The 40th Illinois Basketball Coaches Association inductions take place Saturday night in Normal, and The News-Gazette area will be well-represented: Steve Arends (Gibson City/player), Diane Enos (Urbana/coach), Amanda Glazebrook (Sullivan/player), Larry Huisinga (DeLand-Weldon/player), Ossie Jordan (Gibson City/coach), Roland Meyer (Cissna Park/friend), Corliss Norton (Buckley-Loda/friend), Bob Smith (Urbana/friend) and Sean Taylor (Rantoul/coach). A closer look at three honorees.
URBANA — Diane Enos sees the two green banners inside the Urbana Middle School gymnasium every day.
Enos, a P.E. teacher at the school, has images that come from those two state championship banners flash through her mind frequently.
"Coaching at Urbana Middle School was an unbelievable experience I'll just have with me throughout the rest of my life," the Fisher resident said. "I'll always remember the parents, the players and the school itself. Just getting that far and winning a state championship is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It's always a memory you'll have."
Enos will be recognized for her accomplishments coaching middle school girls' basketball Saturday night.
Enos started her coaching career at J.W. Eater Junior High in Rantoul and coached there from 1980 to '82. Her 1980-81 team made it to the state quarterfinals when the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) girls' basketball state tournament was comprised of one class. It was the first state appearance for the Eater girls' basketball program, which has made six state trips since.
It was at Urbana Middle School, however, where she started teaching in 1992 and still works, that Enos had her greatest success on the court.
She coached the seventh- and eighth-grade girls' teams, and from 1993 to 2003, Urbana qualified for the state tournament 11 times with Enos as head coach.
In 1996, she won a Class AA state championship coaching the seventh-grade team, and in 1998, she won a Class AA state championship coaching the eighth-grade team.
"The players have been such good role models for the other players," Enos said. "I think that's one of the reasons why we had that success that continued throughout those years. The seventh-graders would see the eighth-graders go to state, and they would want to do that, too. They would be trying to work as hard as that team because they want to have the same success. Throughout the years, the girls were really good about pushing each other in practice and making each other better players."
Enos graduated in 1976 from Argenta-Oreana, but the school didn't have girls' basketball. She played one year at Millikin.
"I didn't get to play much because I had absolutely no experience," she said with a laugh. "That experience certainly helped my coaching in just seeing girls from different high schools and different skills they brought to the game. I learned from the coaching staff about good drills and different plays that we used. It certainly helped my coaching."
Enos also coached softball, volleyball and track and field.
"Whenever I first started teaching, I wasn't married," said Enos, who has three children, Jason, 23; Bryan, 19; and Brittney, 12, with her husband Doug. "You just start out as enthusiastic and wanting to be involved in everything, so you coached all year-round ... all the time."
One of the players she coached in Urbana was LaToya Bond, who went on to play at Missouri before she was drafted into the WNBA in 2006.
"She was somebody that was just above in skill level," Enos said. "She stood out all the time in the games she played, and actually, she was kind of a quiet player, but she was a leader with her skills. I've had quite a few players over the years that have been very skilled."
Enos, who quit coaching in 2007, said coaching girls at the middle school level was rewarding, and she doesn't mind that she never had her coaching career go beyond that level.
"One thing I've always liked about the middle school level is a lot of times you're their first school coach," she said. "The growth that you see from their sixth-grade year to their eighth-grade year is unbelievable. You see a whole different player by the time they're leaving."
RANTOUL — Sean Taylor already has one reason to celebrate Saturday. His youngest son, Cory, turns 2.
Getting inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame is another.
The Rantoul native and current Quincy High boys' basketball coach has compiled a 430-188 record in 22 years of coaching high school basketball at five schools.
"I'm honored," said Taylor, Quincy's coach for nine years. "I think (the IBCA) is a great organization. There have been tremendous people who started the organization and continue to run it to this day. To be honored by that group of people is very rewarding and very humbling."
Taylor found himself at basketball practices and games at an early age. His father, Dick Taylor, was the Rantoul High boys' basketball coach from 1970 to '75.
"I got to hang around the gym and watch his teams play," said Sean, who graduated from Rantoul in 1985. "My brothers both played for Rantoul, so I watched them. I've been around the game my entire life and was lucky in the life I grew up with."
Sean played under Ray Smith at Rantoul, and his senior season saw the Eagles advance to a Class AA regional title game. The team, however, lost to Danville in that game after upsetting Champaign Central in the semifinals.
"He was devastated," said Carolyn Taylor, Sean's mother.
As a coach, Taylor has won 13 regional titles (seven straight to start his Quincy tenure) and three sectional titles. He has taken three teams to at least the Elite Eight in Illinois, most recently Macomb in 2001. His 1995-96 Shelbyville team won the Class A state crown.
