Joe Glenn swears he will ignore the siren call of money. He’s found a home in the wide-open spaces of Wyoming and will not seek, or accept, another coaching job. That’s what he says. But who could expect a coach earning around $500,000 a year to walk away from a $2 million annual salary? On Saturday, Glenn delivered yet another superb performance of the loud, happy good-ol’ boy role he has perfected. He led the Wyoming Cowboys to a 29-28 victory over Air Force, and now reigns as the football emperor of the Mountain West Conference. He inherits the role from Utah’s Urban Meyer. You remember Meyer. He once in- sisted he absolutely adored life in Salt Lake City, but success has a way of transforming a life. Meyer led the Utes to the nation’s Top 10 and soon the University of Florida came calling, with its vast stadium and its boundless budget. So Meyer, once enamored with Utah, zoomed off to Florida, where he now collects $2 million-plus per season. Glenn knows the Meyer saga, but still insists he’s staying in Wyoming. He stood in the tunnel at the north end of Falcon Stadium. He talked in the booming, flat voice of his native Nebraska and took frequent breaks to hug friends and show off a photo of his 2-week old grandson, Henry Scout. He never wavered from his message. He’s found his Eden, and he doesn’t hunger for a larger stage. “This is the big time, you know,” Glenn said, perhaps trying to convince himself. “It doesn’t get any bigger than today.” Ah, coach, yes it does. Glenn and his Cowboys played in front of 41,240 fans with no TV coverage. He could vault into a realm filled with 100,000-plus seat stadiums, national TV audiences and a daily boost to his ego. All the man knows how to do is win. He claimed national titles at Northern Colorado and Montana, and transformed a Wyoming team that finished 5-29 in the three years before his arrival in 2003. He’s a different kind of coach. He declines to wear headphones, allowing his coordinators to worry about the finer points of strategy. He serves, in his words, as “spirit coordinator.” He excels in his role of coach/cheerleader. He roars into the ears of his players, demands they give all to the chase for victory. Quarterback Corey Bramlet has listened to dozens of highvolume speeches from Glenn. “But,” Bramlet said, “you know when he talks in his soft voice that he really means it.” In the late minutes of the fourth quarter, Wyoming had fallen behind 28-22. The Cowboys started the season with big dreams. They were coming off a bowl victory, and Sports Illustrated ranked them in the nation’s top 25. All of those dreams were in jeopardy when Glenn whispered in Bramlet’s ear. “Corey, Corey, we really need this,” Glenn said. “We really need this.” Bramlet marched the Cowboys straight to the end zone, and victory. Soon, thousands of Wyoming fans, proudly wearing an atrocious shade of chocolate brown, were standing and shouting, “W-Y-O,” and Glenn somehow managed to kick up his volume another notch and bellow “How about them Cowboys?” How about them. A state with a population of 494,000 harbors genuine hopes of national glory because its university employs a rambunctious bundle of talent known as Cowboy Joe. It all seems too good to last. You see, money has this way of changing a man’s mind. “We’re going to stay right where we’re at,” Glenn said, his voice growing quiet. “This moment is so pure and I’m so happy that I don’t want to even think about anything else.” Pure. It’s the right word. Cowboys fans can only hope Glenn is so pure he’ll refuse to flee Wyoming. Columnist David Ramsey can be reached at 476-4895 or email@example.com
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