PREP FOOTBALL: Oscar Glasscock on coming home to Cullman High

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Oscar Glasscock will take over the Cullman High School Bearcat football program in January. (Courtesy of The Arab Tribune)

CULLMAN – After being approved by the Cullman City Board of Education early Monday morning, Oscar Glasscock is returning to the place where he spent his playing career and began his coaching career. Glasscock will officially begin his tenure as head football coach of the Cullman Bearcats in January after coaching the Arab Knights last season. Before accepting his first head coaching position at Arab, Glasscock served as a coordinator at several different schools over his career. Despite working at so many different schools, Glasscock has always had a home here in Cullman, making it an easy transition for him to return after picking up a wealth of experience in his time away.

“Well obviously I live here, you know,” Glasscock said. “I’ve maintained a residence here over the years. I have moved around a pretty good bit with different coaching jobs but especially over the last several years there’s been a trajectory up, and I just gained so much knowledge about how to run a program from working for coach Bod Godsey at Hartselle. I had just a great five years there as defensive coordinator and his second man, really. He taught me a lot about running a program and you know I probably hadn’t really thought of being a head coach that much until I worked for him.

Continued Glasscock, “Then I had the opportunity to go to Mountain Brook, and for a coordinator that’s top of the food chain stuff. You’re in the most competitive region in the state, you’re very well compensated and it’s really like working in a college and my knowledge of things just expanded. I worked with some wonderful people there and I’ve just been really, really fortunate in my career.”

Despite feeling comfortable coaching at Mountain Brook, Glasscock couldn’t turn down the opportunity to become a head coach. He was excited about the chance to take over at Arab High School and was able to start laying the foundation for the program, but according to him, there was one job out there that would really get his attention if it came open. When he got the call from his old boss, he said the timing felt right.

“I really had no intentions of leaving Mountain Brook but then the opportunity at Arab was just kind of a unique deal. I went there and felt really comfortable with it; there was just a lot of unity there with the administration and the community and things like that, so it felt like the right thing to do,” shared Glasscock.

“I had a chance to hire some excellent young coaches and just really felt like we were getting things rolling there. Obviously, the record is not what anybody wants (1-9), but we really did feel like we made significant progress in the fact that over the course of the year things really improved. We had four seniors in the last home game, so our numbers were growing, and we were getting some momentum, but if there was one job obviously that I would look at and listen to it would be Cullman.

He continued, “I’ve had discussions with them before when they had the opening last year, I think most people know that, and I thought that was it and that opportunity had moved on so when I was approached by coach (Mark) Britton I had to listen to him, you know.”

About longtime Bearcat coach Britton, Glasscock said, “I worked for him and had really good years at Cullman and I also just think the world of him. Obviously, I was going to listen to him, and when he called it felt like the timing was right this time. I’m happy it worked out that way. I hate to leave Arab with a job that I feel is unfinished, but I think that with the people that are in place there and the momentum they have going, they’re going to find success.”

Glasscock has plans for how he wants his program to look and the type of athlete he wants to help develop at Cullman. He believes the key to this is making sure the kids are always the focus of the program and everyone in the organization has their best interests at heart.

“First off, it’s going to be a kid-focused program. I’m going to make decisions based on what’s best for the kids and that doesn’t mean what the kids want, necessarily. When you have the best interests of the young people at heart, I think most of the time you’re going to make the right decisions,” Glasscock said. “The main thing for me is just to see improvement, in all phases. You want improvement as football players every year. You want to be able to say at the end of his freshman year that this kid is a better football player and you want to say at the end of the sophomore year that they’re better than they were a year ago. Can you get stronger every year in the weight room? We use Olympic-style weight training which emphasizes core strength and flexibility, not necessarily building bulk. That way they maintain their athleticism, but they get stronger, they get faster each year they’re in the program.”

Glasscock has a clear vision for what he wants his kids to look like on the field, but he has just as many goals for them off of it. His goal as a coach is to make sure that all of his players are more successful in life for having been part of the Bearcat football program.

“We want them to make better decisions as young people, as student leaders and academically, all the phases that you want young people to improve in. That way we hope by the time they graduate from Cullman High School, they are a better athlete, a better person, a better football player and just improved in all these areas as a citizen,” Glasscock said. “If you can get everybody improving, how can you not win? On the field it’s about each kid being focused on their job and doing the absolute best that they can at maximum effort without worrying about things in the game or what the score is. I tell the kids that I coach all the time that you can achieve good things as an individual, you really can, but you really can’t achieve great things in this life without the help of other people. If you don’t learn anything else, I hope that’s what you learn from being in this football program.”

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