LOUISA If Dos Equis opens up a search for its third “Most Interesting Man in the World,” Louisa is worth a look.
There, it will find a 66-year-old who listens to outlaw country music and may appear more uncouth and unkempt than its normal debonair gentlemen who fulfill the role, such as Jonathan Goldsmith and Augustin Legrand.
But, the stories.
Glenn Reeves is back at Lawrence County High School for the first time in nearly 20 years. Bulldogs football coach Alan Short’s “annual phone call” — as Short referred to it when Patty, Glenn’s wife, answered the phone — was finally successful.
John Caudill resigned as defensive coordinator to focus more on his cooking endeavors. Reeves returned to the spot he held for the Bulldogs from 1997-1999, when Short was a sophomore, junior and senior.
“It’s a blessing and I’m glad that he’s here, not only for our coaches’ sake, but he’s going to impact and influence kids in the right direction,” Short said. “The world needs more people like Glenn Reeves.”
Reeves’ southern drawl contains traces of Texas and Kentucky.
Following a stint at the University of Kentucky, he landed on the wait list for Northern Kentucky’s Chase College of Law. Reeves ended up starting a career on the railroad before venturing south.
An oil rig worker, or “roughneck” as he put it, for seven years, Reeves lived in Texas cities Perryton and Twitchell. Twitchell’s population in 2009 was 22 people.
“I was the mayor of that place,” Reeves joked. “We were right in the middle of a wheat field, nothing between you and the north wind but a barbed wire fence.”
One particular Sunday in the Lone Star State, Reeves was resting on the couch while watching NFL games. Patty, dealing with children Josh, Carrie and Gordon, poked Reeves and said, “Come here, kids, let me introduce you to somebody — that’s your dad,” Reeves remembered.
“I realized right then, everything was getting bad,” he said. “The Saudis had opened up the floodgates, oil price was down; it was like what happened to coal here.”
Kentucky was calling. So was high school football.
Reeves’ new roles
Reeves returned to the commonwealth and graduated from Cumberland College (now University of the Cumberlands). Reeves’ professional identity became Coach and Teacher.
Reeves specialized in instructing students with behavior disorders until he retired at Johnson Central in 2013.
He’s encountered a bevy of unruly young people.
Peter Hafer, later known for sucker-punching his defense attorney in a Kentucky courtroom, once attacked Reeves with a broom stick at Harrison County. Reeves grabbed the other end and “I tried to scalp him with my bare hands.” Another student was biting Reeves on the leg — “I knee-dropped him,” said the coach.
It’s no surprise that “intensity” is the first word Short uses to describe Reeves.
“He’s not going to back down from a challenge,” Short said. “We need some of that around here.”
Reeves’ defenses are unrelenting and aggressive. He fixates on prominent figures for motivation.
While at Johnson Central, Reeves concentrated on then-Highlands coach Dale Mueller.
“I wanted Mueller,” he said. “I’m kinda like a headhunter. I don’t want to hurt ya, I just want to beat ya.”
The Bluebirds were a constant obstacle for the Golden Eagles (and many other opponents).
At Lawrence County, he said, Philip Haywood is the hopeful hurdle. If the Bulldogs can meet the mighty Pirates in the playoffs, Reeves will gladly embrace the task.
Whitley County, Harrison County, Allen Central, Lawrence County, Sheldon Clark, Johnson Central and Paintsville have employed Reeves as a football coach.
At Allen Central from 1993-97, he was the leader.
“When I first got there, we had no shoulder pads, and we had to go get our Rebels jerseys back at the daggum flea market,” Reeves said through uproarious laughter.
Reeves was the first coach to guide Allen Central to the playoffs.
When son Gordon was a junior at Allen Central, he transferred to Prestonsburg for a short time. As a Blackcat, Gordon — who is now married to Short’s cousin Krista — competed in a track meet at Pikeville. Lawrence County legendary football coach Chuke Williams noticed his speed.
Glenn Reeves had already resigned at Allen Central, so he and family decided to leave for Louisa. Glenn and Patty both landed jobs at Lawrence County.
Short, Jason Michael and Gerad Parker were among the Bulldogs’ standouts at the time. The team went a combined 37-4 in the three seasons in which Reeves was on staff.
Even though he then departed for Sheldon Clark, Short kept in contact. Seven years ago, Reeves attended Alan and Chelsea Short’s wedding.
At Sheldon Clark and then Johnson Central, Reeves coached alongside current Golden Eagles director Jim Matney. Reeves helped mold Shawn Grim and JJ Jude into record-setting running backs, he said, and he made a move to which he was initially resistant.
“(Matney) said, ‘I’d like to have a man upstairs that knows what I’m talking about,” said Reeves, referring to the press box. “I went up and it was the best thing.
“Now, I’m in the air conditioning; I can go up there in my wife beater, son!” Reeves joked.
After retiring from teaching, Reeves joined Joe Chirico and company at Paintsville. He spent three-plus years with the Tigers, relishing the opportunity to coach Mr. Football Kash Daniel.
Reeves was with Paintsville until September 2018.
Short said Reeves is often referred to as “one of my all-time favorite coaches” by former players.
“And it’s not like he coaches them easy,” Short added.
Reeves is eager to see what the Bulldogs can accomplish, defensively, this fall. They will host Paintsville in the season opener on Aug. 23.
“When I got here, I told Coach, we got more than enough,” Reeves said in regards to numbers and talent. “I just wanna win.”
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