AUBURN, Ala. (WBRC) – The sports community mourns the loss of Harvey Glance, an Olympic gold medalist and trailblazing figure in the world of athletics. Glance, who made history as the first black head coach at Auburn University, passed away Monday at the age of 66.
Born in Phenix City, Glance’s illustrious career and remarkable achievements left an indelible mark on the sporting landscape. Glance’s crowning achievement came in the 1976 Olympics, where he clinched a gold medal in the four-by-100 relay with teammates Johnny Jones, Millard Hampton, and Steve Riddick. Glance qualified for the 1980 Moscow Olympics but, due to the U.S. boycott, did not compete. Although injured, he also qualified for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic games.
He would go on to medal at various events around the world, including the 1979 and 1987 Pan American Games, 1985 World Cup, 1985 Goodwill Games, and the 1987 World Championships.
His lightning-fast speed and unwavering determination propelled him to victory, solidifying his status as one of the finest sprinters of his generation. However, Glance’s accomplishments extended far beyond the Olympic Games.
During his tenure at Auburn University, Glance notched an impressive record as a four-time NCAA champion. This remarkable feat showcased his exceptional coaching abilities and leadership prowess. Moreover, Glance shattered barriers by becoming Auburn’s first Black head coach in any sport, leaving an enduring legacy of inclusivity and diversity in collegiate athletics.
While there, Glance coached Olympians Craig Hepburn, Samuel Matete, and Victor Houston. He also coached three NCAA champions in Houston, Clark Humphreys, and the 1993 SEC Female Athlete of the Year Juliet Campbell.
Glance’s passion for coaching and dedication to the sport led him to further success at the University of Alabama, where he served as a coach for track and field. His expertise and mentorship inspired countless young athletes, fostering their growth and development in the world of athletics. He found success as a head coach internationally, leading teams to numerous medals across the globe. Glance finished his collegiate career as head coach at the University of Alabama from 1997-2011.
He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 and received the Congressional Medal of Freedom in 2008.
While the sporting world pays tribute to Glance’s remarkable career, friends and loved ones remember him as more than just an extraordinary athlete and coach. One such friend, Laura Larkin McCroskey, shared cherished memories of their friendship that blossomed from a chance encounter on a plane a decade ago.
“He loved his mama. He loved his sunglasses. We joked about how he always kept them right here on his forehead. He loved his cars. He loved to play golf. Most of all, he loved golf. He loved talking to people and helping people and getting to know the real you,” McCroskey recalled.
Although Glance’s friends confirm that he suffered a heart attack last week, the official cause of his passing has yet to be disclosed by the family. The news of his untimely demise has left the sports world in a state of deep sadness and reflection, as his extraordinary talent and unwavering spirit will be dearly missed.
Harvey Glance’s remarkable legacy will continue to inspire generations of athletes, reminding them of the power of dedication, resilience, and breaking down barriers. As the sports community mourns his loss, his contributions will forever remain etched in the annals of history.
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