story by Tristan Jackson
submitted photo / Brian Glesing
Jeffersonville versus Floyd Central is one of the most heated sports rivalries in Southern Indiana.
Next year, however, fans may see a whole new level of intensity on the football field.
Brian Glesing, who has been the head coach at Floyd Central for the past 11 seasons, was hired on May 1 to fill the head coach vacancy for the Red Devils. He replaced Alfonzo Browning, who posted a 8-13 record in his two seasons as head coach.
“When it came down to it, with his understanding of the community and his understanding of Indiana football, (Glesing) was the logical choice,” Jeffersonville athletic director Todd Satterly said.
Despite his recent success at the helm of FC, though, Glesing is leaving the Highlanders to take a job he has hoped to get since he first came to Southern Indiana.
“I think this is just a great opportunity,” Glesing said. “I think there is so much potential and everyone I’ve talked to has told me this is a great place to be, and I believe ‘em.
“It’s gonna be tough to leave (Floyd Central),” Glesing continued. “But it was time for a change and I’m excited about being here (at Jeff).”
THE PATH TO JEFF
While Glesing has made a name for himself in Southern Indiana as a coach during the last decade, he was also a successful athlete in his own right growing up. From 1989 to 1993, Glesing lit up the football and baseball fields at Hanover College.
During his four-year career, Glesing racked up 5,914 total all-purpose yards and 282 total points, which are both still all-time records at the college. It could be argued that his baseball career was even more impressive, as he holds the school record in career hits (266), runs scored (213) and stolen bases (150).
Glesing’s first head coaching position came in 2001 at LaVille High School in Lakeville, Ind. He would eventually make his way to Clarksville High School five years later, his first head coaching gig in Southern Indiana.
After two seasons coaching the Generals, Glesing took over a Floyd Central team that was reeling. He inherited a team that had a combined record of 3-17 in the previous two years, including a culture that wasn’t used to winning close games.
“I think this is just a great opportunity. I think there is so much potential and everyone I’ve talked to has told me this is a great place to be, and I believe ‘em. It’s gonna be tough to leave (Floyd Central). But it was time for a change and I’m excited about being here (at Jeff).”
– Brian Glesing, JHS football head coach
However Glesing turned the program around during his 11 seasons, propelling them to a 70-51 record, and a Sectional title in 2009 at Floyd Central.
In 2017, a Glesing-led Floyd Central managed a 9-3 record. He guided them to a 6-1 record in the Hoosier Hills Conference, including a perfect 5-0 record at home, before losing to powerhouse Columbus East in the Sectional championship.
BATTLES BEYOND THE FIELD
While his success as a coach is undeniable, boasting a 111-81 record in 18 seasons, last season was a memorable one for an entirely different reason: Gelsing had another battle, this one being off the field.
In March 2017, Glesing was diagnosed Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for the second time. Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a relatively rare form of cancer that affects the immune system. Glesing’s second bout with the disease came 23 years after his first in 1994, just after he graduated from Hanover College.
Regardless, Glesing managed to coach the whole season while doing chemotherapy, and he concluded his treatment in October of 2017.
“No,” said Todd Satterly when asked if Glesing’s battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma played a part in the decision to hire him. “During the interview, he volunteered all that information. So as long as he feels up to the task of what it takes to run a 6A program, (his health) had nothing to do with the decision.”
GLESING ON THE MOVE
Now, Glesing has a clean bill of health, and a fresh start, at Jeffersonville. He understands that there is work to do, but he has proven that he has the tools to turn a team around, something Jeff High is looking for.
“We need to be the best team in Southern Indiana right now, and eventually take that to the state level,” Glesing said. “But right now, we need to beat New Albany and Floyd Central. Once we do that, we can set our focuses higher.”
Parallels can be drawn between Jeff High’s current roster, and Floyd Central before the arrival of Glesing. Jeffersonville’s record has underwhelmed recently, managing just eight wins in 21 games the past two season.
“We [have to] establish what a Jeff High football player is,” Glesing said. “We want to instill the attitude, character, and effort in our players on and off the field. If you do those three things you’re going to be successful in whatever you do.”
Glesing will look to do at Jeff, what he did with Floyd Central: turn a team used to losing into a contender. He has a busy summer planned for the team, including turning his players into “bad dudes” with a coaching style he describes as “firm, but fair.”
“He’s all about family,” Varisty punter Alex Macaluso said. “He wants to get to know us and our family and he cares a lot. That’s what our football program needs.”
If all goes as planned, the future of the Red Devil football team is bright under the team’s new coach Brian Glesing.
“I’m convinced we’re going to do some great things,” Glesing said.