Former Oilers and Falcons coach Jerry Glanville will be coaching the East squad next week at the East-West Shrine game. The outspoken and well-liked personality hasn't changed much over the years and still gets excited to wear the headsets on the sidelines.
Former Oilers and Falcon’s coach Jerry Glanville has probably been more known for his eccentric behavior than his coaching ability, which probably isn’t fair.
Glanville was a true character, dressing in all black and known for leaving two tickets at will-call for Elvis Presley each week. And of course Glanville coined the term the NFL stands for “not-for-long “phrase after telling a referee on the sideline, "This is N-F-L, which stands for 'not for long' when you make them (expletive) calls."
But underneath the wild personality and fun-loving exterior is a pretty good football coach. Glanville will be on the sidelines next week in St. Petersburg coaching the East team in the annual East-West Shrine Game.
Glanville told Pewter Report how he got the offer to coach the annual senior all-star game.
“I was in Colorado mountain climbing and I always bring a cell phone in case I fall down a mountain and can’t get back up and my phone rang,” Glanville said. “I had to take my gloves off to even answer the call and it was Harold Richarson (executive director) asking me if I would coach. After getting all the logistics I said we would do it.”
Glanville spent nearly 20 years coaching in the NFL, including taking both the Oilers and Falcons to the playoffs during his time roaming the sidelines. After he was fired in 1993 in Atlanta, Glanville spent a number of years in television including stints on the NFL Today and also Inside the NFL, while also dabbling in NASCAR as an owner and driver in the Craftsman Truck Series.
During his time in television, Glanville received a request from the President of the United States.
“I did television on CBS for a number of years and the president asked me to go to Iraq and visit the troops,” Glanville said. “ It was an honor to be able to go and see these 19 year old kids getting ready to go into battle. It always works out that when you and plan on boosting morale, it turns out you are the one that gets your morale boosted.
“I had one kid ask me to take a picture with him and I said sure, and he told me ‘coach you are my grandma’s favorite!’He didn’t even say his mom but instead his grandma. That’s when you realize you are getting old and have been out of coaching in the NFL for a while.”
13 years after he last coached Glanville still hadn’t gotten the coaching bug out of his system and was planning on getting back on the sidelines – this time in the cold of North Dakota. But an old friend’s phone call changed those plans.
“I was planning on taking a job at North Dakota and was packing my long-johns and wool socks when June Jones called and told me he wanted me to come to Hawaii with him,” Glanville said. “My wife walked in the room and I flipped the suitcase over and said get me my shorts, t-shirts and my flip-flops. There has been a change of plans.”
Glanville’s start as Jones’ defensive coordinator for Hawaii got off to a rocky start.
“We went to Hawaii and opened with Pete Carroll and the No. 1 team in the country and they beat us by 40 and it could have been more, then the following week we travel to Michigan State who was ranked No. 6 and they killed us,” Glanville said. “The (school) president called us in after that and questioned what was going on. June listened and walked out and said it will be ok. And sure enough we ended up running off 36-of-38 wins. We went on quite a streak after that.”
Glanville spent two season’s running the defense for the Rainbows before accepting the head-coaching job at Portland State – his first college head-coaching job. After a 9-24 career Glanville re-signed in 2009.
But Glanville still wanted to be part of the game of football, and was hired as coach and general manager of the Hartford Colonials of the U.F.L. briefly before the team folded just a few weeks after beginning.
Next week, in St. Pete, Glanville will get another shot to coach, even if it only for one week. He is looking forward to making a difference in the short time he has to work with the college seniors.
“My goal is to help every kid improve their draft stock even just a little bit,” Glanville said. “I have coached the Pro Bowl, the Senior Bowl and some other all star games and now the East-West game. But it isn’t just helping these kids on the field, but also off.
“I tell them they will more scrutinized in four days than they have been in their whole college career. These NFL guys will be there listening to every word they say and taking notes after interviewing them. I can help them handle that part too.
“I had a player from Georgia one time in an all-star game say out loud how much he hated practicing in cold weather and he said it where everyone could hear him. Guess what? Every scout there immediately wrote, player won’t play in cold weather. Little things like that can really change a kid’s draft stock.
"I'm going to do my best to get these guys ready for the next level."
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