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From: TSS ()
Subject: 'He was a coach, mentor and friend' CJD took him
Date: August 11, 2005 at 12:15 pm PST

'He was a coach, mentor and friend'
Wed Aug 10, 2005 21:06

'He was a coach, mentor and friend'
Aug 10, 4:00 AM EDT

Preseason football practice continued across Southwest Virginia Tuesday morning. The mood was anything but jubilant, however.

Coaches, administrators and players were dealing with the death of Graham High School football coach Glynn Carlock.

The Virginia High School Hall of Fame member died Monday night in Bluefield from Cruetzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a rare and invariably fatal brain disorder.

Carlock, 67, was sent to the University of Virginia Medical Center for tests in mid-July after becoming disoriented. Shortly after returning home, he was diagnosed with CJD.

Barry Reed played for Carlock at Graham, then later had a working relationship as the athletic director at Virginia High.

"I feel like Iíve lost a parent, and Iím sure that many former Graham players feel the same way," Reed said. "Coach Carlock was a great football coach, yet he taught us much more than football."

A former drill sergeant in the Marines, Carlock was famous for his highly-regimented practice sessions and unbending sense of discipline.

"That discipline was evident in every aspect of the football program," Reed said. "We were expected to act like gentleman, address our coaches as Ďsirí and maintain an organized locker room. We knew what happened if we didnít follow the rules. We had to be on the field at 6:30 the next morning for punishment drills.

"Those type of disciplined leaders are now missing from society and athletics, but the essentials like teamwork, hard work and character I learned at Graham are vital to success in life."

Marion football coach Steve Wright is one of many Carlock admirers. Like the former Graham coach, Wright stresses discipline and a selfless approach.

"Coach (Carlock) meant so much to so many people," Wright said. "He stood for all the right things. I know Coach loved his players and I know they loved him."

Wright played against Carlock at Virginia High, then coached against him at Marion and Rustburg.

"Itís hard to imagine going over to Graham and not seeing Coach Carlock there," Wright said. "For those of us involved in the coaching profession, Coach was kind of like everybodyís favorite uncle."

Former Abingdon football standout and Chilhowie baseball coach Sam McKinney worked as an assistant for eight seasons under Carlock.

"I went to Coach to ask about a career in coaching and he said go over to the middle school," McKinney said. "I went to the principal at the middle school, and he said Ďif youíre good enough for Coach Carlock, youíre good enough for me.í Then I went to the school board and they said the same thing. Thatís the type of reputation he had."

According to McKinney, Carlock was multi-faceted. The ever-present scowl and gruff demeanor were simply a proud shield for a man full of compassion.

"Until the day he died, Coach had an extremely soft side about things," McKinney said. "He just didnít let many people see it."

Reed, 45, said his former coach demanded much from his players. Despite its small enrollment, Graham was a consistent winner and two-time state champion under Carlock.

"I was in the eighth grade when Coach came to Graham from Bluefield High School," Reed said. "I think Coach ended up with only 18 players on that first team, but those were 18 tough players. You can be sure of that.

"A lot of folks were intimidated by Coach, but he had a big heart."

Carlock groomed numerous players for college football, including Eddie Hall (Virginia Tech), Eddie Neel (Virginia Tech), Ahmad Bradshaw (Marshall), Chris Patton (Ferrum) and Mike Mullins (Virginia). Reed played at both Ferrum College and East Tennessee State.

"Some of Coachís methods may no longer be acceptable in some areas. You canít argue with the results, though," Reed said. "Back when I played at Graham, you were lucky to get one or two water breaks. And we never wasted a minute of practice

"In some ways, Coach Carlock used that old military approach of molding young men into steel. When one of his players took a big hit, he always said that you couldnít hurt steel. We loved the man and were willing to do anything for him."

Reed still relies on those early life lessons.

"Coach Carlock helped steer so many young people in the right direction, including me," Reed said. "He was a coach, mentor and friend. This hurts.

"Iím not sure what Coach Carlock had, but he just stood a little taller and straighter than the rest of us."

Funeral services will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at Bluefield Auditorium on Stadium Drive. McKinney will be among the pallbearers. | (276) 669-2181!sports


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