Milton: Jerry Glanville will bring plenty of personality to Ticats

When he was coaching at Georgia Tech in the early 1970s, Jerry Glanville hopped on his Harley-Davidson and drove all the way from Atlanta to Quebec City, where he’d pre-booked a room at the prestigious Chateau Frontenac.

“I walked in wearing cowboy boots, overalls and no shirt,” he recalls with his infectious laugh. “And they said, ‘Are you sure you have a room here?'”

There are a lot of relevant elements in that quick anecdote from the new defensive co-ordinator of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats who arrives in town for the season on April 15, to add a few more curls to the climbing vine which has entwined him and head coach June Jones for four decades.

First, he likes speed and machines with wheels. Glanville, taught to drive by The Intimidator himself, Dale Earnhardt Sr., raced and owned cars in NASCAR in the midst of his extensive coaching career.

Second, he’s adventurous and appears not to care what others think. Channeling Fleetwood Mac, he goes his own way. It’s shown in what he’s done in football, often in conjunction with Jones.

Third, he’s colourful and loves to laugh and tell stories. Hamilton media types are going to need extra recording space on their iPhones.

Fourth, he’s been around a long time.

“When you meet me you know why everyone is scared to ask me (about his age),” says the 76-year-old. “You’re not old if you can listen, and identify intelligence and beauty.”

But his long absence from coaching ranks and lack of CFL experience are valid concerns. The return of city favourite, Orlondo Steinauer, though, should go a long way toward facilitating his adjustment. So should Glanville’s history of tapping into his coaches’ acumen.

Glanville’s last formal coaching position was a three-year stint ending in 2009 at Portland State (where Jones played quarterback 33 years earlier) but he says that in the intervening years, when he was a college and NFL TV analyst, “I never stopped coaching.”

He’d work successfully with three college programs every year which “had no chance of winning,” and had a stint head coaching in the East-West college Shrine Game, then worked for Jones when he took the gig. Their 2016 quarterback, Vernon Adams, set a Shrine Game passing record and is now with the Tiger-Cats.

When he was head coach of the Oilers, NFL Films famously caught Glanville quipping to a first-year official, “This is the NFL, which stands for ‘not for long’ when you keep making them *#$%* calls.”

Did we mention that Glanville is colourful?

He’s fashioned dramatic single-season defensive turnarounds in Detroit and Atlanta but points out that they weren’t accomplished by a solitary template. He likes to create his defences based on the particular strengths of his players, as expressed to him by his position coaches, and says he’ll do that here too. He carries small cards that read, “Coach the Team,” meaning the specific players he has at the moment.

He helped out for five days at the Ticats’ 2017 training camp and was baffled for three days by the 12-man offence but says that by the fourth day, “in theory at least,” he’d figured out ways to defend it.

Because of that exposure, he watched every CFL game on ESPN last season and concludes that the most significant difference between three and four-down football is the one-yard restraining line: “The offence has time to sort out a blitz with that extra yard, so if you’ve got any pressure coming, it better be instant.”

Glanville was introduced to Jones when somebody, “I don’t know who,” placed a film of a college quarterback on his desk in Atlanta, “and I saw the ball never hit the ground. I didn’t even know his name but I said, ‘Sign him’.”

Jones played four seasons in Atlanta when Glanville was there, was Glanville’s quarterback coach in Houston, and his offensive co-ordinator for three years for the Falcons. Glanville was Jones’ defensive co-ordinator for two years at Hawaii, and rejoins him in Hamilton.

There was a reported rift between the two close friends after Jones succeeded him as head coach in Atlanta, but Glanville says, “You just go through things in life and keep going. I’d say it’s hard to bother either one of us. We say things to each other on the sidelines that people might be shocked to hear during the game.”

And he’s got lots of stories about that too.

Steve Milton

Steve Milton

Steve Milton is a long-time columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2012.
Steve Milton
Steve Milton
About Steve Milton (204 Articles)
Steve Milton is a long-time columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2012.