Taylor coached Shelbyville in the final state tournament at the Assembly Hall (1995) and the first state tourney at Peoria's Carver Arena (1996).
Taylor wasn't just observing and making mental notes from watching his father's Rantoul teams practice and play.
He was doing what every child would do if given access to older and more talented athletes: collecting autographs.
"He used to have a spiral notebook, and he would sit there and keep score," Carolyn Taylor said. "After the games were over, he used to wait for them to come out of the dressing room and get the autographs. I think he still has that spiral notebook with all those kids' autographs in it."
Sean attended St. Malachy from first grade through eighth grade and played on the St. Malachy boys' basketball team that won a 1981 state championship, the only one in the Catholic school's history.
He and his wife, Lisa, have three children — Whitney, 10, Kyle, 8, and birthday-boy Cory.
"You couldn't ask for a better place to grow up," Sean said of Rantoul.
Taylor graduated from Illinois after he transferred from Augustana. During his college years in Champaign-Urbana, he assisted the Parkland College men's basketball team. That helped him land his first head coaching gig at St. Teresa in 1990. He went 72-35 in four seasons in Decatur before compiling an 81-12 three-year record at Shelbyville. Webster Groves (Mo.) is the only place Taylor left without a winning record, going 23-28 in two seasons, before he went 91-28 in four seasons at Macomb. Taylor, 163-85 at Quincy, is 70 wins from 500.
Taylor expects to keep pacing the sideline and imploring his players for some time.
"I know that he has younger children, and I'm sure as they're growing, he'll want to be able to see them and be with them when they're playing, so I don't know whether coaching will stay with him," Carolyn said, "but I also encourage him, and I know other people do, too, of 'Don't give it up, Sean.' He just has the knack for it."
SULLIVAN — The game has changed since Amanda Glazebrook suited up for Sullivan High School's 1991 unbeaten girls' basketball state championship team.
One point remains the same: Glazebrook still is viewed as a game-changer who helped elevate the Redskins into the national USA Today rankings.
"She is the best high school point guard I have ever seen," said Scott Thomas, who coached the 35-0 title team. "Amanda did more on the basketball court than any player I ever coached.
"She could not be pressed and could contain the ball in the open court. She is the only player I've seen who could handle the basketball at 100 percent top speed and make good decisions. She could score and had great range, but she had tremendous court vision and could also deliver the ball at breakneck speed."
Glazebrook not only lettered four years at Sullivan but also four more years at Illinois State. She is among a group of former players scheduled for induction Saturday night in the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Individual tributes never crossed Glazebrook's mind during a prep career when she amassed 1,683 points (fourth in school history) and helped Sullivan to a 105-14 record.
"The whole consideration was the state championship," she said. "We got it in our heads we'd win a state championship."
Glazebrook was the top scorer as a senior (18.5 ppg) and also the assists leader (7.0) with a still-standing school-record 244 that ranks 20th on the all-time IHSA state list.
"I kept everyone involved with the offense," she said.
A capable scorer, she hit 20 first-half points in the state championship game, matching the total that Sullivan allowed Seneca at intermission. Glazebrook, however, has a different memory of the opening 16 minutes.
"I picked up my third foul on a charge right before halftime and got spoken to sternly," Glazebrook said.
Thomas was upset, he said, because he needed the 5-foot-7 left-hander on the court.
"When you add up all the facets she could dominate in, it was a tremendous luxury," he said. "You put Amanda with four other players and the team is so much better because she enhances their game.
"With Amanda, we dictated how the game would be played. She was at full speed in one step."
Glazebrook, who finished seventh in the statewide voting for Ms. Basketball in 1991, is the second Sullivan starter in as many years to gain enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. Center Becky Clayton, who averaged a double-double, was the 2011 choice.
"It's better now because you look back and appreciate it more," she said. "I'm happy the team went in first (2009)."
Thomas said the team was a once-in-a-lifetime squad.
"It didn't happen magically," he said. "They were willing to outwork everyone else, and I worked them until everything was instinct and habit.
"The speed we played the game at was something nobody could duplicate in practice."
In the Redskins' 1991 regional opener, Glazebrook's 30-point outburst was three points more than the Atwood-Hammond team had at game's end. She was an impact player at Illinois State University (ranking 16th on the career assists list with 239) who also spent 10 years in coaching, most at her high school alma mater.
"It was much more enjoyable when I was playing (than coaching)," she said. "I loved the practices much more than the games. I loved the teaching part. When it was game time, you wanted to get out there and do it yourself."
For the past six years, Glazebrook has worked as the human resources manager for Marvin Keller Trucking, in Sullivan.
"I love watching basketball, but I probably won't get back into the coaching aspect," she said.