A blast from Glenelg High School's past is coming home again.
Barb Wolf, who four years ago finished a superb basketball career at Glenelg before going on to bigger accomplishments at Western Maryland College, has been hired to coach the Gladiators' girls basketball team.
"I'm excited and a little scared," said the 22-year-old Wolf, whom athletic director Chuck Struhar -- Wolf's former coach -- provided with her first coaching job.
"It's weird," she said. "Mr. Struhar was my coach and now he's telling me it's my team. All the teachers who taught me here, I'm on their level now. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that I wanted the job."
Wolf replaces Russ Sellers, who coached Glenelg for two seasons after Struhar stepped down following a 13-year stint. Struhar had planned to retake the job until he was selected to co-chair a committee to oversee Glenelg's preparation for the school's 1991 Middle States Association of Colleges and High Schools evaluation.
"She knows basketball. She's had good high school coaching, good college coaching, she knows the basics and she knows what works," Struhar said.
"Barb is going to be in good shape."
Wolf takes over a Glenelg team returning several starters from last year's 15-9 squad that was eliminated in the second round of the regional playoffs.
She brings encouraging credentials to the position, beginning with her close ties to Struhar and Glenelg High. Wolf, who was raised in Glenelg, played point guard for the Gladiators' varsity for three seasons before graduating in 1986.
Wolf scored 787 points and grabbed 532 rebounds for the Gladiators, including a senior season in which she averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds and was named to the All-County First Team.
She went on to a banner college career at Western Maryland, a Division III college located in Westminster. Wolf earned 12 varsity letters, including four apiece in basketball and field hockey. She graduated last spring with a 3.0 grade-point average and a bachelor's degree in physical education.
Wolf's top sport was basketball, as her performance attests.
A four-year starter, the 5-foot-11, center-forward set records in career rebounds (1,025) and steals (258) and finished with 1,300 points, second on the Green Terrors' all-time list. She set a single-season rebounding record as a senior with 347 in 25 games (13.9), and was a huge reason the Green Terrors went a combined 38-10 in her junior and senior seasons.
"She was the most intense, intelligent player I've ever had. The best all-around basketball player who's ever come through here," said Struhar, who watched Wolf play at WMC frequently. "You're talking about a fierce rebounder. Look at all the rebounds she got for me as a point guard.
"I think she's mentally ready (to coach)," he said. "She has on paper what she wants to do. She's not coming in as a typical first-year coach who's been thrown into the job."
Wolf is working as a student-teacher in Carroll County and plans to receive her Maryland state teaching certification in December. She is also winding up a season as an assistant field hockey coach at Western Maryland.
Wolf, who has accrued basketball coaching experience at many camps and clinics over the past few summers, said she began to contemplate coaching during her freshman year at Western Maryland.
"After I started to realize I couldn't do this forever, I knew I wanted to coach," said Wolf, who was sporting a black eye she incurred in a recent pickup basketball game. She met for the first time last week with 14 members of the Glenelg girls basketball team. Practice starts Nov. 15.
"My philosophy is built a lot on what he (Struhar) taught me, and what he taught me has helped me get where I am," Wolf said. "He taught me man-to-man defense the way it's supposed to be played. We're going to learn how to play it and play it right.
"As far as goals and playing time and who my better players are and things like that are concerned, I don't know a thing," she added. "I haven't seen them play in four years. What I do know is they're going to earn their playing time. They have to be willing to play hard."