CULLMAN, Ala. – With football season less than a week away, the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce decided to invite the newest local coach to speak at this month’s community luncheon. Cullman High School Head Football Coach Oscar Glasscock is entering his first season with the Bearcats and was the guest speaker for the Chamber’s August luncheon. He started things off by talking about his return to his hometown and how impressed he has been with the school system since his return. Coach says that the timing felt right for him to return and he’s happy not only to be working the sidelines on Friday nights, but to be working within the city school system as well.
“I’ve been gone for a little while and it’s nice to come back here for sure to be a part of this and just get reacquainted and familiar with people. It’s a neat thing to see y’all and to kind of get to know everybody again. It wasn’t some career goal to come here and return as the head coach at Cullman High School, I just kind of took things one year at a time and tried to enjoy what I was doing, tried to impact the people I was working with, especially the students, and at the end of the year you may evaluate some things and get opportunities,” Glasscock said. “This time around it just felt like a full-circle kind of thing where everything felt right about coming back here and I have to say I never thought we would see as much unity as is happening right now in the school system. I think it’s a community thing but with just all the administrators in the city school system, the coaches, the teachers and everyone associated with city schools, I’m telling you, things are really, really good right now. I can honestly say that we’re in a place right now that I never thought we’d be in.”
One of the things that Coach Glasscock wants to instill in his players is a drive to put their best effort into everything that they do. Whether it’s at work, school, on the practice field or at home, Glasscock wants his kids to put 100% behind everything they do and apply themselves.
“I told the kids this morning, if you’re not giving 100% in everything that you do in your life, you need to ask why not. Even if you’re 100% on the football field you may not be 100% in how you act at home with your parents or you’re not 100% with how you act in the classroom and I think that applies to all of us,” Glasscock said. “If you’re not giving 100% to some large component in your life, you need to ask yourself why not. Whether it’s your faith, your relationship with your spouse or something to do with work, why are you not giving 100% it. If you can’t really answer that than you need to start thinking about what you can do to get better. We talk about those things a lot every day.”
Glasscock admits that over his years in coaching, he’s seen a need in some of his athletes’ lives that sports is able to fill. He didn’t think about it as much when he was a player because of the structure and discipline he received growing up at home but now, he has seen how important that aspect of sports is for a lot of kids and their families.
“When I was younger and playing, I thought sports was sort of overrated as a character-builder because I got my character at home. We ate meals together every night and I had chores to do and things like that and I learned right and wrong at home. Now, unfortunately, a lot of these kids don’t get that at home,” Glasscock said. “I don’t think it’s a good thing but now a lot of kids are only exposed to learning what’s right and what’s wrong in sports. The kids aren’t different, it’s the parents. There aren’t absolutes anymore. As a coach I’ve dealt with more social media issues from parents than kids. So, I’m saying that to say this; the job of your coaches and your teachers and administrators is really more important now today than ever. I’ve changed as a coach. I used to always be about schemes and getting the players to play hard and things like that and that was it. Now, like I said, it’s a larger role and we have to help make sure these kids are accountable.”
Glasscock made several stops between leaving Cullman as an assistant and returning as the head coach in December of last year. His path as a defensive coordinator led him to Mountain Brook and he was comfortable coaching with the Spartans but when Hartselle’s Bob Godsey called looking for a new defensive coordinator, Glasscock knew he needed to take advantage of the opportunity. It was his time under Godsey with the Tigers that made Glasscock start to think about becoming a head coach and running his own program.
“I got a call from Bob Godsey at Hartselle and that was an opportunity I just couldn’t turn down. After watching him work and watching him lead a program, that was the first time that I thought ‘you know what, I think I can do this’. I just saw the efficiency of how you work and have a structure to everything, but you didn’t monopolize time. Everything you did, you did it with a sense of urgency,” Glasscock said. “It’s 4th-and-1 every day of the year at Hartselle and I don’t necessarily gravitate towards that as much, but I understand that there’s an element of that you need in every kind of program, business or anything you’re involved in. So, working for a guy like him, a hall of famer, it got me to think about running a program, what would I do differently, and I hadn’t really thought about those things before. The goal is to take what has been good and successful here and keep those things, but I’ve just been so pleased that everyone has been so open to trying some new things.”
Glasscock is the fourth different head coach the Bearcats have had in the last four seasons so he knows that can be a rocky situation for student athletes. In fact, Glasscock experienced the same thing during his playing days at Cullman and feels like he can relate to his group of seniors on a personal level. On top of trying to introduce consistency with the coaching staff, Glasscock wants to do what he can to upgrade the strength and condition programs at CHS as well.
“We’ve got 11 seniors and I’m their fourth head coach. I went through the same situation when I was in high school and it’s a very turbulent time. I would say things are a lot better here now, but I think the seniors can understand because I’ve been in the same situation they have. It’s going to take some time. We’re behind in strength training but we’re addressing it,” Glasscock said. “I’m helping lead the beginnings of a strength program where we’re taking all the eighth and ninth grade boy and girl athletes in the school system and we’re doing a comprehensive strength program with them. It’s going to include elements of speed training, plyometrics, core strength, flexibility and those type of things. Nobody wants to build bulk; everybody wants to build flexibility and core strength first. I don’t know anybody else in the state that’s doing a comprehensive program with ninth graders and I think with this, we can take what’s been a weakness and make into a strength. It’s going to take a little while but give it time and I think in a few years, you’ll be really happy with how we’re developing players, how we’re developing kids and how we’re developing young men learning in the athletic department.”
The Bearcats will kick off the 2019 season and Oscar Glasscock era at Cullman next Thursday when they travel to Jasper to take on the Vikings. Cullman defeated Jasper 28-27 last year in dramatic fashion so the Vikings will be anxious to see the Bearcats again Thursday night.
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