Dave St. Pierre went out for football at St. John's Prep for the first time as a junior. When he saw the man who would be his head coach, Fred Glatz, in action during preseason camp, his first impression was simple.
"I thought he was absolutely nuts," said St. Pierre, now an orthopedic surgeon with offices in Danvers and Salem.
"Fred was strict and ran things like a marine drill sergeant, always yelling at you with such intensity and emotion. He always called you by your last name, and any time he did it was usually because you did something he didn't like.
"Fred is the most disciplined guy I ever met in the way he ran his team and his life. I've known him 40 years and I still think Fred is a little bit nutty — but it's a good nutty. He was one of the old school guys and if you did what you were supposed to do, you had the feeling you would win nine out of 10 times no matter how big or good the other team was."
One of the most successful football coaches in North Shore history, Glatz directed the Eagles of St. John's Prep for 17 seasons (1967-83), compiling a 105-41-7 record and the best winning percentage (.709) in school history.
His first team, in 1967, won a state championship after going 9-0-0, and his second-to-last club — with his two sons playing key roles — won a Super Bowl crown in 1982, the same year he was named Division 2 Coach of the Year.
Glatz was elected into the Massachusetts State Coaches Hall of Fame seven years later, and is in the St. John's Prep Hall of Fame as both a coach and athletic director.
A Pittsburgh native, Glatz came to St. John's a year after the Eagles went 8-0-1 under Paul "Buster" DiVincenzo and won the Class C title. A majority of the players from that team had graduated, but Glatz was undeterred; he predicted greatness for his team right away — and delivered.