The timing worked out better this year for Jon Mason.
Mason reached out to Glen Burnie athletic director Kyle Hines last year when there was an opening for girls basketball head coach. Hines had already hired Bookie Rosemond, so Mason relocated to Georgia and took a job teaching at a middle school. As Mason was relocating back to the area this year, the Glen Burnie job became open again. He pursued it, and has been hired as the team’s new head coach.
“I saw the job came back open and I was moving back to the area,” Mason said. “They also had a teaching position open, so everything came together.”
Mason, who will teach physical education at Glen Burnie, takes over for Rosemond, who was hired as the new head coach at Severn School.
Mason graduated in 2000 from Milford Mill Academy in Baltimore County, where he played two years on the varsity basketball team. He played one year at Frostburg State before getting into coaching. He was a graduate assistant for the men’s team for two years.
Mason has some experience in the county. He assisted Pete Corriero on the Meade boys basketball team during the 2009-2010 season before taking over as the girl’s head coach the following year.
Following his time at Meade, Mason moved on to the college ranks. He was at Towson University from 2011-2013 as an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team. He also spent a year as the director of operations. He moved on to Howard University, where he was on the women’s basketball coaching staff from 2013-2017.
“I think I do bring in a certain level of credibility since I coached at a high level,” said Mason, who lives in Laurel with his wife and young son. “Hopefully it can inspire the players to want to play at the next level and have that next-level mentality.”
Mason inherits a Glen Burnie team that has won just a combined 10 games the last two years. The Gophers went 4-19 last year, with two of the losses by three points or fewer. He’s the third Gophers’ coach in six years, following Kristofer Dean and Rosemond.
“I’m not coming in with a magic wand,” Mason said. “It’s important to build the program to have that level of consistency. Hopefully some good things will happen and we can improve in all areas.”
The Gophers did have a player on the Capital Gazette first-team All-County team last year in Tierra Harris, who averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds. With Harris lost to graduation, Mason will need to find someone to make up for her production. Since he was just hired in the early summer, he wasn’t able to get the Gophers in a summer league.
One thing he’s trying to change is the perception the team is not competitive, which might deter some players from coming out for the team.
“From what I’m told and from what I can see, there’s a lot of talent in the school, but some of them do not want to come out,” Mason said. “I met with some of the kids in June and I told them if you want change you need to be about change. I wanted to tell them there’s a new coach and there’s some new things going on.”