37 Comments on Milton: Jerry Glanville will bring plenty of personality to Ticats

  1. My kind of guy. Looking forward to some interviews.

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  2. Jeff May // March 5, 2018 at 10:12 am //

    What an angle! Great story. And no mention of you-know-who!

    I was wondering if I am over stating the following, then nah!: 2018: The Year of the Cats!

    • Year of the Cats? lots of coaches and lots of coaching experience but the team is the same as last year that went 6 – 12.
      Argos are looking very strong and they have signed some significant FAs.
      Ottawa is back with their explosive offense and they have made some additions to where they were weak last year, signing some key FAs.

      I expect the Cats will be better than last year but their two east rivals will be better. The west will be just as strong and another cross-over to either Ottawa or Toronto.

      • Garniey26 // March 5, 2018 at 6:28 pm //

        Accually they arent the same team as the one that had a 6 -12 record they are however the team that finished 6 – 4 and should have been 8 – 2. The Cats were one of the best teams in the second half of the season. You can blame Austin if you want but really it was a combination of injured players returning and a renewed confidence that coach Jones and a few wins brings in. This team will have a better mindset going into this season. Expect 10 or more wins.

        • Cat Fan // March 5, 2018 at 8:12 pm //

          Comparing the season opener against the Argos and Jones first game, a win against the Argos – when there would be optimism from a change but not renewed confident, I am not seeing impact players who returned.

          Closest I am seeing is Whitlock who signed in August to the PR then became active Aug 18th.

          While I agree they will have a better mind set, especially with a full training camp/pre season – relatively small changes like moving Banks to full time WR, adding Masoli as a second running threat, changing the O line a bit etc. seem to have had more effect than returning injured players.

          I am open to changing my mind if there are some examples but so far, I am not seeing impact players coming back from injury.

        • Sea of Dead // March 6, 2018 at 10:13 am //

          Cats better build EARLY on the 2H momentum achieved last year because it could get very ugly, very quickly especially with the tough 1H schedule they have this season and we don’t want to see a mid-season dismantling of players/coaches again. It’s time for this team to start winning early and often and stop this trend of slow starts that has plagued the Cats for years now.

  3. SupaFlea // March 5, 2018 at 10:40 am //

    Man please! His Old ass has lost it! He tried going back to college and got ran out he was so bad! CFL has a problem retreading coaches and not attracting New coaches ourtside of players!! Dude Is damn Near 80! Hahahaha…good spin. This is not a good Hire for the league!!
    Will. Chris Jones. Admit he Stole his Man in Black schtick from Glanville?

  4. Could not agree more with SuperFlea.This could rival some the worse hires in CFL history.At first glance it appears this is June Jones disregarding his responsibilities to the Cats and paying back a very old friend who once gave him a opportunity.Because of his age and how long since he held a full time Coaching job this is a worse hire than say Bart Andrus and Dan Hawkins.Because Glanville lacks any CFL experience I can not believe I am about to say this but it might be a worse Coaching hire than Jim Popp.Now because Glanville has Coached in the NFL and NCAA I will not go as far as saying it is a worse hire than David Beckman.But considering Glanville’s age his lack of CFL experience,How long it has been since he was a full time Coach and his raw, raw style which is Kind of pass it’s time with todays current professional athletes.How can this be viewed as anything but a terrible Hire for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.I also think Coach Glanville’s achievements have been way over stated while he has had some successes turning around some portions of his teams the lack overall team success has been average at best.

    • I think Henry Burris is right on. Something will hit the fan especially when they go on an early losing streak. The outcry will be the “same old” and turmoil will follow.

  5. solara2000 // March 5, 2018 at 11:49 am //

    It is going to be an interesting season. Don’t think the fans will tolerate another slow start as was the case during KA’s coaching days.
    This is either going to be boom or bust.

