It seems like the football head coaching position at York Tech has been a revolving door forever.
Over the past decade, the Spartans have seen no less than six different head coaching changes (if you include Tim Hibbs, who was hired but never coached a game at the school).
With the hiring of assistant coach Matt Glennon to take over the program from former coach Doug Wilkinson, there is finally a sense of optimism that the door may stop revolving. Already a history and government teacher at the high school, Glennon, a former head coach at Westmont-Hilltop High School from 2008-2011, will be the first head coach in a while, if ever, to actually teach at the school.
That the was the preference of the administration just a few years ago when it hired Hibbs, who ran successful programs at Biglerville and York High, to both teach and coach. Hibbs, however, resigned to take a position in Florida about a month before practices were to begin, which allowed Wilkinson to take the reins.
Glennon is planning on being at Tech for the long haul. The former West York standout has been overseeing the team's offseason conditioning program and is excited about his prospects of turning around a team that has just one winning season (6-4 in 2009) over the past two decades.
Much of that optimism is directed at the offensive side of the ball. The Spartans led the entire York-Adams League in rushing at 316 yards per contest. The four biggest play-makers from the offense -- Calvin Savary, Dalmar Dickson, Nashied Bones and Stephaun Montouth -- are all expected to return to Tech's triple-option attack.
We caught up with Glennon, 42, recently for this week's edition of Sports Q&A.
Why did you apply to become the head coach at York Tech?
"I came in as a teacher and the administration really wanted to have a teacher as a coach. They thought that would be the best direction for the program. And I've had experience as a head coach and I felt really comfortable with the kids as an assistant coach. I feel like they respect me and I can respect them. I've seen the kids working really hard in the offseason and there's a lot of good things that can happen there."
What did you learn about the program last year as an assistant coach?
"Just more about the school. You know the school is going in a very positive direction. Although the record -- 2-8 -- wasn't real positive, there is a sense that the program is also moving in a positive direction. There is a lot of opportunity and potential there to really improve and build something there."
How surprised were you that the position opened up?
"We were all a little surprised. But the administration really wanted a teacher that was (also) a coach in the building. They just feel that's the best way to build the program. A lot of the good programs have that (where the coach) is in the building and seeing the kids everyday and monitoring their progress academically as well as in the weight-room in the offseason. So I was surprised, but also happy that it happened."
When's the last time that Tech actually had a coach who has also taught at the school?
"When they hired Tim Hibbs a few years ago, he was actually going to be a teacher in the building as well as the head coach. Something happened in the offseason and I think some personal issues came up and he decided to move to Florida before the season began. But I don't know of anyone else."
It seems like head coaches come and go at York Tech frequently. That said, what are you realistic expecta tions for the future with the program?
"I took this job to be there a long time. That's my expectation and that's my hope. The administration has been very supportive and the kids, I think, are already buying in. The program has already been established and I think Doug (Wilkinson) did a nice job. So I'm starting with a solid program. We have a lot of kids working out in the weight room. So I'm expecting to be there as long as they want me to be."
How do you plan to turn around the pro gram (back-to-back 2-8 seasons), and especial ly the defense, which allowed more than 400 yards a game last year?
"I think the big thing is that we just need to get stronger. We need to have a solid weight program. The kids need to buy into it. Until we get stronger, it's going to be an uphill climb for us. Defense is a reactive position and when you're strong physically, you have more confidence taking on somebody that's coming at you. And when you're fundamentally sound and know your reads and assignments, you'll react much quicker. So we're going to work in offseason: 1. To get stronger and faster; and 2. To do some work on the fundamentals of tackling and doing a lot of read-stuff."
What are the various challenges of coaching at a York Tech?
"I think the two biggest challenges are: 1. We aren't community based. We have kids that come from a variety of school districts so you don't have the solid community. Now we do have solid support from the parents and the administration, but there's no one town where on the main street the kids see their numbers up or names up (on signs). So we're spread out. And we have kids that are on a bus going to and back from school for maybe 11/2 or two hours a day. So logistically there are some difficulties. 2. The kids are here at a technology school for different reasons. The primary reason is to learn a skill or trade and that takes a lot of time. So selling a program to the kids where they can do that as well as be a football player or be a basketball player or any kind of athletics is a little tougher sell."
How many of the players there have pre vious football experi ence when they come to York Tech?
"Conservatively, I'd say about 60 to 70 percent. So most have some football experience. But the challenge is that they've also learned different systems. So we'll have one kid that calls a play an "iso" and another that calls it a "belly" or this and that. So just re-teaching your philosophy and the terminology is part of the difficulty."
Which of the return ing players are you most excited to work with?
"Well obviously Calvin Savary. He's one of the better fullbacks, I believe, in the county. He's a big strong kid. He rushed for over 1,500 yards last year so he's a bit of a work horse. So we're definitely excited to have him in the backfield. And we have some other dynamic kids that can run with the ball. Dalmar Dickson, he was our quarterback and over an 800-yard rusher, Stephaun Montouth, Nashied Bones ... these are kids that are really good athletes and when we give them the ball they can really move it. So I think we'll be pretty dynamic offensively."
You'll be the third (actually fourth) former West York player to be coaching in the league. What does that say about the Bulldog program and former Head Coach Terry Bupp?
"Well West York is a special community there. There's just a real, strong community support there. You feel like you're part of something. Coach Bupp did a great job of making football fun. It was fun to play and when you have some joy and you're successful at it you really don't want to give it up. All three of us (Russ Stoner at Spring Grove and Shawn Heinold at York High) have caught up and we talked about it. And then there's Mike Ketterman there at Hanover, so it's actually four West York grads from the 1980s coaching in the (York-Adams League). So that's kind of neat."
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.