Zach Glotta’s time as an APSU Men’s Basketball player came to an unfortunate end last week in the Ohio Valley Conference semifinals. The once 6-foot recruit was never the star of the show or face of APSU hoops.
Instead, Glotta, like the son of a coach that he was, was a calming quiet presence on the court for APSU. Flashback a couple of weeks to the APSU-Mu**ay game in early March. When Ja Morant and company started finding their groove and the crowd began to get hostile it was Glotta on the field bringing the Govs focus back to Earth.
“I learned a whole lot of the game of basketball from my dad,” Glotta said. “I think that has helped me and prepared me for the four years I have had here.”
APSU’s three-point man became a leader over the past couple of seasons in Clarksville. Glotta started 27 games and played over 900 minutes in his final year with APSU, a year that saw him sink a team-high of 78 3-pointers.
“What I will look back and remember forever is the relationships and the brotherhood I had with my teammates,” Glotta said. “We battled a lot of adversity this year. We started the year off 2-4 and then started coming together.”
However, Glotta was not always the strong yet calming presence he showed in the final portion of his playing career for the Govs.
If one thing had to describe the four years spent by Glotta in APSU’s red and white it may not be his calming demeanor or his three-point finish that turned into such a problem for opposing teams. It would be his development.
“Walking through the door [when I came in] I needed someone to identify with, someone who was about the right things,” current Head Coach Matt Figger said. “He was the one who jumped out to me.”
From day one, Glotta was a guy in the locker room that the first time Head Coach knew he could rely on.
“I do not know where the program would be without him,” Figger said. “I think he saw the things I would be able to do for him as a person. I think he is as true and genuine as a person I have met.”
After averaging 14 minutes a game his freshman season, which is not a bad line by someone in his position by any means, the O’Fallon, Missouri, native had to face some growing pains to reach his potential.
And he did. Glotta dropped to averaging only 12 minutes a game in APSU’s season that saw an unsuccessful defense of the 2016 Ohio Valley Conference Championship.
The offseason saw struggles in the 2016-17 season. After winning the conference tournament in the prior season, the Govs only managed seven league wins in a season that featured an 11-game losing streak at the core of the action.
“It was disappointing, but looking back on it I learned a lot of things,” Glotta said. “I learned how to persevere, I learned how to bounce back and I learned how to really appreciate the highs.”
Come March 2017, Glotta and the Govs did not get the opportunity to defend their OVC title.
“I learned to appreciate the mountain top, but also to learn from the emotional valleys,” Glotta said.
The 2016-17 campaign brought a major change for basketball at the Dunn Center. Former Head Coach Dave Loos announced his retirement and for the first time in 27 years, the Govs would be led by a new man in charge.
“He brought me here,” Glotta said. “I did not have so many chances in coming out of high school and he saw something in me and took a shot on me. That is something that I will be forever grateful.”
With two years of college ball ahead of him, Glotta was put in a difficult situation. Adapting to a new regime while still carrying over your experiences.
“It was almost like being a freshman again,” Glotta said. “Learning a completely different offense and defensive style. I just tried to be me every day, and be someone consistent and help some of the younger classmen.”
One of those younger guys is the now namesake of APSU basketball, Terry Taylor.
“He’s been the best teammate I have had in basketball,” Taylor said. “He is such a great guy and he is someone that you want your kids to look up to and follow as a person.”
Glotta did more than just play basketball at APSU. The ups-and-down from the court made the basketball programs and a Glotta himself apart of the community in APSU.
“Clarksville has been a second home to me,” Glotta said with a smile. “I met my wife here through FCA. I was given an incredible church home at Lifepoint Church and got me involved in the community.”
With the lessons learned from the game, the basketball players from the St. Louis area were given the chance to be a beacon for younger kids hoping to follow his story and path.
“I will always remember the opportunity I had to speak at middle schools and high schools. This community has meant everything to me,” Glotta said.
Glotta and his school played a role together. The senior health and human performance major started here as a kid from just outside St. Louis. He gave his all for his school and in return APSU built him up. On and off the court, the four years at the Dunn Center changed Glotta. It built him up, torn him down when needed and made him not only into a better ballplayer but a better person.
Come May, Glotta will get his degree. After starting out as a kid from Missouri, he will step off
the stage at the Dunn Center one more time. This time, as an Austin Peay man.