Liebelt Hopes To Return Glasgow To Former Glory
By J. Levi Burnfin Courier Sports
Published: Thursday, June 14th, 2012
A 1987 Glasgow graduate and state football champion, Greg Liebelt has been named the new head football coach for Glasgow High School.
On Wednesday, June 6, the Glasgow School Board voted to approve Liebelt after recommendation from a three-person panel that interviewed two potential candidates.
“I’ve always had a passion for Scottie football,” said Liebelt. “It sort of shaped my life.”
It’s easy to understand why he is so passionate about Scottie football as he grew up in an era of powerhouse Scottie football – from 1974 to 1986, Glasgow won four state championships, the final of which came in Liebelt’s senior year. He was a running back and defensive end for that team that went undefeated and won the state championship over Whitefish, 27-0.
Liebelt was a main part of the team as he earned All-State honors and earned an honorable mention as a Bally High School Football All-American.
The team included 13 players that would go on to play football at the collegiate level, three of whom, including Liebelt, earned D1 scholarships. It was a great time for Scottie football and the passion for the game was never higher.
And it’s that passion that brought him back to be part of Scottie football once again.
After he graduated in 1987, Liebelt accepted a scholarship to play football at Montana State University. He played running back for the Bobcats for two years.
Liebelt then transferred to Montana Tech, where he finished his final two years of eligibility. After that, Liebelt took some time off from football and focused on his career.
He couldn’t stay away from competition and the love of the game for too long, though. He coached middle school football and basketball for five years and was a football official for five years in Colstrip. However, his job led him, his wife, Shannon and his two kids, Karissa and Kendall, back to where he grew up, Fort Peck.
Football began to call his name again as an opportunity to be an assistant coach under Dan Dale arose.
He accepted the opportunity and was an assistant coach under Dale the past two years. Even though he was a running back for almost all of his football career, Dale needed a coach to run the defense, so Liebelt stepped up and took over the defensive coordinator duties.
And now that the opportunity has arisen to take over the program, it’s that balance between offense and defense that Liebelt feels will serve him well in the position.
Much of the philosophy and terminology will stay the same on defense since he was the main defensive coach the last couple of seasons. Though, the base defense will switch from the 4-4 the Scotties have run the last few seasons to a 4-3.
But Liebelt’s experience on offense will also help him craft a style of offense he feels will be more successful. In this case, he is planning to install the veer.
“[The veer] is a real simple offense as far as understanding and gives [us] a large variety of what [we] could do,” said Liebelt. “In Montana football in general . . . you have to have a solid running game . . . and then develop the passing game.”
But Liebelt hopes his biggest impact isn’t on the x’s and o’s of the playbook but on the kids themselves. He wants to restore some of the enthusiasm surrounding the football team and “get back to the basics.”
That’s what he sees as a large facet of his job – motivating the kids to perform well and to have fun while doing it.
“We have a lot of great kids and they want to do well but . . . we really struggle with kids showing up to practice all the time,” said Liebelt. “The challenge is assembling a good coaching staff number one, and then relating to the kids and motivating them.”
Glasgow has the athletes to re-establish themselves as a football program that is competing in the state playoffs every year. But the last time the Scotties even played in a state championship was Liebelt’s senior year.
Now it’s up to Liebelt to return Scottie football to its former glory.
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