Bryant named head coach of Runnin’ Tigers
GLEN ROSE — To say basketball runs in his blood might just be a bit of an understatement for first-year Glen Rose boys basketball coach Will Bryant.
“Basketball has obviously always been a huge part of my family,” he said. “My mom would drive my brothers and I all over Texas growing up to watch my dad coach and then we all got to play for him in high school.”
Bryant, who graduated from Jim Ned High School near Abilene, was the district MVP and all-state selection his junior and senior years as the Indians made it to regionals while playing for his father. They lost in the regional finals his senior year.
Now at Glen Rose, Bryant will have his father, Steve, by his side as an assistant as they look to take the Runnin’ Tigers deep into the playoffs.
“I’m extremely fortunate to have my dad with me this year. He is going to be a huge asset to our success as a whole, and our guys are very fortunate to have him around this year,” Bryant said. “God has truly blessed our family over the years, and I see it as another huge blessing and awesome opportunity to get to coach with my dad. It will give me peace of mind going into my first year as a head coach that my assistant coach has been there, done that and truly wants to see me succeed.”
As the top assistant for the varsity team last year, the Running Tigers (25-4) went 8-0 in district play and won their first district crown in more than a decade and advanced to the second round of the Class 4A playoffs before losing to Decatur.
“Last year was a phenomenal year for our basketball program, and there is a lot of excitement among our guys from the junior high level to the varsity level about where we are headed,” Bryant said. “We had a lot of success and I believe our guys really turned the corner in understanding what kind of work and commitment it takes to have sustained success.”
He hopes to continue to build on it this year.
“We are going to pride ourselves on doing whatever is necessary to get stops on the defensive end of the floor and trusting our teammates, moving the ball and taking great shots on the offensive end,” he said. “If your program has a great culture with guys that love each other, love to compete, hold each other accountable and make each other better every day, Tuesday and Friday nights tend to take care of themselves.”
Bryant was hired in mid-June to replace Jake Bell who left for an administrator position in Graford ISD.
“We aren’t believers in coincidences. We believe we were led to Glen Rose for a reason,” said Bryant, whose wife, Kelsey, will be teaching first grade at Glen Rose Elementary this coming year. “This school district, the community support and the kids that go to school here are phenomenal. I could not be more fired up to begin my head coaching career here.”