Petal High School formally introduced Allen Glenn as the school’s next head football coach on Monday. The hire, which was first reported by Pine Belt Sports, became official on Friday.
“He was on our shortlist from the beginning,” Petal superintendent Matt Dillon said. “You had to be the right fit for here. We’re about competing at the highest level. We are also about growing these young boys to young men. The whole culture side of it is important as well. It was the right fit with our school district with our core values and all the things that our district represents.”
Glenn takes over the program after Marcus Boyles announced his retirement as both athletic director and football coach in January.
Glenn had previously served as Amory High School’s head football coach for the last five seasons. At Amory, Glenn compiled a 37-24 record at the school. This past season, Amory finished 9-2, won the region title, and made an appearance in the third round of the 3A high school playoffs.
Despite the change in leadership, Boyles and Glenn share a common background with the fact that both regard Bobby Hall, the winningest coach in Mississippi history, as a mentor.
“(I wanted this job) just knowing that is the No. 1 school district in the state of Mississippi,” Glenn said. “That adds a huge perk. It was an opportunity to move my family here. The football program here itself has been a winner for a long time. Coach (Bobby) Hall, a mentor of mine, said that numbers tell the story. The numbers that have been done here in Petal as far as winning tradition is what drew me here.
“Coach Boyles played for Coach Hall in Raleigh. It is kind of odd how it becomes full circle. Coach Hall has been a mentor of mine for years.”
Glenn played for Hall at Amory High school in the late ‘90s and was a member of the program’s 1998 state championship team.
“I’ve got to say that I coached Marcus Boyles in high school, and I coached Allen Glenn in high school,” Hall said. “Marcus Boyles has become one of the greatest football coaches to ever coach in this state. I hope one day that I’m able to say the same about Allen. He is following a great football coach. I really believe in Allen. I made a phone call for him because I believe in him. He comes from a great family.”
Glenn also played with newly hired Southern Miss coach Will Hall, son of Bobby Hall, in high school.
“We went 15-0 in ’98,” Hall said. “Will was the quarterback, and (Allen) was the center. They grew up in that community together. In those small-town communities when you grow up together, you spend a lot of time together. They are very good friends. They both went to Northwest Community College together.”
Glenn says he plans to adopt Will Hall’s saying of AIE, which means attitude is everything, for the Petal program.
“Coach Will Hall at Southern was the quarterback, and I was the center, so we had a very unique relationship and friendship there,” Glenn said. “Coach Hall has meant the world to me, and I owe a lot to him.
“Will has been using that (saying) for a long time. We have kind of done that at some other places that I have been. But I think it’s huge. Attitude is everything. There is a lot of things in life that you can’t control. Attitude is one thing you can.”
Glenn played football at Amory High School from 1996 to 2000 and served as an assistant coach in 2005. Prior to Amory, Glenn has been the Tupelo High School offensive coordinator under head coach Trent Hammond the past two seasons. He spent four years as an assistant at Louisville High School after time as a student coach under then Ole Miss head coach David Cutcliffe.
“We had 30 to 40 applications from people not just from Mississippi but all over from other states as well,” Dillon said. “I can’t say enough about our interview community and the hard work and time that we had to put in late at night to make sure that we found the right fit with the multiple interviews.
“But again, (Allen) shined in the interview process and did a great job. Our team knew that he would be a great fit for our community and a great fit for our district.”
In addition, Glenn will also serve as the associate athletic director, while Wendy Hogue will now serve as Director of Athletics and will still serve as the school’s head softball coach.
“It’s other exciting Petal Panther athletic news,” Dillon said. “To be able to get her from the Division I level to come back to Petal, her home, and to lead out softball program. Then just to watch her and know that she is going to be a tremendous asset to our coaches. What we were looking for is somebody to help guide our coaches and work alongside them and be there to assist and help them.
“Having coach Glenn working with our spring sports and then having Coach Hogue working with our fall sports, we feel like will be a great tag team effort moving to the next school year.”
Glenn says he looks forward to both coaching and serving in his role as associate athletic director.
“(Petal is) one of the top school districts in the state, not just academically, but athletically as well,” Glenn said. “It’s an honor to be the associate athletic director here and getting to work with Coach Hogue as well. I’m anxious to develop a great relationship with her.”