“Do not grow weary in doing what is right, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up”.
“Hells, bells, and shotgun shells”. -Joe Davis
Even though I was disappointed in my performance as a football player I must say, the overall experience at Lambuth was great! I loved the people at Lambuth and I fit in, I loved my classes, I made a lot of great friends and I belonged. I found myself. I really loved the coaches there as well. Our wide receivers coach, Nick Pappas, our offensive coordinator, Joe Davis, even though he was crazy, our offensive line coach Tim Gilmer, and our secondary coach, Danny Ridgeway, really took an interest in me. I know they were for me and that they had my back. We had a great player-coach relationship and they impacted me in a positive way. The two coaches that I was closest to were of course our quarterback coach and our wide receiver coach.
Joe Davis was our quarterback coach. Did I mention that he was crazy? He was and I loved him for it. There is no doubt that he was one of the most unique and entertaining coaches that I have ever known. I could have sat and talked with him for hours. He was well versed in the life of George Patton, world history, politics, current events, psychology, football, southern food, and reasons that Pete Rose was an American hero that should be in the baseball hall of fame. He had some great quotes and one liners that he would use often at practice. Here are just a few. “Hells, bells, and shotgun shells”, “Rhodes, Rhodes, the school by the zoo, where the women are women, and the men are too”, “kill them all and let God sort them out”, “the commie bastards” and “God bless America!” He also had some great one liners that he would use after I would make a good play that has to do with certain parts of the anatomy! I want to keep the book at least PG-13 so I will refrain! He kept me in stitches and made football a lot of fun!
Coach Joe Davis
The best memory was in 1989 when we were getting ready to play Rhodes College. It was becoming a flood outside so we did our stretching in the gym before the game. As we were doing the seated butterfly stretch Coach Davis began walking around through the team holding a metal folding chair in his hand. He had a really far out look on his face and in his eyes. He was also moaning and grunting. All of a sudden he yelled out something that I could not understand and he began to hit himself in the head with the metal folding chair. He had blood trickling down his face, he staggered and stumbled. The whole team went crazy! It was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen.
Nick Pappas was our wide receiver coach. He was from New York and was exactly what you would expect a man with a Greek-Italian background from New York would be like. He was dark complected with dark black hair, spoke with a New York accent, he had a temper and could cuss a blue streak. I was convinced that he was in the mafia and if I crossed him I would end up in the “drink”! He had been a star running back at Memphis State in the late sixties averaging over 6 yards a carry! He was a great player in his day and he was one of the best, if not the best, coach that I ever played for at any level. He really took me under his wing and he changed my life.
I also really loved school at Lambuth. I liked the professors and I liked interacting with people in my classes. It was at Lambuth that I started to come out of my shell for the first time and become a real leader. By nature, I am an introvert and shy. I learned to communicate and talk to people during those years at Lambuth. I also started to get pretty good grades by my second year, I learned a lot and I got a really good academic education! I really started feeling good about myself and I started to feel more confident.
Jackson Sun Photo from the Week of the Rhodes Game. “Rhodes, Rhodes, the school by the zoo, where the women are women, and the men are too”. Coach Joe Davis
I was the President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle on campus for three years. Under my leadership, the organization grew to have over 100 students at weekly gatherings. Because of FCA students were getting saved, baptized, and growing closer to the Lord. People were studying the Bible and getting excited about their faith and Christianity. We actually were experiencing a revival on campus. God was using me and it felt good. I actually led two of my best friends to the Lord during that time. Thom Ward and Rob Glidewell. I also think I had a great positive impact on my teammates and fellow students. A lot of my teammates and coaches would come to me for guidance and to ask me to pray for them. I felt important and I felt like I was somebody and it had nothing to do with being a good football player. I needed that in my life at that time and today I am proud to be a Lambuth Eagle!
Wayne Brantley #11 QB
Lambuth University Eagles
I had several really good teammates at Lambuth but the best one was Robert Ely Glidewell of Corinth, Mississippi! He was not only my friend, he was my brother! Proverbs 17:17 reflects our relationship, “a friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity”. Rob was a beast and he played center on the offensive line. I guess there’s just something special about the center-quarterback relationship! Rob arrived at Lambuth after my first year there as a JUCO transfer so we were teammates for two years. We were pretty much inseparable during that time. Rob could talk the ears off of a Billy Goat and he could consume more food and drink than anybody I have ever known before or since. It was not uncommon for Rob to buy the “pig pack” from O.D.’s barbeque and eat the whole thing by himself. The “pig pack” contained a pound of pulled pork, a pint of beans, a pint of slaw, a bag of potato chips, a pack of buns, and a two liter coke. He would eat this after he had already eaten dinner in the cafeteria! We would often go to Po Folks restaurant on Tuesday nights because they had all you can eat country fried steak! One of the funniest things was getting kicked out of Shoney’s because he ate them out of business on all you can eat shrimp night! Did I mention that he can talk? He can carry on a conversation with the best of them. I don’t think I have ever known a man that could talk as much as Rob. He could go on and on about history, politics, education, football, and the Bible. He also loved to talk trash. A lot of days in practice he would look at me and say, “hey Brantley, smell your hand.” You quarterbacks and centers out there will get the humor in that one. Or, he would say, “hey, Brantley, I didn’t wipe before practice today”, and die laughing. And, of course there would be the occasional farting on my hand just before he delivered the snap.
In all seriousness, Rob was and is one of the best men that I know. He was a really good offensive lineman, he was a devout christian, a great student and a great friend in college. Today, he is a teacher and coach, and the pastor of a church in Middleton, Tennessee. He has had a tremendous impact on literally thousands of people throughout his life. Although we haven’t seen each other in years and we rarely talk I have a lot of love and respect for that man!
(Left to Right) Wayne Brantley, Rob Glidewell, Allen Curtis, and Thom Ward