B.C. Rain names new stadium after Parkway Legend Ben Glover

Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 8:31 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Long before the stadium was ever built -- Ben Glover recalls the phone call in 1964 from B.C. Rain’s principal about becoming the school’s next head football coach.

“He wanted to know if I was interested in the job -- and I told him yes -- I was! I remember they were working -- paving the Parkway out here and came down and talked with him,” said Glover.

It’s a job he kept for four years before being promoted to assistant principal -- and years later principal.

“One thing that was fascinating to me was being the principal of students that I had coached their daddy. That was interesting to me,” said Glover. “I believe my last year there were five cheerleaders -- where I had coached their dads.”

From the 60s to the 90s -- Glover was there for four decades.

“He was a very hands on principal,” said Rusty Glover, son. “I can recall my brother and my wake up call being the phone ringing with teachers calling the house between 5 and 5:30 in the morning -- saying they’d be absent. Dad would be on the phone calling the substitutes. Some mornings we would get 12 to 17 calls.”

His son -- former State Representative and Senator Rusty Glover says even though his dad was tough -- he was loved by the students.

“It was a unique situation going to the school where your dad was the principal. We enjoyed it and we are very proud of my dad. And the students -- whether the ones who got in trouble or not -- they respected him -- and we could appreciate that. When the bad kids respected him and loved him - that was something very special to have as a father,” said Rusty.

“He wanted you to do things right -- matter of fact he demanded you do things right. Always there for you. Always there for you,” said Ed Lathan.

Before B.C. Rain -- Glover was assistant football coach at Murphy High School -- where he also coached baseball. Lathan was on the team.

“Right at the end of the season -- he said are you interested in playing in college -- I said I’d love to play college baseball. He says okay I’m going to make a call. Next thing I know -- I’m at Mississippi State -- never been there before -- didn’t even know where it was -- but he got me there and that was my first step,” recalled Lathan.

Glover would later help hire Lathan as head football coach for B.C. Rain. Lathan too eventually working his way up to administrator -- learning a lot from Glover.

“If you knew him as Coach Glover -- you have to thank him for what he taught you. If you knew him as Principal Glover -- you have to thank him for what he did for you. He is that community. He is that community,” said Lathan. “I’m so proud of him. He’s a great man -- respected by so many people.”

It was a heart attack in 1990 -- that forced Glover to retire from the job he loved. He would work part time at the University of Mobile. Still living a mile and a half from B.C. Rain -- he says those morning drives were heartbreaking.

“When I would leave here in the mornings... going from here to Mobile College -- when I would meet those school buses -- I’d nearly cry -- I’d have tears in my eyes... Because I missed it. I did miss it,” explained Glover.

Even after retirement he’s continued cheering on the Red Raiders -- at one time going to 250 games straight. And he always enjoys running into former students and employees -- even remembers their names and faces.

“Glover: When they want to take a selfie... I’m gratified at that! Lee: You’ve gotten pretty good at taking a selfie? -- Glover: They do the taking -- I just stand there and smile.”

For his outstanding service and love for the Parkway community -- they’re now thanking him the best way they know how -- the new football stadium will forever bear his name -- a tribute to his legacy!

“I’m very proud and honored. I feel humbled -- I don’t feel like I deserve it,” said Glover.

There are a lot of people who disagree with him. According to Mobile County School Board President Sherry McDade -- she was inundated with emails and messages from former B.C. Rain students, players, and employees -- all praising Mr. Glover -- and wanting his name on the stadium.