Glenn N Wilkes

Coach Glenn Wilkes passed from this life on Friday, November 21, a week shy of his 92nd Birthday.  Anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him knows what a special man he was – a treasure to not only his family, but to his former players, colleagues, and the countless number of people who called him friend.

Glenn Newton Wilkes was born in Eatonton, GA to Homer Newton and Frances Blasingame Wilkes.  He learned the value of education from his mother, who raised him alone after his father passed away when Coach Wilkes was just 14 years old.  He played basketball and earned his Bachelor’s Degree at Mercer University, and eventually went on to earn his Master’s and Doctorate Degrees at George Peabody College (now a part of Vanderbilt University).  Despite earning the esteemed title of “Dr. Glenn Wilkes,” he was most proud to be called “Coach.”  

Coach Wilkes is best known as the former long-term Stetson University Men’s Basketball Coach and as the founder of the Glenn Wilkes Basketball School, a camp that nearly every Florida basketball player of a certain generation attended, and for his overall knowledge and love of the game, but he was so much more than that.  He was a mentor, a lover of the arts, a writer, a story teller, a dependable breakfast buddy, a connoisseur of vanilla ice cream, an avid (rocking chair) rocker, a sucker for a sale, and a toe tapper to Johnny Cash.   

He wrote many books.  The most important was the “book” he penned on living life to the fullest.    His almost 92 years were packed with joy, adventure, success, continuous learning, unconditional love, and a more than occasional vodka martini.  This “book” was a gift that was given to all who spent time with him.  He wrote many books about Basketball, and in later years, wrote about his dog, Domino, that he loved very much.  This past year, he was writing a book about “overcoming racism,” hoping to honor the players, coaches and friends of color that he had the privilege of getting to know throughout his life. 

He is survived by his wife, Jan;  six children: Glenn, Scott, Tom, Robert, Tarra, & Angel;  seven grandchildren: Wyatt, Van, Gatlin, Johnny, Finley, Talan & Gavin;  and two dogs: Blitzen & Domino 2.  Domino 2 got upgraded from the main character of a book to a YouTube Sensation with the dribbling skills that Coach Wilkes’ helped him perfect.

There will be a public viewing on Friday, November 27 from 5 -7pm at Lankford Funeral Home in DeLand.  A Celebration of Life will be planned for a future date.