Glanville fired up for second year at UH
The veteran coach expects an improved Warrior defense
That loud crash that woke you up Sunday night was the return of Hawaii defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville.
"It's GREAT to be back. I haven't slept in TWO MONTHS," Glanville screamed during an eardrum-busting phone interview yesterday from his UH office.
Glanville spent eight days this summer in the Wyoming and Montana wilderness, "living the life of Jeremiah Johnson," with his wife.
"We hunt, but we don't shoot 'em, just take mental notes. I was a first down from a badger and two first downs from a coyote. Elk, moose, deer and buffalo.
"We looked for griz, but no bear," he said. Then, shifting gears to UH's season opener at Alabama, "We'll get some bear Sept. 2, SOME BEAR BRYANT. HAH! WE'RE GOING TO THE DEEP SOUTH, BABY. GET READY.
"I was in Tuscaloosa once. I interviewed for a job with him when I was at Georgia Tech," Glanville added. "It was a great honor, but I could understand but one of three words he said. He had his own way of talking."
Yes, Glanville -- the former NFL head coach, TV analyst and race car driver -- is as brash and entertaining as ever at 64. But the honeymoon is over for UH fans who expect him to turn the Warriors' defense around in this, his second season at Manoa. Players report Thursday for fall camp.
Hawaii allowed 438.4 yards per game on defense, and 35.7 points, last year. That, and special teams breakdowns, led to UH's first losing season (5-7) since 2000.
Glanville runs a multitude of blitzing schemes out of a 3-4 alignment. He said he expects the defense to improve with a year of experience for the players and staff.
"What we're doing is not
normal. If what we were doing was normal, I wouldn't be here," he said.
"I think we've got a chance to do better if I don't screw it up. Not necessarily wins and losses, but the idea of having pride in our defense," Glanville said.
He ran into a couple of players yesterday (not initiating contact, which would be against NCAA rules). He marveled at the attitude of Dane Porlas ("that safety who won the San Jose State game") and the bulk of defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis ("last year he looked like a basketball player, and not one that belonged under the basket").
"Everyone talks about the players improving. I think the defensive assistants have made as big strides as anyone. They're all experts now. We all know what we're doing now. I told June (head coach Jones) where we are now and where we were a year ago is light years apart."
Yesterday, Glanville spent the day working with defensive line coach Jeff Reinebold, out on the practice field going through what they want to teach in the coming weeks.
"Anytime you're around that guy it's never boring," Reinebold said. "You can tell he spent an awful lot of time in the summer defining and refining all the subtle nuances of the scheme to make it as simple as possible. It's something our kids will really be able to sink their teeth into."
Today Glanville will work with linebacker coaches George Lumpkin and Cal Lee, and tomorrow, defensive backs coach Rich Miano.
"I'm taking a different position coach each day, an all-day sucker," Glanville said, building up to another blast. "Linebacker coaches today. They're in the hot seat. STRAPPED INTO THE ELECTRIC CHAIR. HEY! YEAH!"
In a slight departure from earlier years, the Warriors' first practices of fall camp will be in the morning instead of the afternoon. On Friday, the team gathers at 8:30 a.m. at the grass field on campus for the first practice, which includes 10 conditioning runs of 220 yards each player must complete.
"The academic people wanted to do their thing in the afternoon," Jones said.
Pilares to grayshirt:
Kealoha Pilares, the Star-Bulletin's high school state offensive player of the year last fall, will officially join the team in the spring 2007 semester, Pilares said after a meeting with UH coaches yesterday.
"I'll be grayshirting, a part-time student this semester," said Pilares, a running back at Damien who will first be tried out at receiver with the Warriors. "I can go to workouts and meetings (for football), but everything starts in January. I'll work on getting bigger and faster."
Pilares said he met with Jones and receivers coach Ron Lee yesterday, and he agreed to accept a scholarship beginning in January.
At Damien, the 5-foot-9, 180-pound athlete rushed for 1,900 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Pilares had committed to the Air Force Academy, but returned to Hawaii last week from the academy's summer orientation program.