Volleyball coach balances faith, family and education

Pictured, from left, are Thompson Middle School coaches Tonnie Glover, Frances Barber, Melissa Baswell and Andrea Thames. (Contributed)

Pictured, from left, are Thompson Middle School coaches Tonnie Glover, Frances Barber, Melissa Baswell and Andrea Thames. (Contributed)

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

For those who know Tonnie Glover only as a volleyball coach, they will probably be surprised to know how creative and diversified she is.

Coaching Alabama Juniors for her 15th year and in her third year as a Thompson Middle School volleyball coach, she also loves to decorate, mentor, paint, sing and write music.

Glover has been at Crossfire Church 10 ten years in positions of worship leader, children’s leader/pastor and youth leader/pastor.

“Seeing my kids grow and become amazing human beings, watching my volleyball teams develop into something special, hanging out with my husband Brett who is my best friend, going to Disney and trying new foods and restaurants are all favorite things I love to do,” said Glover.

Glover attended Samford University on a full volleyball scholarship until she suffered a career-ending injury.

She got married and started her family. Four years ago while driving past Thompson Intermediate School and the Thompson Sixth Grade Center, she was suddenly hit with a wave of emotion.

She said, “The thought came to me, there is your mission field. I felt God call me to be a mode of encouragement, love and care for as many kids as I could before I left this earth.”

She enrolled at the University of Montevallo three-and-a-half years ago and on Dec. 11 will graduate with a degree majoring in kinesiology.

“When I walk to get my diploma it will have been with the help of all my family (husband Brett, daughter Sierra, age 16, and son Luke, age 14). I could not have done it without them.”

In Glover’s job she says the kids make her laugh and smile every day and she loves watching them discover that they can do way more than they ever dreamed was possible.

Glover says, “My dream is to continue to develop as a coach, mentor and teacher, get a great job with great kids to invest in and to always live a life of creativity. My strength comes from my faith in God and my relationship with him! We talk all the time.”