Kragthorpe: Utah prep coach retiring happily, but worried about state of sports

Posted: May 22, 2012 at 2:18 pm

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Prep sports Lehis Gladwell sought to retain traditional values.


Dick Motta influenced his career choice and Nick Emery and T.J. Haws played against his last team.

Those names help define the coaching life of Lehi High Schools Craig Gladwell, whos retiring this month.

So do his age (65) and number of years (43) in the profession, although he hardly looks old and certainly could keep going.

Gladwell is a coaching marvel. In a way, his longevity tends to obscure his achievements. He holds a place in Utah basketball history, having won four Class 2A state championships at North Sevier in the 1990s. Yet with so few varsity head coaches of high-profile sports staying in the game for anything approaching his tenure, Gladwell is further distinguished.

"I just plugging along, and loving it, right up until now," he said.

This year became the stopping point not because of any driving forces, necessarily, and not accompanied by any regrets. Attending the state tournament in March was enjoyable for him. He didnt find himself longing for one last chance to coach.

Yet amid his satisfaction, hes mildly disillusioned about high school sports. While reflecting in a classroom at Lehi on a recent afternoon, Gladwell acknowledged being happy hes at the end of his career, not the start.

"I dont like the direction its going," he said. "Its all about recruiting. Its all about who can assemble the best talent, and then win. Its high school, education-based athletics. Its not college or pros. That part frustrates me."

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Kragthorpe: Utah prep coach retiring happily, but worried about state of sports

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May 22nd, 2012 at 2:18 pm

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