South Dakota in Search for New Football Coach as Joe Glenn Retires
After four seasons leading the football team he once played for, Joe Glenn is retiring as head coach at the University of South Dakota.
Glenn told a room full of media and supporters in Vermillion Monday that he has been agonizing about his future over the past several weeks - even changing his mind a few times - before finally meeting with athletic director David Herbster Sunday afternoon to confirm that he was in fact stepping down.
The 66-year old Glenn came full circle in 2012 when he took over the job at his Alma mater. The Lincoln, Nebraska native played quarterback and wide receiver at USD in the late 60's and early 70's and later got his first coaching job on the staff of Joe Salem, before moving on to Northern Arizona for an assistant coaching job in 1975.
By the next year, 1976, Glenn was the youngest head coach in America (27), when he took over at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. Glenn spent four seasons at the NAIA school, compiling a 21–18–1 record.
In 1980, he was on his way to the Big Sky Conference as an assistant coach at the University of Montana. After five years there he became an assistant at Division II Northern Colorado of the North Central Conference, going head-to-head with Augustana, South Dakota State, and his old school, South Dakota.
He eventually became the Bears head coach in 1989, beginning an impressive 11-season run that included three conference championships, seven playoff appearances, and two National Division II titles in 1996 and 1997.
In 2000, it was back to Montana, this time as head coach, and success followed. In three seasons, the Grizziles won the Big Sky Conference title three times, qualified for the playoffs three times, played in the National Championship game twice, winning it all in 2001.
Wyoming of the Mountain West Conference came calling in 2003 and Glenn spent the next six seasons in Laramie, never finishing higher than third in the conference and only posting one winning season. That year - 2004 - the Cowboys did make headlines with a Las Vegas Bowl win over UCLA.
Glenn was done at Wyoming after the 2008 season and spent the next few years working on television covering games in the Mountain West and Western Athletic Conference.
In 2012, Glenn called then-USD athletic director David Sayler to discuss the Coyote football program, not to apply for the job left vacant with the firing of Ed Meierkort, but rather to offer up some input on coaching candidates.
Thanks to some pretty hefty persuading from Sayler, Glenn agreed to come our of retirement and return to Vermillion to lead the Coyotes into their first season in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
It was a rough first year, as South Dakota won just one game, a September win over Colgate, and finished winless in the MVC (0-8). There was a glimmer of hope as the Coyotes were competitive in five of the eight league losses, falling by a touchdown or less.
In 2013, the wins came with more frequency, including a 3-1 stretch to open MVC play. But the season ended with five straight losses and a 4-8 overall record.
The USD program took a step back in 2014. The year started 2-2, including an impressive road win at #23 Northern Arizona in week four, but once conference play hit the Coyotes were over matched, losing all eight MVC games by an average of 31 points.
This season, the positives returned. In September, USD grabbed a road win at UC Davis, part of a 2-1 start, then in October, the signature win for Glenn's Coyote teams, a last second 24-21 victory against four-time defending national champ North Dakota State. It was South Dakota's first victory in Fargo.
Six games into the conference schedule, USD was 3-3 and needing a win over rival South Dakota State to keep any realistic playoff hopes alive, but even though the Coyotes carried a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter, the Jackrabbits erupted for 20 points in the final 15 minutes to win for the fourth straight time at the Division I level against their in-state rivals.
Glenn finishes his head coaching career with exactly 200 wins (200-134-1), one of just 76 coaches to ever reach that level.
At his retirement press conference, Glenn said he has been lobbying hard for offensive coordinator Wesley Beschorner to get the head coaching job. Athletic Director David Herbster didn't discuss any candidates by name, but did say that the school hopes to have a replacement soon so that recruiting can continue for the 2016 season.