Cleveland Alum Sam Glasgow Returns As Boys Basketball Coach


Clarion photo Henry Light

Coach Glasgow gives instructions to SC Tresvant before a substitution against Beaverton. 12/14/2022.

The Cleveland boys basketball team is coming off an historic season where they won the PIL and made a run to the state quarterfinal. There was a strong sense of optimism at the end of the year because of the returning junior class and the new expectations for the program. That optimism came into question in July, when head coach Dondrale Campbell left to take a job at rival Grant. Campbell took over the Cleveland job in 2018, and got a lot of deserved credit for bringing the program its best season in 60 years, and with him out of the picture, the team will need to manage those high expectations under new leadership.

Cleveland alum Sam Glasgow will be in charge of continuing that success. Glasgow graduated from Cleveland in 2007 after back to back all PIL and Royal C Award seasons. He spent four years on the boys basketball coaching staff up to 2017, and has since been an assistant coach at Beaverton and Benson, where he has taught PE for four years.

“At this point I feel sort of like I am re-introducing myself to the Cleveland community,” said Glasgow. “I am an alum who still lives in the area. I care so much about this community, and I want to do everything I can to help our student-athletes be successful people, students, and players.”

Glasgow’s roster features a mix of returning starters from last year’s team and players who are expected to take a step. This group is headlined by senior forward Jackson Cooper, who is coming off a first team all-league season and an already very impressive career at Cleveland. The Warriors also have two other seniors with varsity experience in guards Jamel Pichon and SC Tresvant. Pichon and Tresvant earned minutes last season through strong defensive games, and also added to Cleveland’s ability to score at will in the paint. Junior Jackson Owens will also step into a starting role after showing some great potential off the bench in 2021, including filling in well in the quarterfinal loss against Mountainside when Cooper got into foul trouble.

“The most impressive part so far is just how competitive this group is,” Glasgow said of his roster. “Reminds me of high school basketball from the era I played in, which is refreshing! I have also been impressed and appreciative of how well they have handled a coaching transition, especially given the success last season.”

On the increased expectations for the team, Glasgow said, “I think one of my biggest goals for this season is to manage expectations. Coming off a historic season where the team won the PIL and went to the Chiles Center, it is easy to say that we want to repeat that success. It is important to remember that this is a new season, with some new faces and departures from last season, including a new head coach. My goal is that we enjoy the process, get better every day, and the rest will take care of itself!”

The Warriors were ranked ninth in the state in the OSAA’s preseason coaches poll. Last season they started out sixth and finished ranked third going into the playoffs. The Warriors rose through the rankings early last year, with a five-game win streak to start the season, but they opened up with a tougher schedule this year, playing Southridge, Sherwood, second-ranked Beaverton, and third-ranked Lincoln before winter break.

They will need to start with the same momentum they carried at the end of 2021-22, and on his role in that Glasgow said, “I think as the new guy in the situation it is important for me to be a good listener. How can I best capitalize on what was successful last season, while simultaneously building what I would like to see in the program? While it will be a challenge not being in the building as a teacher, my goal is also to re-ignite the great energy from the students, staff, administration, and alumni from last season.”

He’s already started strong in that regard, increasing the team’s presence around the school, on top of the extra attention they already have coming off such a successful year.

“For now, look for flyers up around the school before every home game and follow the team on Instagram @clevelandbasketballpdx,” he said.

One thing Cooper stressed at the end of last season was the long term value of achieving the school’s best basketball season since 1962.

“It’s great to have new history, you know, and be a part of that, but at the end of the day, this team is just special, and what we’ve built here is more than just one year of history. We’re gonna keep putting up seasons like this, and the culture that we’ve built is just unmatched,” he said.

Glasgow now takes the reins on that culture, and has already started building a plan beyond 2022-23.

“When people think of Cleveland boys basketball, I want them to know that our teams will play harder, smarter, and more together every day. Team sports is such a great place for people to learn values and life lessons, including: accountability, humility, integrity, leadership, and gratitude. At the end of the day I want this program to be something the players and the community can be proud of. As far as executing this vision, patience will be key. Take things one day at a time and be the hardest worker in the state!” he said.

Glasgow also sees his career path in the future of the program, saying, “When I think of the Cleveland boys basketball culture moving forward, one word comes to mind: family. As a coaching staff we are going to do our best to help everyone develop as an individual and as a teammate on a daily basis, but we want that growth and connection to last for life. I want there to be a great connection between the youth and high school teams, and beyond. To me a program that is truly successful has former players that feel such a connection that they want to come back and pay it forward to the next generation!”

Glasgow is committed to building a winning culture at a school and program he is already very familiar with, and he starts out one step down from possibly the most talented roster the school has ever seen.