Jerry Glanville

Glanville settles in
with Warriors

UH's new defensive coordinator
talks music, blitzes and war
as he prepares for fall camp

Hawaii opens preseason camp Friday with a new defensive coordinator, Jerry Glanville, 63. In the NFL at Detroit, Houston and Atlanta, he was one of the league's most colorful characters and passionate coaches. After he was replaced by June Jones as Falcons coach following the 1993 season, Glanville became a network TV football analyst and race-car driver. Yesterday in his UH office, Glanville answered questions on a variety of topics from the Star-Bulletin's Dave Reardon.


Hear Dave Reardon's unabridged interview with the UH Warriors' new defensive coordinator, Jerry Glanville.

19 minutes 42 seconds
MP3 format, 18MB

Quicktime | RealPlayer
Q: I see you've got Jerry Jeff Walker and Kris Kristofferson CDs on your desk. Two of your favorites?

A: They became my good friends. We did concerts together for children's charities in Georgia. They never said no. We all got on stage together in Atlanta. I'll never forget what Jerry Jeff Walker said, "I can't believe we're all here." Then Kris Kristofferson said, "I can't believe we're all still alive." That was 1990.

Q: So you're a musician?

A: Those two guys could fill a stadium. I could empty it in minutes. My son (Justin) is a musician and does sound production, concerts. I just enjoy and love music. My wife's (Brenda) a musician, plays piano and sings. I play the radio on a good day. That's about it.

Q: On to football. The basics of the game don't change. But what are the subtle differences from when you last coached?

A: Pass protection. I think pass protection has changed to the point that it takes the majority of your studying. The two-back set has drifted away. They may play one tight end or two tight ends, but back when I started in college coaching, two-back. Then when I was in the pros, I remember the Minnesota Vikings came out with one back and I was "What was that?" Of course, when I left we were running four receivers and a one-back set, with or without a tight end. Special teams-wise, the biggest difference is punt protection, protecting the punter ... the biggest priority with coach June Jones as there is.

Q: What makes your blitz schemes different from others?

A: Probably foolishness to do 'em (laughs). Our blitz schemes have been usually different than anyone else at the time. We ran things you don't see every week. You get to play us, people tell us they (normally) had a 25-minute blitz pickup period on Thursday and (when preparing for Glanville) an hour on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. We make you work on things because you don't see them the week before, or after.

Q: Were you running zone blitz before most other people?

A: That's funny, because Dick Vermeil tells people I was running it when (Ron) Jaworski was the quarterback and we picked it off. Fired the strong safety and he threw to the hot read in the flat. We had a guy there. It was 1978, I think. So is it new? More people know what we're doing. We didn't have that term. The whole call was Safety 4. I made it a rule our coaches couldn't speak at clinics and we didn't have guests, so it didn't get leaked out.

Q: How has June Jones changed since you coached together last?

A: Only in one respect have I seen change. I think his love of music has grown. June and I never have had a conversation that was not about football, ever, in the history of our lives. Whether we were with our wives having dinner or alone. We don't sit down and talk about other aspects of life, never have, never will. But I notice when I get in his car he now has unbelievable music that he plays. I used to be the music guy. He may have totally passed me and left me in music. He has a little bit of everything. His car is not like mine. I think it holds six CDs. None of my cars have CDs or air conditioning. Also, my wife is very concerned seeing him in pain, trying to get up and move around. It hurt my wife so much, we went up to the rain forest and my wife prayed for him, to get the pain relieved. He was an athlete. When we started with the Oilers, June comes in, throws a winning touchdown pass, I remember him doing all kinds of things. He's mentally on top of things, (he's) fun. Zero change.

Q: Was the (failed) Stagger Lee trick play (in an Oilers 1987 playoff game against the Broncos) the turning point of your coaching career?

A: No, not at all. That gave them a 7-point lead. We came back and took the ball to the 4-yard line and threw an interception. If you have the courage and the guts -- and June is this way -- to do something innovative, you have to have the courage and the guts to take the criticism if it doesn't work. Otherwise, you're like everybody else and you run 33 Cut off the left guard and punt.

Q: Given the chance, would you do it again?

A: We had 'em outnumbered. We had more blockers than they could block. It should've been a long gain, it should've got us off the goal line. If it works, that's the chance you take, we'd be sitting at the 50-yard line instead of the 2 or 3. Do we know that Mike Rozier is going to fumble the ball? Do you run any play? You don't know he's going to fumble, he's a great back. He dropped the ball. And I'm willing to take the full responsibility for that.

Q: Do you look forward to recruiting?

A: I used to love recruiting. Because you're competing. If you want to play me in a game of pingpong, I'll take you out front and I'll beat the snot out of you. Even if I know I'm twice the player you are, I'm not gonna let up. The rules were different then, you could entertain. Sometimes recruiting is selling your boss. If I can't sell June Jones, who can? Sometimes you can sell a player on your boss.

Q: What do you like best about Hawaii?

A: The thrill for me is the guys I'm working with. Are you really working when you get up 2 or 3 hours early, your feet hit the carpet and you come in and get ready to go, are you really working?

Q: What was the most important thing you learned from your race-car accident?

A: My next car that I build, I'll probably have a roof hatch. If I could've got out through the roof ... I couldn't get out the driver's side and they couldn't put the fire out. Ordinarily one of those would've happened. When I slid down the wall, I saw the fire on the wall, and I saw the fire chasing me. And I knew this was going to leave a mark. So, I've raced some since, but I haven't built a new car. When I do I'll make it so I can get out through the roof. Whenever something bad happens, whether you get beat in a game, or you get burned up, that's not a problem if you learn from it.

Q: What was the most important thing you learned from your visit to Iraq?

A: The 19-, 20-year-old is an unbelievable person who will do what most people don't want to do. It was breathtaking to me, the 1st Cavalry (Division) was in a 36-hour firefight. Every soldier had two bottles of water, no sleep, no food. They went back to camp and went in the tents. Eight hours later, it was "let's go." Everybody was ready to go. You didn't have to wake anybody up. I think what I learned is this young generation is special. I used to say -- and strike me right in the head -- "Who's going to lead this country when we're all dead?" Well, over there I found about 5,000 of them who can do a better job than I ever thought of doing. And I only got to meet with 5,000. There's another 50,000 the same way.

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