Meet Coach Dean Glaze

November 24, 2014

Coach Dean GlazeDean Glaze, a college student at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, volunteered at a Special Olympics tournament as part of an adaptive physical education class in 1979. What began as a class requirement became a passion. Today, he’s a special needs teacher in Neillsville who has travelled across the globe to coach athletes in national and international Special Olympics competitions. 

“Due to my involvement in Special Olympics, I have made lifelong friends around the world. It has been such a big part of my life,” he said. “My kids have been coming to practices since they were little. Their involvement has positively impacted their lives and they continue to help out as adults.” 

According to Glaze, Special Olympics has also improved the world around him.

“Attitudes toward individuals with intellectual disabilities have changed,” he said. “Special Olympics has been extremely influential in making this happen.”

As a coach, Glaze has been at the forefront of the movement to increase acceptance and inclusion of individuals with intellectual disabilities by showcasing their abilities. 

 “The skill level of our athletes has been raised well beyond what was ever thought of just a few short years ago,” he said. 

Glaze coaches 3-5 days a week during winter, fall and summer sports seasons and has travelled as far as Alaska, Japan and Korea as a member of the Special Olympics World Games team. He encourages other coaches to take advantage of the opportunities the organization offers for personal and professional growth. 

“It’s been a blast for me to help athletes learn new skills and see them improve. Use the gifts you have been given, to help others,” he said. 


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