  6. Well, I will say that unlike Mike Sherman he does seem to have done his homework on the CFL over the last year. I didn’t know he was at the Ticats training camp in 2017. That’s a strong positive. He’s definitely a character and a good fit for Hamilton the city. I was skeptical about him stepping right in to the DC’s role, but I’ll be more open minded to that now. And if he’s open to taking input from Steinauer that will help a lot.

    • So how do you know that Mike Sherman has not done his homework on the CFL???
      Do you think he’s kept the books closed and won’t open them until training camp in 3 months??

  7. All the talk in the last few months by all the experts who claim the huge difference and learning curve say nfl quarterback coming to cfl. Glanville got it right. He concluded the only significant difference is the one yard Restraining line which gives the offensive line time to sort out of blitz coming. So any quarterback in cdl would be advantaged. All the other stuff the experts on here are not significant.

    • There is a “learning curve” for any QB coming out of the NCAA either to the CFL or the NFL.
      All of our starting QBs are ex-NCAA and we have some good ones. It’s football!! the pass patterns are the same, the running game is the same, the blocking, coverage etc.
      Just slight differences like being one yard back, only needing one foot in bounds to make a catch, the motion.
      That’s why US QBs and US players in general do so well in the CFL, it’s the same game!!

    • Steve J. // March 5, 2018 at 10:57 pm //

      I guess that’s why Jeff Mathews, in his first CFL game with the Ticats, while under pressure thought, “Oh, I’ll just toss this one across the field and out of bounds”. Only problem was the field was 15 yards wider than he was use to and it goes right to a wide open defender and 55 yards for a pick six. That’s why American veterans are more coveted in this league than unexperienced players from south of the border.

  8. RDF I think Sherman has a favourable advantage.Sherman is a full decade younger 63 versus 76,His last fulltime gig was with the Dolphins in 2012-13 versus 2009 with Portland state and Sherman has although not great a overall winning record in the NFL and NCAA versus a losing overall record in both for Glanville.Sherman was also smart enough to hire CFL experience 7 of his 10 assistant Coaches have played and coached in the CFL and 1 of the remaining 3 is Canadian born and played and coached in the CIS .

    • It’s been prove over and over again that CFL experience and having Canadian coaches is NOT an advantage.
      That is one reason why CFL team bring in coaches from south of the border, they have a lot more experience at a much higher level.
      The differences in the game are slight and the coaches from south of the border catch on fast.
      CFL teams have not had great success with CIS coaches

      • jeff, i think people say the CFL is a different game to cover for the disparities in salary and player talent level. It sounds better to say it takes a different type of player here with the assumption Bo Mitchel and others were cut from the NFL not because of lesser talent but his skill set was a better fit for the CFL. That may ve true in some cases but good us good and those players will seek the highest pay day.

        • Cat Fan // March 6, 2018 at 1:42 pm //

          Never heard salary and rarely talent level as part of the comparison.

          What usually is involved plays players try that have little chance of success.

          Mathews thinking he could safely throw out of bounds to the wider side of the field.

          QBs that are shocked to realise that because their time count violation came in the last three minutes of the game, the loss of down forces a punt instead of trying again.

          ST being forced to defend a missed FG.

          If the rules don’t make a difference – why in Flutie’s first year did the BC offense have to be changed away from being an NFL one? (This was Flutie’s only losing CFL season.)

    • It was somewhat alarming to hear Sherman in his first press conference as Montreal’s coach suggest that he wasn’t really that familiar with the CFL, but you’re right that he at least has been smart enough to surround himself with people who have good CFL and Canadian football experience. That’s going to be critical because the two games are quite different, as he will shortly discover. And let’s hope he’s been watching a lot of CFL football since he was hired as well.

  9. John2 that may be a warning sign.There are huge significant differences.Three downs versus four,the dimensions of the field,12 players versus 11,The motion,20 second clock versus 40 seconds and there a ton of different rules and how the Clock runs You and Glanville are over simplifying it.Glanville is being coy about his disadvantage and you are being naïve for what ever reason.

