March 1, 2019
From playing a record-breaking season during college to coaching in San Diego, basketball has always been a significant part of former West High graduate Glen Worley’s life. Growing up in Coralville and attending Kirkwood elementary school and Northwest Junior High, Worley was no stranger to West High. During his days there, Worley spent all four years doing what he loved the most: basketball. When he wasn’t playing basketball, however, Worley enjoyed being a part of the community at West.
“The best part of West was the community involvement,” Worley said. “The community rallied around the kids and tried to help the youth out as much as possible.”
Worley’s love of basketball was not unbeknownst to his peers. Science teacher Maureen Head, a fellow classmate of Worley’s, heard about his athletic success all throughout high school.
“His reputation was mostly as an amazing basketball player,” Head said. “He was a standout. It didn’t really have to do with his personality, but he definitely was one of those special athletes that comes through high school in a given point of time.”
Worley’s reputation spread even farther than just his classmates. Health teacher Kathy Bresnahan, remembers Worley’s fierce competitiveness at everything he did.
“He was a little bit cocky, like you would have to be if you’re a good athlete.” Bresnahan said. “But he had a ready smile, a great sense of humor and you could tell he worked hard for what he had.”
One specific memory that Bresnahan recalls about Worley was his ability to stay calm in stressful situations. During his freshman state championship basketball game, Worley’s last second shot helped push West to a win.
“He was cool as ice. When you make a free throw and win the state championship basketball game with no time of the clock — that’s every little boy and girl basketball player’s dream,” Bresnahan said. “I watched him do that his freshman year and I thought, ‘This kid’s going to be a special athlete.’”
After graduating high school, Worley initiated his record-breaking season for the Hawkeyes at the University of Iowa, becoming one of 35 University of Iowa basketball players to have scored 1000 points over the course of their career. From there, Worley decided to share his expertise in basketball as an assistant coach at the Academy of Art University in San Diego.
“Being involved with coaching basketball guided me over to wanting to not only help them on the court but off the court as well,” Worley said. “And now just not helping athletes, but all kids in general.”
Once he had experienced coaching, Worley decided to use the skills he learned on the court to pursue a career in teaching.
“Right now, I am a special education teacher. This is a far cry from what I wanted to do, but I’ve found it so rewarding to be able to help young people,” Worley said. “Seeing their growth through the years is truly amazing. There is never two days that are the same so its blessing.”
Although he never pictured himself as a teacher, Worley remains grateful that he was given the opportunity to have a positive influence on so many people.
“What inspired me is being able to impact young people’s lives in a positive manner,” Worley said. “I learn so much from these kids, more than they will ever know and more than I would imagine.”
Despite all his success today, Worley wishes he would have tried harder while he was in high school, and hopes that students today take advantage of the resources that West High has.
“I would change my approach to high school. I didn’t take it as serious as I should, I did enough to just get by,” Worley said. “My biggest advice for young people is sometimes its okay to fail because it gives you motivation to get and do better for yourself.”