, Salem, MA


August 26, 2010

Commander of Eagles

No-nonsense approach earned Glatz respect — and plenty of wins — at St. John's Prep


"There was a press conference when I came, and I was a little brash, Glatz, now 77, admits. "I said Buster had left the door open for me to go unbeaten, which we did. But that was before I met the kids; they were not very big at all. I took a look at one of the captains, John Webb, who was a two-way guard. He was real short and about 180 pounds, but he turned out to be a helluva football player. Our other captain, Steve Harrison, was small, too — but he was quick.

"Buster's plays went left-to-right, and mine were left for odd numbers, right for even. I wanted the 31 trap to go left, but Buster's might be to the outside. I didn't want a situation to come up during a game where the kids got confused, so I threw out all the numbers. We had screen left, drive right, drive left etc. They were smart kids and learned the new system quickly." Harrison, who grew up in Danvers and now lives in Peabody, recalls the new coach looking stunned when he first saw his team.

"He had a deer-in-the-headlights look," said Harrison, who went on to play at Harvard. "We were small and ugly; what a big difference from UMass (where Glatz had previously coached) to us. Plus, he had a hard act to follow after Buster's undefeated season. There was real talent on the offensive and defensive lines my junior year, but everybody had graduated. The only two starters back were Webb and me. He had to plug in the whole defense except for us — and he did an incredible job."

Glatz made sure early on he wouldn't have any problems as far as interference with his team.

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