    • Big play I know all the differences. There are some namely those quarterbacks with mobility and talent that played in a hurry up offence and a natural for run and shoot would welcome those differences. They are an advantage not a large learning curve. Which is the most significant that you think a player Manziel like would have a problem with. Other than learning the playbook which everyone has to. I d not want to make this about Manziel as he may not be coming but I did hear all the problems which I think do not apply to all those that did experiment issues olaying here. But the were not the same super natural talents.

      • Steve J. // March 5, 2018 at 10:38 pm //

        John, please tell me that English is your second language, because I’m not sure what the hell that was??

    • But the differences are slight. We have been hiring ex-NCAA and NFL coaches for years and never had a problem.
      The 3 downs and motion and the clock are easily learned.
      There is NOT a ton of difference in rules.
      You give these ex-NFL, NCAA experienced coaches some game film and rule book and they can learn the game overnight.
      It’s the same game the only big difference is you have 3 attempts to make 10 yards instead of 4.

      • Cat Fan // March 6, 2018 at 1:49 pm //

        On on hand, there’s college plus whatever playing time there was before that drilling in the US version.

        OTOH, some game film and a rule book will break the US tendencies/habits “overnight”?

        That’s a tall order IMO.

  10. waveman // March 5, 2018 at 1:04 pm //

    meh! we already had a harley riding shirtless coach in the league as we all remember the infamous bomber era

  11. Look at his pic on the cat website, the guy looks 56 not 76.(Unless it was photoshopped)
    He also has Orlando standing next to him and you can’t have better CFL experience than that.
    Great move.

  12. dangerdan21 // March 5, 2018 at 1:18 pm //

    Man set a Future hall of fame QB to The packers
    cause he thought he was a Bust and they got a 1st round
    Atlanta used it on running back Tony Smith
    Smith Played 2 years for Falcons and was cut Went to the Panthers
    Was cut played for Argos then Eagles
    Glanville never approved of the draft pick and once said it would take a plane crash to put Favre into a game.
    Farve Got the last laugh

    Tell this guys is an awful Talent evaluator
    Ticats are in Trouble 32

  13. bigplay // March 5, 2018 at 1:37 pm //

    iggy p// That picture as well that of the Head Coach on the Cats website are both photo shopped so funny they are both wearing Ti Cat golf shirts just shows either two extremely vain guys or a franchise that is embarrassed of the age of two of there Coaches not sure which one. Not sure who’s idea it was to use photo shop pictures.Just watch any videos of Coach Jones and look up Glanville on the internet and you will see the photos are not recent!

    • That makes sense. They got me.
      So break out the geritol and hope they don’t get dementia half way through the season

  14. Nine months from now fans will be saying “even Larry Linville” could not get the Ticats into the playoffs”

    • schooner joe // March 5, 2018 at 4:01 pm //

      It’s Larry Glinville !!!!

    • Garniey26 // March 5, 2018 at 7:14 pm //

      Larry Linville played Major Frank Burns on M.A.S.H. and Frank was a bit of a bumbling tool so no I don’t think he would help getting the Cats into the playoffs.

  15. Jerry Glinville!!!

  16. Orlando S should be the DC and if this guy is needed he can be another assistant HC along with OS.

    No designated Special Teams Coordinator suggests thinks in Hamilton could be off the rails early on.

  17. It is laughable to say that football is the same on both sides of the 49th. The BASICS are the same:tackling, throwing, catching, running. The nuances make it entirely different. Many players come up here, crash and burn, because they don’t ever get it. Many adjust and thrive. QBs have to make a big adjustment, as do the linemen. CFL linemen must be more agile, as our game is more speed, less power. ie. A tackle protecting our QBs blindside must be extremely agile. Many of our own guards can’t play tackle for that reason. In our game, you can’t just stack the O-line with 300 lb. linemen, because faster players will make them look like turnstiles or fire hydrants.

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