Mike Hailey

It is with heavy hearts and deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Mike Hailey (Coach Hailey), a beloved Glendale native, Glendale High School graduate, and pillar of the Glendale basketball community. Hailey, born on January 27, 1950, dedicated his life to coaching and mentoring generations of young athletes, leaving an indelible mark on the countless players of the Glendale Panthers basketball team.
As a Glendale High School graduate, Hailey’s commitment to his hometown was unwavering. His time with the Glendale Police Department, where he rose to the rank of sergeant, showcased his dedication to service and community. However, it was as a coach where Hailey truly shone as a guiding light.
Coach Hailey’s coaching career was truly remarkable. For more than three decades, he served as the head coach of the Glendale Panthers youth travel basketball program. Under his guidance, countless young athletes honed their skills, learned valuable life lessons and forged enduring friendships. Hailey was not just a coach; he was a mentor, a father figure, and a friend. One of Hailey’s qualities was his ability to stay connected with his players long after they had graduated from the team, frequently catching lunch, dinner or a movie. Most remarkably, Hailey would send handwritten cards with heartfelt and personal memos to current and former players during the holidays, birthdays and graduations.
Although Hailey did not have children of his own, he considered each and every player who passed through his program as one of his own. His genuine love for the game, dedication to the program, and passion for coaching were evident in every practice, game and interaction with his players.
In recent years, Hailey faced health challenges, and despite his resilience, he spent the last two years in a nursing home. On December 19, 2023, surrounded by memories of the players he mentored and the games he loved, coach Hailey passed away. True to his wishes, he was cremated.
Hailey’s players will forever cherish the meaningful tales, wisdom, and life lessons he imparted during his coaching career. On behalf of all his players, past and present, we extend our deepest gratitude to Hailey for the positive impact he had on our lives. His legacy will live on in the countless lives he touched, and the basketball court will forever be a testament to his enduring spirit.
Rest in peace, coach Hailey. Your legacy lives on in the hearts of all those who were fortunate enough to call you coach, mentor, and friend.