As a basketball player, Don Beall knows what a blind-side pick is. As a coach, now he also knows how it feels.
Beall recently lost his varsity girls basketball coaching position at Glenelg.
"I never saw it coming, not even a little bit," he said.
Beall said he was called into an April 25 meeting with school administrators to talk about basketball.
"They told me they wanted to go in a different direction and that (JV coach Chris Beil) was in the building and he had paid his dues" and should be varsity coach.
Beall thought he could have pushed to keep his job, but he didn't want to stay where he wasn't wanted.
"I told them, I'd make it easy on them," he said.
He resigned rather than being fired.
"I'm very appreciative of what Don has done for Glenelg High School all these years. …He had a great run," said John Davis, the school's Athletics and Activities Manager. "I'm going to miss him; I think Don is a great guy."
With the exception of four years spent at Good Counsel, Beall has been coaching at Glenelg since 1988 and he has coached volleyball (JV and varsity), boys soccer (JV), softball (JV) and girls basketball (JV and varsity).
He is not a teacher or in the school system, so he was classified as an emergency coach. Until recently that meant his coaching position was in jeopardy if any teacher in the school wanted it.
The county changed its policy a few years ago, allowing emergency coaches to take a series of classes to become certified. Completing the course work placed the emergency coach on the same level as a teacher.
Ultimately, however, all coaching positions are one-year appointments.
Beall believes he has the right to fight to keep coaching, but he has decided against it.
"It would be so uncomfortable," he said. "I've tried to be classy in representing myself and the school and trying to get my kids to do the same."
Although many of the teams he coached were at the junior varsity level, Beall has had success with his varsity teams.
He had no knowledge of volleyball when he began coaching the JV team. In 2004, he took over the varsity and in 2005 won the Class 2A state championship. He won Howard County and Metro Coach of the Year honors that year.
His 2007 team reached the state semifinals and the 2008 squad was a state finalist.
Beall's first basketball victory came on Dec. 6, 2006 and he has a signed basketball to prove it. In his seven years as head coach, his teams posted a 109-60 overall record and won two county and two District V titles.
The county coaches twice selected Beall as their Coach of the Year.