UH defense galvanized with Glanville
I HAVE one word for you. Are you ready? One word. Here it is: Glanville.
There's something different in Hawaii's defense this season, you can see it. We saw it Saturday night. Hawaii's defense is energized, galvanized, Glanvilleized. It's different, all right. You can feel it. Things are just a little bit nuts.
This story really starts at 2:30 in the morning. It starts with Jerry Glanville, the old would-be grocery bagger, having an idea, a great idea. His defensive play-caller, his assistant in pads, Solomon Elimimian, had hurt a knee. In the middle of the night, an epiphany struck.
"I woke up at 2:30 in the morning," Glanville says. "I had this little pad and a pencil next to my little cot where I sleep. I'm starting to live like a hermit. And I wrote down at about 2:30. Because at that time they said Solomon will be fine. We had just left Alabama, he'd just tweaked it, he'll be fine. And I woke up about 2:30 in the morning, I said, 'What if he's not? What if he can't play? Where are we headed here?' And I wrote down, 'We'll bring Brad back to inside linebacker.' "
Brad Kalilimoku. In the middle of the night sitting up in a cot, this is what Glanville wrote.
"And June (Jones) is always in the office first," Glanville says. "He's an earlier riser than all of us. He's mentally ill. He gets in there so quick."
Not this time. Glanville couldn't contain himself he was so excited. You want to see mentally ill? He will show you mentally ill. He was in the UH football facility by 3:30 a.m.
"I said 'where is he?' " Glanville says. "(June) came in, he goes, 'What's wrong? Are you resigning?' "
No. Even better. Glanville had an idea.
You saw what happened Saturday night.
"And today June Jones awarded Brad the game ball for the way he played," Glanville says.
"It was the first time I ever had a thought that worked," Glanville says.
He's telling everybody.
"I spread that around so if anybody asks you tell them one of my ideas wasn't bad."
THE STORY GOES that Glanville and Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland went to high school together. Played sports together. In fact, one was set to go to college to play football, the other to sign in the minors for baseball, and by the time they came out of the bar together
Years later the Houston Astros were looking for a manager, the Houston Oilers looking for a head coach, and the two classmates interviewed in the same city on the same day for identical dream jobs in pro sports.
Glanville says: "Unfortunately I got the head job, he didn't. He went on and had a career."
Luckily, there's still time.
On losing players to "free agency": "I hate college football because I hate graduation."
On playing D in the shadow of your own goal posts: "I call it having the pitchforks stuck in your back."
On Boise State tailback Ian Johnson's explosiveness: "He's shot from guns."
On strategy: "Some of these college football coaches -- they try to trick you."
On his wide breadth of knowledge: "Any questions about Hawaii or Boise State or UNLV or Alabama, other than that, I know nothing."
ONE WORD: GLANVILLE.
Did you see it Saturday night? Can you feel it? This crazy experiment is working.
It's just a little bit nuts.
But it's different, too, and maybe that's why this insane scheme works. He's a different man than we saw in the pros, it seems. This Glanville wears a cowboy hat to keep the sun off, not a full-length Clint Eastwood coat on the sidelines during games as part of a "look."
His field in Houston was called the "House of Pain," and there was attitude and swagger and semi-regular charges of cheap shots. He lent his name to a video game called "Footbrawl." This Glanville takes stands against personal-foul penalties, had a player actually apologize to the ref after a 15-yard flag.
He's still a character, still crazy, still fun. But he seems past all that image stuff. Soft spoken. He seems humble, really.
"My wife would not let me come coach college kids like I coached pro football players for 31 years," he says. "When I got mad at a kid in the game on the sideline, he said, 'Now, Coach, I'm going to call your wife.' That's what they say all day, 'I'm going to call your wife.' My wife says only coach college kids if I treat 'em like they're my own."
But then, the guys can't get too comfortable, Glanville decides.
"I used to get mad at my own son," he says.