Before the 2012 season Mike Glaser announced that this will be his last as the head football coach at St. Xavier High School. After 31 years and a record of 332-75 he’ll coach in his final regular-season St. X-Trinity game on Friday night. The Tigers and Rocks kick off at 8 p.m. Friday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Glaser is the all-time winningest coach in Jefferson County history. He has led the Tigers to 7 state championships. Former N.F.L star Will Wolford will take over the St. X program for the 2013 season.
Kent Taylor: How many St. X-Trinity games have you been involved in?
Mike Glaser: I’d say about 60. There have been over 30 in (my) 31 years as the head coach, with a lot of doubles in a lot of those years, and another 15 or 20 as an assistant and as a player, through 1966 on.
K.T.: What makes this week so special to you?
M.G.: Without a doubt it’s the tradition of the two schools, the longevity of this school, and Trinity coming up and trying to match the St. X tradition, and their great football tradition that they have put together in recent years.
K.T.: Do you have a favorite St. X-Trinity game?
M.G.: There have been a lot of good ones; the state championship game that we won 3-0 in ‘97. As a young coach, I was an assistant in 1975, we had a 25-game winning streak and it looked like we were going to lose 10-9 and then with :42 seconds left, they snapped the ball over the punter’s head, we got a safety and won 11-10, kept our string alive, won the state championship the next week. That probably, to beat them in that way, the excitement of the end of that game, it’s probably the most memorable game for me.
K.T.: What has to happen for St. X to win this Friday?
M.G.: We’ve got to play almost a flawless game. Last year I don’t think we played bad in either game, both of them ended up blowouts. I think our kids just kind of got discouraged. The other night, they’re playing Cathedral and it’s 17-16, and the next thing you know they get the ball to James Quick and he takes it 70-something yards. We’ve got to stop him, we have to stop Dawkins. They have so many weapons, it’s difficult to stop them, so basically we’ve got to score a lot of points. There’s the problem, they have a great defense, maybe as good a defense as they’ve ever had.
K.T.: Who is the best player that you have coached at St. X?
M.G.: I’d have to say it’s got to be a Bernard Jackson, a Victor Anderson, a Rick Buehner and a Deuce Finch.
K.T.: Who is the best Trinity player you have faced?
M.G.: I’m going to say James Quick. He’s the guy who has been able to do more things over the years.
K.T.: When you started coaching here, how long did you think you would last?
M.G.: Never thought it would be 31 years as a head coach or 40-something years as a coach at St. X. I thought it would last about 5 years and maybe go on to something else, or maybe go to college as a graduate assistant, but I love the place. It’s done an awful lot for me, there was no reason to leave. You have the greatest kids, the greatest administration, the greatest school that you could ever want to be at, and you had the chance to make a difference.
K.T.: What will you miss most about this rivalry?
M.G.: The thing I’ll miss about coaching will be the kids. To be a part of this rivalry will be something that I can never match. The competition, to have the responsibility of this tradition. To take it into that game, knowing that you’re the guy responsible for upholding that tradition, I’ve always taken pride in that. Once I get out of it, I’ll do everything I can to help us get back on the winning ways, whatever I have to do to help the new coach and the new staff, I’ll do.
K.T.: What do you remember about playing in the St. X-Trinity game?
M.G.: I remember the excitement of it. My junior and senior year is when it just started to become a big rivalry. When I was a freshman or sophomore, they beat us for the first time, in Coach (Jim) Kennedy’s first year and it was a big, big win for them, and that’s when the rivalry really heated up. My junior year, they had the game won, they were going to be state champions, they had the best team in the state and we pick off a lateral and beat them, upset them, that was great, there is nothing like that. My senior year then we beat them and we go on and win the state championship. So 3 out of the 4 years I was here we beat them, and I loved every minute of that.
K.T.: Will you have a special message at the pep rally Friday?
M.G.: I think that this game is special, it’ll be special for me, the fact that it’s the last one for me as the head coach, but I want to talk to the kids about, it’s something they should all take pride in, take pride in their school. This is a special place, and this game gives you the chance to highlight that.
Kent Taylor is a sports anchor for WAVE 3. See more of his work at www.wave3.com or by tuning in to the NBC affiliate.