When Jeff Glessner was a seventh grader at Freedom Middle School in Spotsylvania County, a counselor asked students to write their preferred future occupation.
Glessner jotted down businessman, lawyer and football coach.
Then he quickly had a change of heart.
“I thought about it for a minute,” Glessner said. “And I was like ‘Why do I want to be a businessman or a lawyer? I want to coach football. That sounds like a lot of fun.’”
Glessner, 26, intends to have plenty of fun on his new job.
His hiring as Chancellor High School’s new football coach was approved by the Spotsylvania County School Board on Wednesday night.
Glessner is a 2009 Chancellor graduate. He was a starting slot back on the team that finished 12–1 and reached the Group AA, Division 4 state semifinals in ’08.
After graduation, Glessner joined the Army National Guard and was stationed in Fort Jackson, S.C. He then moved to Seattle where he began his coaching career at Mount Rainier High. He moved on to Kentlake High for five years. He spent the past two years as the associate head coach and offensive coordinator at Curtis High.
While he was thousands of miles away, Glessner kept a close eye on his alma mater.
“It’s my dream job,” he said. “I moved to the Seattle area as an 18, 19 year-old kid. At that time it was my dream to live in Seattle and be in the Pacific Northwest. But always in the back of my mind, Chancellor High School was my dream job. The fact that I’m able to become the next head football coach is an honor and a privilege.”
Glessner earned a bachelor’s degree in law, economics and public policy from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in education from Seattle Pacific University.
He’s moving back to Fredericksburg with his wife, Dakota Glessner, and 4-month-old son, Lincoln.
Glessner becomes just the third coach in Chancellor’s 26-year history. He replaces his former head coach, Bob Oliver.
Oliver announced his retirement in November after 19 years at the helm.
Oliver said he believed all along Glessner would become a head coach. Glessner served as the lead blocker for former star running back Dominique Wallace and was like a coach on the field.
“He was very analytical and he got guys straight when we were running flex-bone with Dominque,” Oliver said. “He helped [former offensive coordinator] Stan Clements a lot. There are a few kids that you see have the potential to be a coach someday if they stick to it and he was definitely one of them.”
Glessner has kept the double-slot flex-bone option offense from his days at Chancellor, but has made it more adaptable to the passing game.
He said in one 2012 contest, Kentlake passed for eight touchdowns. Glessner was the offensive coordinator.
He and Curtis High head coach Chris Paulson co-authored a book entitled “Coaching the Pistol Spread Option Offense.” It teaches how to incorporate the passing game into the flex-bone.
Glessner said his philosophy is to have a base offense but to adjust based on personnel.
“If I get there and I see we have good wide receivers and a good quarterback we’re going to throw the ball 40 to 50, maybe even 55 percent of the time,” Glessner said. “But if personnel dictates that we stay on the ground then we will be a ground and pound team … You can’t be too stubborn.”
Glessner will visit Fredericksburg Feb. 18–25 and hold a meeting with his new players. The Chargers were a senior-heavy team in 2016 when they finished 9–3.
“I’m very excited to meet the team and explain what we want to do,” Glessner said.