July 16, 2015
This is Part 2 of a three-part series with Steve Raible, who is the play-by-play radio voice of the Seattle Seahawks. RamblinWreck.com’s Matt Winkeljohn sat down with him during a recent trip to Seattle. In case you missed it, here’s the link to Part 1: Raible Goes Deep from Tech.
By Matt Winkeljohn
The Good Word
SEATTLE – Steve Raible crossed paths with Jerry Glanville in the NFL, where the former head coach of the Oilers and Falcons was unique for his sizzle. Glanville brought steaks, too, and long before he or Raible turned pro.
Raible wound up at Georgia Tech, where he lettered as a tight end/wide receiver from 1972-’75 and landed in the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004, largely because Glanville pulled him and several other players out of Louisville.
A certain coach always did things big, even while recruiting as a Tech assistant.
“He’d come into town in a big car and he’d gather up Herb Scales and a couple of us and he’d say, ‘Let’s go get some groceries,’” Raible recalled recently. “He took us to what was called the Embassy Club, the best steak house in Louisville.
“We’d just eat everything on the menu. It was the first time I ever had shrimp cocktail, the first time I really had a big T-bone steak. My mom cooked steaks, but nothing like this.”
While leading the Falcons from ’90-‘93, Glanville, 73, fashioned quite an aura with his black attire, cowboys boots, garish hats, sunglasses and a fairly boisterous thread of commentary about any number of things.
He wasn’t much different as a Tech assistant from ’68-’73.
For all the wonderful memories Raible has from a pro playing career that ran from ’76-’81 with the Seahawks, another 33 years on the team’s radio broadcast crew and as a local news and sports anchor in Seattle, he sure hasn’t forgotten the unique stylings of the man chiefly responsible for recruiting him.
Glanville practically owned Louisville in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.
In ’71-’72 alone, he pulled Raible, guard Mark Hunter, center Leo Tierney and tackle Herb Scales out from under former Louisville coach Lee Corso. A year later, tackle Bobby Bruenderman heard Glanville’s siren song and joined the Yellow Jackets from Trinity High, Raible’s alma mater.
Raible does a pretty fair impersonation of his primary recruiter, raising his voice and adding a bit of a rasp and twang.
“Oh, my goodness; I always thought he was great. He was funny,” Raible said of Glanville, who coached the Tech freshman team in ’68 and then on the defensive side of the varsity staff for five years before joining the NFL’s Lions in ‘74. “He used to come rolling into town in a Cadillac or something.
“They had a little three-piece combo at the Embassy, and Jerry would walk in a say, ‘I’ll give you $20 if you can play ‘Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech,’ and those guys could. That was fun.”
For a time, the Louisville lot was large and loud.
Raible’s family and others caravanned to games home and away, and they peaked in ’75 when Raible, Hunter and Tierney all earned Southern Independent honors along with linebacker Lucious Sanford and defensive tackle Rick Gibney.
The Jackets went 7-4 while setting a school rushing record of 329.7 rushing yards per game in the wishbone offense of head coach Pepper Rodgers. Raible was quite the threat on end-around running plays.
“We always had a big contingent that could come down . . . my parents, Leo’s parents, Bobby’s parents, Herb’s folks,” he recalled. “They’d take up half a wing of a hotel, party on Friday night and be out there on Saturday watching their boys play. I had two younger sisters, and they’d bring neighbors sometimes.”
Tech senior director of development/associate athletic director Jack Thompson has been in the fund-raising arm of the Athletic Association for years. Back in the day, the Louisville native (and Kentucky graduate) helped twist arms while in the football recruiting office.
“Jack Thompson is the one I’ve stayed in the most touch with at Tech,” Raible said. “He’s come out and visited us [in Seattle]. I love Jack. He and Jerry were the two guys most responsible for recruiting me.”
As anybody who’s spent time around Glanville knows, he can bust chops. The recruits were not immune upon reporting in ’72. Here’s another impersonation:
“When I first walked in, he said, ‘Raible, what happened to you during the summer? Did you get polio or something? Look at those arms. You’re so skinny I can’t believe it. We got to get you on some food. You got to lift some weights. This is college now.’
“All that love he gave us was out the window. He beat us up after that, but he always remembered his guys. He was good to us, and we in turn . . . the University of Louisville and Kentucky for the most part didn’t do very well while we were at Georgia Tech, and we did pretty well at Tech.”