Luverne Football’s Legendary Coach Glenn Daniel Dies at 95
The AHSAA has announced the sad news that Hall-of-Fame Luverne football coach Glenn Daniel died Saturday at the age of 95.
AHSAA executive director Steve Savarese calls Daniel a “generational coach.”
“He was an icon within the coaching profession who touched the lives of so many students, coaches, future coaches and countless other individuals resulting in his legacy perpetually living forever,” Savarese said. “We will all miss his presence Our prayers and condolences go out to Coach Daniel’s family and his extended family of the many former players and coaches who were so fortunate to be a part of his teams.”
Daniel, who coached at Luverne for 38 years, became the first football coach in Alabama to win 300 games – finishing his 46-year coaching career with a 302-169-16 overall coaching record. He was a charter member inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame’s inaugural class in 1991.
He was inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1999 – the first of only two Alabama high school football coaches to receive that honor. The other, Buddy Anderson, was inducted in 2018, and retired following the 2020 football season as the AHSAA wins leader with a record of 346-160 in 43 seasons at Vestavia Hills High School.
Daniel was an outstanding baseball, football and basketball player at Selma’s A.G. Parrish High School. His last season A.G. Parrish High finished 31-0 in the basketball regular season before getting beat in the state tourney. His school went on to win 88 straight regular-season games, still an AHSAA state boys’ basketball record.
He served in World War II with his final station in England. It was there that he and a member of the University of Kentucky basketball team. The 6-foot-4 Daniel and his friend played a lot of basketball when they could and when the war ended, Daniel found himself one of 45 freshmen trying out for a spot on Adolph Rupp’s team. Rupp kept five freshman and Daniel, then 22, was one of them.
Daniel married in his freshman year and returned to Alabama that summer – when he got a call from his high school coach Comer Sims. Sims informed him that Pine Hill High School needed a football coach. Daniel’s wife was expecting and he took the job, which paid him $2,100 a year, “because I had a family to take care of,” he said in the book, “Tales from Alabama Prep Football” in 2000.
Daniel said Rupp told him he had a spot waiting when he wanted to return to UK. However, Daniel followed the new path, one he said, “was the road I was meant to be on,” and embarked on a legendary coaching career of his own. He finished college at Livingston University playing semipro baseball in the summers.
His first season at Pine Hill in 1947 the team was 1-9. By 1951, Pine Hill finished 10-0. He moved to Luverne in 1955 and remained there the rest of his life.
Luverne won the Class 2A state football title in 1992 and Daniel retired following the 1993 season. His football teams at Luverne had only four losing seasons despite facing challenging schedules loaded with much larger schools. However, no Tigers team won fewer than four games and two of those years, his teams still made the state playoffs.
The stadium at Luverne just a few blocks from his home is named in his honor. Daniel was also a fixture at the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame’s annual festivities – attend every year through 2018.
Scott Rials, former Luverne head football coach now at Baldwin County, said he learned first-hand how Coach Daniel was a teacher first, always ready to share his knowledge with any coach who asked him.
“He never stopped teaching and leading. He was always smiling and energetic, even as his health deteriorated. He will truly be missed,” Rials told Al.com.
Goshen High School football coach Bart Snyder always had a golf cart waiting for Coach Daniel when he attended one of their games. He explained, “Just having Glenn Daniel at one of your games made it feel even more important. He presence reminded me just how much a coach needed to strive to be more like him.”
No details other details are currently available at this time.