St. Margaret’s Episcopal Boys Lacrosse first-year head coach Glen Miles led the third-seeded Tartans to a championship game victory over top-ranked Coronal del Mar in the CIF-Southern Section South Division playoffs and then captured the 2013 Southern Section Lacrosse Title against Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood on May 11. They finished the year #4 in the Nike/US Lacrosse West Region rankings. Coach Miles previously coached the San Clemente Boys Varsity Lacrosse team for 5 years, having established the program in 2008.
A native of Timonium, Md., Coach Miles was a three-sport standout at Dulaney High School, lettering in football, basketball and lacrosse. He was a midfielder and attacker for the US Naval Academy (1983-86) and is considered one of the premier players of his time. A three-time All-American and winner of the 1986 Lt. j.g. Donald MacLaughlin Jr. Award as the nation’s top Midfielder, he helped the Midshipmen advance to the NCAA Quarter Finals in 1986. He was inducted into the United States Naval Academy’s Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1986 and was an alternate for the U.S. World team that same year. Four years later he was a member of the U.S. team that won the 1990 World Lacrosse Championship.
Coach Miles went on to enjoy a successful career in the United States Marine Corps where he served as an F-18 pilot. He graduated from Naval Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) in 1996 and served as an Air Combat Tactics Instructor throughout the rest of his military career. He is a founder of San Juan Capistrano, CA-based Victory Lacrosse, the premier lacrosse and leadership development organization in the United States.
The following is the first of a five-part interview that Coach Miles granted to LaxBuzz on the importance of “high quality, experienced and dedicated high school coaches” for the continued growth of western lacrosse.
LaxBuzz: Hello, Glen. Congratulations on your team’s success in 2013, your first at St. Margaret’s. You are from Baltimore, MD and played lacrosse at the Naval Academy, both located on the East Coast where lacrosse has been focused and dominated for over 100 years. What brought you and kept you out west to coach Youth and High School Lacrosse since 1990?
Glen Miles: “Thank you. It was quite a fun year with a very special group of players and coaches. After graduating from the Naval Academy, I went to Marine Corps Basic School and then off to flight school. When I got my wings, I was assigned F-18s and transferred to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. I began coaching in Orange County in 1990 and I was fortunate to work with a a great lacrosse enthusiast and great man—Mitch Fenton. Mitch and I coached at Trabuco Hills HS in the early 90’s. We had a lot of fun back then and that group was a blast.”
LaxBuzz: How important is teaching character, responsibility, and honor to young lacrosse players? How does a coach accomplish this and attain success on the field?
Glen Miles: “We believe that character, responsibility and honor are extremely important for all of the youth in America and specifically where we invest our time and energy with young lacrosse players. At Victory we have added a few more values as well. Dignity, Integrity and Grace. We feel youth sports is the most effective way to teach these values. Sometimes this is a difficult task in our sometimes “win at all costs” culture. However that is no excuse. As coaches, we have the power, position and platform to teach these values and many others. Additionally, we feel very strongly about relationships and we try to teach the value of relationships in the context of a team community. We take that job very seriously.”
“This is how we define success. Winning is merely a byproduct of that success. We define success as how these boys turn out as men, brothers, husbands and fathers. If we teach our players to love each other and teach them how to accept love or be loved, everything else starts to take care of itself. Regardless of what event, tragedy, or success occurs, when you lead through the various events from an underpinning of authentic love, you can’t go wrong. And that’s when all people, young and old, want to work together for the greater good. Not implying this is simple. If it were simple, we wouldn’t have all the issues we have in the world, but when you keep after it and fall back to this value, more good than bad surrounds the organization. Coaches must care deeply about the players and the players must selflessly care deeply about each other.”