Q&A With Rob Glass

Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy has said it often -- in the summer when he and the rest of the coaching staff can't be with the players it is Rob Glass and his strength and conditioning staff that guide the players. The highly respected Glass was one of Gundy's first hires when he became head coach, and Glass is considered one of the best in the nation at what he does.

This summer Glass is charged with making the good better among the returning players, and getting the newcomers up to speed where they could be ready physically to help this football team by the time they get to Georgia on Sept. 1 for the opener.

GP: Is the summer the most fun time for you and your staff because in many ways during the summer you are the head coach?
Glass: There is a lot of truth to that Robert. The biggest thing is there are not a lot of distractions. They are going to summer school, but usually the load is not too heavy so we're able to get a lot more accomplished because there are not the distractions that you might deal with in the fall because you are into the competitive season or in the spring because there are a lot of things going on. It is really a good time where the kid can focus and hone in on their preparation for the fall.

GP: Because Georgia is the opening game of the season, a big time opponent, and the game is being played in a big time atmosphere that will have plenty of heat and humidity, do you try to hit a certain level or do you strive for the same level every summer no matter who the opponent is in the opener?
Glass: We really kind of strive for the same level, but you do have to take into account your preseason schedule and time frames and making sure they are acclimated to those time frames, mainly the conditions and the weather. I know going to Athens will be similar to Gainesville and the humidity will be really high and the heat too. Playing a little bit later will help us, but you do have to take it all in account to give your players a chance to be successful. You have to train them in the conditions that they will probably face early in the season before the temperature starts to cool off.

GP: How much does having a game like Georgia weigh in as far as helping you and your staff in a motivation sense?
Glass: It did. There are a lot of different motivational techniques that we use throughout the summer, but it does make it a little easier because they kind of have their eye set on that date. It does help.

GP: Strength and conditioning coaches are publicized and scrutinized more than ever before. Is there that much of a difference in how they each do their jobs?
Glass: It is kind of hard to answer that question because I don't know around the country what everybody does. You hear a lot of talk about different disciplines and different training techniques, even within conferences, there is some variation. I don't know if there is that much difference between the different exercises themselves, but more in program design and speed development and those areas where you can really enhance and help kids. Depending on what is going on at different schools there is some variance there. The most important thing, I really believe, is the ability to motivate and get the most out of your kids. The way the NCAA rules are now we actually spend more time with the young men, with all our student-athletes, men and women, across the board than actually their sport coach, so that is why you probably see a greater awareness of what is going on with strength and conditioning. What has happened is that the NCAA has really restricted the amount of time they can spend with their sport coach. They (athletes) have all this other time and they have put them with us in that arena, so we are pretty much year round with all the student athletes in all sports.

GP: You did such a great job with the two starting defensive tackles (Ryan McBean and Larry Brown) from last season and now they are gone along with defensive ends like Victor DeGrate and Darnell Smith. The defensive line will be a focal point this season, so how is it coming with the players that will have to step up in that area this fall?
Glass: Great question, I think that is the one area where people are aware that we graduated essentially our four starters on the front, and the defensive line is an area that is critical within your team but it is also the an area where physical presence is very much needed. We did take a hit with graduation. Mo (Maurice) Cummings is doing an excellent job and working extremely hard. Tonga (Junior) Tea is coming along. He is a guy that we've had to take some weight off of him. He's doing a nice job and has his weight down to about 310 right now, so he is doing a nice job there. He is a guy where we are going to really need his physical presence because most of our defensive line are in the 280 to 285-pound category and we don't have a lot of 290 or 295 pound guys. That is an area where we really focusing in on this summer trying to get those guys to really help them developed. The hard part is that there is a maturing process to what we do. In a matter of six weeks you can't just put 20 pounds of muscle on somebody. Physiologically it just doesn't work that way, I wish it did but it doesn't. We are a little bit behind the curve at that position because we have some younger guys like Jonathan Lewis, Shane Jarka, and some other guys that have the ability to put that on but they are just a little new in our program. They are doing a good job. Jeray Chatham is working hard. Junior is working hard. Mo Cummings is doing a really nice job. At defensive end we have some guys from the physical standpoint with size, strength, and speed, so I don't worry as much about the end as I do the inside with our physical presence. The bone structure and the frame work that we have to work with, they are smaller guys than say a Ryan McBean and a Larry Brown. Their ability to put on lean mass is not as great because they are a little bit smaller. We'll be all right there because they are hard workers and they take a lot of pride, It is an area where you will notice we may be a little bit smaller than some people.

GP: Keith Toston is a player that has been recognized as having made positive changes, getting bigger and stronger, since last season. Is he one of the big successes in the program?
Glass: Keith has done a really nice job. He is about 210 (pounds) right now. He went through a little adjustment as we put some weight on him to kind of beef him up and it was a little difficult for him carry in the spring. His body has adapted and he is doing a better job of it now. He is great young man and I can't say enough good things about the way he works.

GP: You have some of the freshman class in early (including Dez Bryant, Kendall Hunter, Jamie Blatnick, Jared Glover, Nick Martinez, Grant Garner, and Jonathan Rush along with former baseball pro and walk-on quarterback Brandon Weeden), so how has it gone with these early arrivals?
Glass: We had nine young men that came in the first of June and we were able to get a big jump start with those guys. We go four or five times a week, running and lifting every day with those guys. We had a lot of work with them and were able to get them into the more intense stuff. I was telling Coach Gundy this week that they were really a pleasant surprise in that they all kind of stood out in their own way. There are a couple of guys that physically were a little further along, but they were all impressive in their own way.

GP: In general, you're in the third year with many of these players in the program with the strength and conditioning regimen. Who are some of the players that are really standing out?
Glass: It is hard to pinpoint just a few because we have such a great group. I can't say enough about the whole team. The work ethic is great. We have eight weeks that the NCAA gives us to prepare for camp. We have finished week three and they are handling the workloads that we are at with essentially ease and it is not taxing them much which tells me that their work capacity is good and we are getting great leadership out of Bobby Reid and Adarius Bowman on the offensive side. David Koenig is doing a phenomenal job with the offensive linemen. Dantrell Savage is at about 195 right now and is really looking good. I feel really good on that side. Defensively, Chris Collins is really coming around and moving well, no problems there and he is doing a nice job. You know, and Donovan Woods he is the leader. He is the guy they move when he wants them to move and they all have great respect for him. We are doing really well and I'd like to get a little more heat to help us out in preparation for Athens.

GP: A lot of fans have had questions about the basketball program as several players including Byron Eaton have been challenged by head coach Sean Sutton to lose weight and get in better condition and fans want to know that you have your hand in that sport too. How much do you?
Glass: What we've done is that I've hired a young man, Jake Manselman from Texas Tech and he actually is our basketball strength and conditioning coach and works with the basketball staff. We do sit down and go over the programs and make sure we get done what we are needing to get done. They are under our umbrella and that give us a chance to keep an eye on them and work with them.

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