Luke Glancy is a fresh face in the University of Tampa Spartans lineup, but his experience runs far deeper than his time in Florida.
After the 2019-20 college baseball season was canceled last March, the senior, who had spent five seasons at Tulane University, thought his collegiate playing days were over.
Soon after the shutdown, however, the NCAA extended an extra year of eligibility for all spring sport athletes. Glancy was suddenly in a unique position as a sixth-year college ball player, and saw a chance to do something new.
“I was kind of stuck going through the motions by the end of my career at Tulane,” says Glancy. “I love that place, but I definitely needed a change of scenery.”
The decision was as much an academic consideration as an athletic one for Glancy, who left Tulane with a masters degree in public health. After finding little opportunity in the field, he began working as a strength coach during the COVID layoff, sparking an interest in exercise science.
“I was considering going back to Tulane… but they didn’t really have what I was looking for [academically],” Glancy says. “I saw Tampa as an opportunity to get the best of both worlds: play another year of baseball, and get a great education.”
The graduate student says he had little trouble reacclimating to baseball.
While Glancy has yet to record a hit in a Spartans uniform, he drove in a run and drew three walks in a doubleheader against Saint Leo University on Feb. 27. He struggled to hit for average at Tulane at times, but did an excellent job of getting on base, posting a .357 OBP in his three years in New Orleans.
Despite the slow start, the center fielder says his strong performances in intrasquad games have been a confidence boost.
“We have some of the best [pitching] our league has to offer,” says Glancy. “When you see guys on our team hitting well against them, you know our offense is looking pretty good.”
Tampa’s resident veteran also thinks his time away from the game only strengthened his passion.
“It was big to take a step back and see what I wanted to do,” says Glancy. “That made me realize I love playing baseball.”