People Forget That: Falcons Coach Jerry Glanville Tried To Race NASCAR

Once upon a time, former Falcons Head Coach Jerry Glanville competed in NASCAR as a driver.

The year was 1992, Glanville was in the midst of a fantastic Head Coaching career with the Atlanta Falcons. Coming off a 10-6 season in 1991 and a loss in the Playoffs Jerry had a great idea. He wanted to go NASCAR racing. Not as a team owner but as a driver.

So in 1992 after meeting with Dale Earnhardt at a Phoenix test Jerry decided to get behind the wheel of a car. He hopped in the Martin Truex Jr. MWR font inspired #56 Buick for Lewis Cooper with sponsorship from the Falcons and went racing. Well, he failed to qualify in his first race at Lanier. He did qualify for three other races in the 1992 season with a best finish of 20th at Volusia County.

In 1993 Jerry started up his own team, Glanville Motorsports and the #81 Ford took the track. The team suffered some growing pains and only qualified for 3 races while missing 2. His best finish of the season was 26th at Milwaukee.

You’re probably wondering about Jerry’s coaching duties in all of this. How is he a race car driver and a coach? Easy answer, he only raced in the spring and summer. As soon as the middle of July rolled around Jerry stepped out of the race car and back onto the sidelines.

After the 1993 NFL season, however, the Falcons fired Glanville. Sent him packing, took their sponsorship and said see ya. Jerry wouldn’t return to football for over a decade. Meaning he had a lot of time for racing on his hands.

For some reason, Jerry thought he could just jump in a car and be competitive. After all, it’s just turning left and driving a car. The Busch series humbled him. In 1994 Glanville stepped down to the ARCA series to gain experience. A 52 years old, Glanville was a rookie.

The step down paid off actually. Jerry entered 10 races that year and recorded 2 Top 10 finishes. Look at that, old Jer-bear finally got quality finishes. Both on short tracks at Des Moines and I-70. He attempted one Busch race in 1994 but failed to qualify at Hickory.

When the NASCAR Truck Series started in 1995 guess who was there? You got it, Jerry bought himself a truck! He raced in 14 of the 20 races that season and failed to finish better than 14th that season. He would compete in the Truck series from 1995 to 1999 making only 27 starts in that time and failing to finish in the 10.

Glanville would return to the Busch Series in 1999 after taking a 5-year hiatus from the series. Now 57, Jerry struggled to find speed. He failed to qualify for the 5 races he entered. That wouldn’t be the last we saw of Jerry Glanville though.

From 2000-2004 he competed in 17 ARCA races. Not only competing, he was finally competitive in a race car. In 2001 he entered 5 races and recorded three Top 10 finishes and one Top 5. He would repeat that performance in 2002 as well.

Glanville’s driving career came to an end at the age of 62 in 2004. He made one start in the 9th race of the season at Michigan, a 23rd place finish would be the end of the road for Jerry. His driving career was behind him.

The next season he joined the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football team as the defensive coordinator. He would go on to be the head coach at Portland State for 3 years. Now 76, Glanville apparently lives a pretty quiet life outside of the football and NASCAR spotlight.

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