CFL legend Kevin Glenn driving change at Detroit Central Catholic high school

Screengrab courtesy: Fox Sports Detroit

Retirement is a big step for any football player, but Kevin Glenn seems to be adjusting just fine.

The veteran of 18 CFL seasons who spent time with all nine clubs called it a career at the end of the 2018 season after serving as backup quarterback in Edmonton. Now, he’s back home in Detroit and making a huge impact both on and off the field for Central Catholic High School.

As the new offensive coordinator, Glenn was the subject of a profile piece by Fox Sports Detroit this week but not for his play-calling. Instead, it’s his role as Admissions Community Outreach Manager that has everybody talking. In it, Glenn has championed diversity at the school while fulfilling a life-long goal.

“I always knew that I wanted to be around students and be involved in the education aspect of it. After retiring from football, this was like a perfect match,” Glenn explains.

“Then admissions, they were able to put together a role of diversity coordinator because that was something they wanted to push. I was like, ‘That would be awesome’. To try and bridge the gap to some individuals who might not have ever looked at Catholic Central, sometimes just because of cost, sometimes because of the area that it’s in.”

Glenn came highly recommended by one of his own role models, local coaching legend Greg Carter. The two won back-to-back state titles together when Glenn was a student at St. Martin de Porres High School and Glenn sees him as a father figure.

The old coach always knew his quarterback was destined for helping young people.

“Kevin is one of the most brilliant offensive minds out there with his experience in the CFL. I knew that given the time and the right situation, Kevin would be great, whether it was coaching or teaching, in the profession of helping youth,” he says.

Over the course of his CFL career, Glenn threw for 52,867 passing yards, 294 touchdowns and 207 interceptions with a 63.2 completion percentage. His greatest accomplishment, however, might be what he’s instilled in the students of Central Catholic.

“He’s grown this diversity within our school and for some of these kids who maybe haven’t grown up with a lot of diversity, he’s exposed them to that,” senior tight end Michael Ramirez says.

“He’s allowed them to grow and taught them that we may be different but inside these walls we are brothers and outside these walls it should remain the same.”

Those are sentiments shared by the team’s head coach, Dan Anderson.

“As diversity coordinator, he’s making our kids aware that we need to be aware of other people’s situations and what other people are going through,” he says. “I think he’s done a great job there and he’s done a great job with our team to bring everybody together.”

Glenn believes football is conducive to that type of inclusive environment but he’s been heartened to see the message of diversity spread throughout the school.

“Sometimes it’s a little easier with the football program because you’ve got all different ethnicities and backgrounds fighting together for one common cause. The kids, the students have bought in huge and that’s where we want it to come from too,” Glenn explains. “When they have an investment in what’s going on, they typically push the initiative probably even a bit harder than you would.”

Positive change is Glenn’s mission and the former signal caller sees personal progress and acceptance as an integral part of creating a better society.

“I think everybody needs change. Nobody stays the same. I’m a totally different person than I was five or six years ago,” he says. “I think that’s the same thing that we look for not just in ourselves but in everybody else. If everybody was actually doing that, it would make a better world for everybody else.”

That’s a message his students have taken to heart, though some believe there is another component to making a better world: more people like Kevin Glenn.

“I wish that around the world, people like Coach Glenn could do the same thing. They could have the same impact that Coach Glenn has had on our school,” Ramirez expresses. “Bringing in a more diverse crowd and allowing them to mesh with everyone, no matter the difference.”