Year in Review 2011: Glazier hired as new Park football coachIn 2011, for the first time in 26 years, Park had a new head football coach.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
In 2011, for the first time in 26 years, Park had a new head football coach.
Longtime Cottage Grove resident Darin Glazier was named the coach at Park High School last year.
Glazier, who spent 13 years with the Tartan football program overall and who was 29-22 in his five years as head coach, took over for longtime Park head coach Doug Ekmark, who resigned following the Wolfpack’s 0-9 season in 2009-10. Ekmark spent 26 years as the head coach.
“Coach Ekmark has been here 26 years, in this one program, that doesn’t happen too often anymore,” Glazier said when hired. “I feel bad the way things ended for him, because I know he put his heart and soul into this program. But, I’m excited to get in and get started with these kids and bring it back up to where it needs to be. The change here is healthy at this time and we’re looking forward to rebuilding this thing.”
In 2011, Glazier’s first year, Park ended the year winless for the second straight season, going 0-9 and falling to rival Woodbury, 44-7, in the opening round of playoffs. At the end of the year, Park was riding a 20-game losing streak. The Wolfpack’s last win was Friday, Oct. 9, 2009, 27-25 over East Ridge. Park is currently 1-26 since the start of 2009 season.
After the year, Glazier said his first season at Park was a challenge, but he had no regrets and he was happy with a number of changes made to the program – especially at the youth level – where St. Paul Park and Cottage Grove came together to form Junior Wolfpack football and a mites flag football league began. He also said the community events like kicking off the season with Midnight Madness and the Community Football Night at Park were positive.
Also, Park put some big stats together on the year. Park junior running back Dylan Smallidge finished the year with 834 yards rushing and nine touchdowns, senior quarterback Kyle Fritz was second in the Suburban East Conference in passing yards and D’Monte Farley was third in the SEC in receiving yards.
“It was certainly the toughest season I’ve ever been through,” Glazier said after the season was over. “Taking on a new challenge it certainly lived up to the billing. But, we’re going to keep working on it. I knew this wasn’t going to happen overnight.”