OSU's Rob Glass, staff and a handful of players give Special Olympics a big lift

By Andrea Cohen Published: May 18, 2009
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STILLWATER — Being a disciplinarian and a stickler is in every strength and conditioning coach’s job description.

Most days of the year, Oklahoma State’s Rob Glass is no exception.


"Yeah, he’s a very serious guy,” said senior offensive lineman Noah Franklin who, after years in the weight room and on the practice field with Glass, knows all about the strength coach’s motivational tactics. Throughout the summer, when players’ contact with the football staff is limited by NCAA rules, Glass is the boss.

He’s a strict boss, too.

"But he has his moments where he’s light,” Franklin said.

Last Wednesday, the first day of the Special Olympics Summer Games was full of those moments.

Stillwater hosts the state’s Games every year. Back when Glass was at OSU the first time (from 1986-1995 he was a graduate assistant, then the head strength coach), he used to take some guys to the Colvin Center to help with the powerlifting events.

Glass then spent 10 years at Florida before returning to his alma mater in 2005.

Upon his return, Glass said, "We should just have it over here,” meaning his domain, the weight room utilized by OSU’s athletes.

So for the last three years, the Special Olympians have used the same facilities as the Cowboys, with Glass, his staff and a handful of OSU football players spotting and helping run the show. Observing the event last week, watching Glass high five and get hugs from the athletes, it was plain to see that he might be strictly business a lot of the time, but he’s got a big soft spot for Special Olympics. And he’s not the only one.

Assistant strength coaches, including Greg Richmond and Joel Tudman, were genuinely into the event, with high-fives, hugs and cheers for every participant.