The Juneau-Douglas football team got a special treat Wednesday with three-time college national champion and distinguished gridiron gentleman Joe Glenn giving the Crimson Bears a mid-practice pep talk.
"My whole thing is to get involved and have a chance to compete at all levels," Glenn said. "My message to the team tonight was that everybody doesn't get to score the touchdowns
- offensive linemen don't even get to touch the ball.
"But if you get the grades and if you want to be a college football player, there's a college out there somewhere for you, no matter what level you want to play at," he continued. "Football helped me get through college and helped motivate me to get my grades. It was a vehicle for me to make it through college as a pretty average high school student."
Glenn, 59, went on to win two NCAA Division II championships as the head coach at the University of Northern Colorado in the mid-90s, and then another in 2001 at Montana, formerly of the NCAA Division I-AA, now known as the Football Championship Subdivision.
Glenn then took over the head coaching position at the University of Wyoming until 2008, and he now serves as a studio analyst for the Mountain West Sports Network.
Glenn, who is in town fishing, will be speaking again at 8 p.m. tonight at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. Tonight's event is free and open to the public.
The best approach to the start of a new season is to start small," Glenn said.
"I was one of 12 kids and I shared a big bedroom. And Saturday morning Mom would come in and say, 'Now before you boys go out to play, I want you to pick up this room.' And we'd go, 'Awww, Mom, come on," because the place was a mess," he analogized. "She'd pick up a sock and say, 'How do you eat an elephant?' And we'd say, 'One bite at a time.'
"In other words, start with the little things and go on," he continued. "I told the kids today that they've got a long way to go, but you start by doing the little things with everybody doing their part. You trust and you believe in your teammates and pretty soon, you'll start getting better as a team."
Glenn said he's enjoyed his time in Juneau.
"One of us, not me, caught a 68-pounder," he said. "We've been fishing down low (for halibut), and I've caught a couple every day. I'm not pitching a great game, but I've gotten a couple.
"And the weather's just been gorgeous," he continued. "What a great town Juneau is. I've never seen a glacier. I'm from Nebraska and I'm in way over my head here with the mountains and the forest... It's really incredible."