Softball: Glasco family teaches us lessons far beyond softball + Memorial Photo Gallery
Kevin Foote, The Advertiser, Jan. 26, 2019
Click here for the photo gallery of the Geri Glasco Memorial. (Lamson Park, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019))
It was going to be a unique basketball game for Steven Peloquin of KPEL 1420 AM to call anyway.
UL’s women’s team was playing a rare 11 a.m. Sun Belt Conference road game at South Alabama on Thursday.
But several hours before going on the air, Peloquin heard the tragic news that UL volunteer assistant softball coach Geri Ann Glasco had been killed in an automobile accident early Thursday morning.
Suddenly a heavy heart gave the "Voice of the UL Softball" a sick feeling in the pit of stomach and tears in his eyes.
UL softball volunteer assistant coach Geri Ann Glasco, pictured here hitting her third home run of a game against Washington for the Oregon Ducks in 2015, tragically died in an automobile accident early Thursday morning in I-10. (Photo: BRENT DRINKUT/Statesman Journal)
“It was just shocking to me,” Peloquin said.
He wasn't alone.
The 24-year-old daughter of UL head softball coach Gerry Glasco and his wife Vickie had only lived in Cajun Country since last summer, after accepting a position on her father’s coaching staff for his second season at the helm.
Her parents had only been in this area for a little over a year.
But the incredible graciousness in which Glasco and his family handled the transition of taking over the program following the controversial firing of Michael Lotief on Nov. 1, 2017, had impacted all who crossed their path.
While coping with the heartbreak of such news about someone you appreciate so much, Peloquin then had the unenviable task of addressing the tragedy as he broadcast a women’s college basketball game.
“By far, it was the worst thing I ever had to do on the air,” Peloquin said.
“It was the hardest game I ever had to call. I feel for Coach Glasco. He’s such a good man. I feel for the university. And most of all, I feel for the friends and family of Geri Ann. It’s just a tragic loss. I just can’t imagine bringing someone else into the world and then having to bury them.”
Like so many others, Peloquin had been touched by the Glasco family’s kind spirit.
Likewise, I’ve gotten to know Coach Glasco and his wife since they’ve arrived in the area, but had only met Geri Ann.
“She was a very likable person with a great personality,” Peloquin said. “My personality comes across as kind of silly and sarcastic.
“She seemed to appreciate that a little bit. She seems to appreciate people around her that did the best they could do in life, but at the same time understood that one shouldn’t take life 100 percent too seriously.”
From the first day I met Glasco under the tumultuous scenario that loomed over UL’s softball program last December, he simply handled it as well as any coach could have.
In times like these, we often are given to hyperbole for noble reasons, but there’s just no arguing how nice and gracious Glasco and his wife Vickie are.
“It was one of the big reasons I took this job to work with Coach Gerry, because he’s such a great guy,” said UL chief of staff Ashley Pauly, who played for Glasco at Georgia. “While I was at Georgia, he was really like a good father figure for me. It was nice to have someone there who was kind and who took you in and who treated you like family.”
Before noon on Thursday, somehow Coach Glasco and his wife sent out a Facebook message thanking all of those who had sent them condolences.
“Thank you for all your prayers,” the Facebook post read. “We are grateful for these 24 years that God blessed us with Geri Ann and we are thankful for the past eight months that my wife and I were once again able to share our home and the softball field with Geri Ann again. Vickie and I want to thank each and every one for your thoughts and prayers.”
In what had to be the worst day of their lives, the Glascos were still thinking about other people than themselves.
“I can’t imagine what he was going through and he turns around and thanks people for being nice to him,” Peloquin said. “You’re supposed to be thinking about yourself and your family in that situation. That’s why he fits in so well with this community.”
His daughter had already affected lives here as well.
“Geri Ann was super kind,” Pauly said. “She would do anything for anybody and she would never put herself first. She was very self-less.
“It’s just a testament to how awesome Gerry and Vickie are as parents.”
Geri Ann Glasco (Photo: ragincajuns.com)
For example, Geri Ann offered two Twitter entries just this past weekend to illustrate her character and mission in life.
The first one:
“Don’t let your placement affect God’s purpose for your life.”
A day later, she wrote:
“We must remember that to be who God needs us to be we have to let go of our own feelings.”
Naturally, there was an outpouring of sympathy and tributes from across the country to the legacy Geri Ann left in her short 24 years.
"She left a legacy that is unmatched," senior UL pitcher Alison Deville tweeted Thursday. "She set the bar when talking about a true leader, competitor, coach, and friend. She felt like sunshine on even the rainiest day.... From this day forward, I promise to be a little more like Coach G."
Sure, she was the Gatorade National Player of the Year as a high school senior in Georgia. She later played Division I softball at a high level at both Georgia and Oregon.
But amazingly, what makes this softball family so special really has nothing to do with softball, and that's something so many have learned first hand from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
In addition to Glasco coaching at Georgia, Auburn and Texas A&M, not to mention in the Illinois high school ranks and professionally in the NPF, the couple also have a daughter, Tara, coaching at Illinois State and another, Erin, coaching high school ball in Illinois.
“He’s just a one-of-a-kind guy,” Pauly said of Glasco. “To have the opportunity to play for him and now work for him has been like a dream come true for me. And to be with his wife, Miss Vickie, who was like a mom to me in college. I’ve just been fortunate to be a part of their family for so long.”
No one who knows this family well is shocked by the grace displayed under Thursday’s nightmare.
“They have a very strong faith in God and belief,” Pauly said. “Their family is very strong in that. At the end of the day, Geri Ann is in a better place than any of us can imagine.
"It’s not in the timely manner that any of us would ever want, but I think they find peace and comfort knowing that she’s in good hands, God’s got a plan and he’s got her back in all of this.”