Ivan McGlone has been as much a fixture as the football itself on Friday nights for nearly 60 years.
More than half of the 75-year-old's life has been spent as Russell's adored head coach.
In that time, he's won 309 games — two of those concluded with the Red Devils as state champions.
In such a lengthy period in one position, which is often put under the microscope as every particle of every game is analyzed, surely enemies (beyond rivals) will be formed.
Ivan McGlone, that I know of, has no enemies. The respect level from fellow coaches, area football fans and former players is through the roof.
While health hurdles and personal-life losses have mounted in recent years for McGlone, his loyalty and dedication to the Russell program, its players and assistant coaches haven't wavered.
USA Today is conducting a poll for people to vote for the best high school football coach in Kentucky. There are eight elite selections, and McGlone (thanks to many of you reading this) is currently leading the way.
If you haven't voted yet, paste this link into your address bar: http://contest.usatodayhss.com/vote/bestcoach2013/ky.
The statewide poll will be closed on Oct. 8 at noon. The winning coach from each state will then advance to a regional round. Eight regional winners will be selected, based on votes, by Oct. 18. The final eight will compete in a national poll from Oct. 21-29.
The winning coach's athletic department will receive $2,000. Second through fifth places also receive cash prizes for its athletic departments.
Sometimes I have to pour some expansive thought into picking outcomes of games in this column, but when it comes to picking a coach, is there any contest?
Week 7 Picks
Ashland 35, Boyd County 13: Ashland needed a flurry of takeaways to help stave off Rowan County in a surprising 10-point outcome. In order to achieve an easier win this week, the Tomcats must not let the Lions hang around too long. Even with their struggles, a rival like Ashland coming into the stadium is always enough to spark a fresh fire.
Russell 31, Fleming County 7: Ranking third behind South Warren's ridiculous 3 and Corbin's 21, Russell stands at 62 points allowed through five games. The defense stays stingy in a big win over the Panthers.
Rowan County 27, Greenup County 21: Musketeers sophomore Ryan Byrd has had two weeks to rest up since his 447-yard outburst, but the Vikings have a newfound confidence after hanging with the Tomcats. This important district game could help in the avoidance of Highlands in the playoffs.
Johnson Central 36, Ironton 14: A treat for area fans, my hope is that this series sustains itself for a long time. The Golden Eagles aren't in a treat-giving mood at Tanks Memorial this season.
Lawrence County 44, Sheldon Clark 12: Sheldon Clark's grueling schedule continues, and so does the tiring season. The Dawgs go to 1-0 in district play and 6-1 overall.
East Carter 24, West Carter 16: The Raiders bounce back from a blowout against Mason County to even up their district record as West Carter's injuries prove to be further frustrating.
Mason County 40, Lewis County 14: I'll admit, I am guilty of being a Lions doubter. This is no demonstration of that, I assure you. They just happen to be running into the wrong team just as I'm beginning to come around.
AARON SNYDER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2664.