independent status into conference membership with the former Trans America Athletic Conference. As athletic director, Wilkes fondly remembers his time as an administrator in the A-Sun and the relationships that he forged as he helped the Hatters settle into a relationship that is into its third decade and that stands as the longest membership tenure in the A-Sun.
For most, garnering that many years of experience and service would have proven to be enough for a lifetime. For Wilkes, however, it provided a jump start to a second career that, of course, centered around the game of basketball.
While still in the midst of a successful coaching career that placed him among the Top 25 Division I coaches in wins prior to his retirement, Wilkes recognized the need for heightened interest in basketball in the state of Florida and founded the legendary Glenn Wilkes Basketball School, the South's first and most recognized basketball camp for coaches and players. For 37 years Wilkes directed the camp personally, earning a reputation that led him to develop long-time relationships with Nike Basketball Camps and others including the Shooting Stars Basketball Camp, the Shooting Stars Point Guard Camp, and the Shooting Stars Big Man Camp.
Wilkes has worked with USA Basketball with the likes of Gene Keady, Bobby Knight, and John Thompson, and additionally served as assistant director of the annual Michael Jordan Flight School Basketball Camp in Santa Barbara, California. He also recently completed his 20th year helping George Raveling and Raveling's son run Nike's All-America camps and skills academies. He has also worked in camps and rubbed elbows professionally with other NBA greats such as LeBron James, Vince Carter and Charles Barkley.
Along with his unending investment in collegiate basketball, Wilkes' reputation also gained him attention in the professional ranks. During Del Harris' stint as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1990s, Wilkes served as an advance scout for the team from 1994 through 1998.
As a teacher of the game, Wilkes' forte' for instruction opened even more opportunities for him in the latter part of his "second career." He operates two websites, www.basketballsbest.com and www.worldclassbasketball.com, which feature tips and instruction for coaches and players, along with tournament information, products and various general basketball information. His Basketball's Best clinics have led him not only throughout the South but across the nation and internationally to locales such as Portugal, Colombia, Korea, Latvia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Venezuela, and the Bahamas.
Since 1959, Wilkes' understanding and passion for the game also led him to author seven books on the game of basketball. With titles that remain available in both print and in Ebook editions online, his offerings range from "Winning Basketball Strategy" to the sharing of his trade secret of "How to run a Basketball Camp."
Induction into the A-Sun Hall of Fame is the most recent of numerous honors that he has received over the years. He has been honored with induction into the halls of fame from Nike, Florida Sports, Mercer University, Stetson and most recently the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.