Glenn Presnell

Glenn Emery "Press" Presnell (July 28, 1905 – September 13, 2004) was an American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He set the NFL single-season scoring record in 1933 and led the league in total offense. He was the last surviving member of the Detroit Lions inaugural 1934 team and helped lead the team to its first NFL championship in 1935. He also set an NFL record with a 54-yard field goal in 1934, a record which was not broken for 19 years. Presnell served as the head football coach at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1942 and at Eastern Kentucky State College—now known as Eastern Kentucky University–from 1954 to 1963, compiling a career college football coaching record of 45–56–3. He was also the athletic director at Eastern Kentucky from 1963 to 1971.

Glenn Presnell
Glenn Presnell (1943)
Presnell from 1943 Cornhusker
Biographical details
BornJuly 28, 1905
Gilead, Nebraska
DiedSeptember 13, 2004 (aged 99)
Ironton, Ohio
Playing career
1929–1930Ironton Tanks
1931–1933Portsmouth Spartans
1934–1936Detroit Lions
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1937Kansas (backfield)
1938–1941Nebraska (backfield)
1944North Carolina Pre-Flight (backfield)
1946Nebraska (assistant)
1947–1953Eastern Kentucky (assistant)
1954–1963Eastern Kentucky
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1963–1971Eastern Kentucky
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
2 OVC (1954, 1962)
All-American, 1927

Early years

Born in Gilead, Nebraska, Presnell attended DeWitt High School and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He played college football as a halfback for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team from 1925 to 1927. In 1925, Presnell led Nebraska to a 14–0 victory over an Illini team that included the "Galloping Ghost", Red Grange.[1] As one writer put it, "all the galloping was done by Presnell this day."[2] Presnell was selected as a first-team player on the 1927 College Football All-America Team.

Professional football

After leaving Nebraska, Presnell played football for the Ironton Tanks in Ironton, Ohio. He was a player-coach for the team and also taught science at Ironton High School. Presnell was a halfback in Ironton's single wing offense and also played on defense at what would later be considered the safety position. Although not officially part of the National Football League, the Tanks played against teams in the league. In 1930, Presnell led Ironton to victories over both the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears. Against the Giants, the Tanks trailed 12-6 with three seconds left. Presnell threw a touchdown pass to Gene Alford and then kicked the extra point to give Ironton a 13–12 victory over a Giants team that finished in second place in the NFL. He also scored two touchdowns against the Bears, including an 88-yard run.[1][2]

After the 1930 season, the Tanks folded. In 1931, Presnell joined the Portsmouth Spartans in the NFL. He remained with Portsmouth from 1931 to 1933. He had his best season in 1933, when he led the NFL in total offense with 1,296 yards. He also broke the single-season NFL scoring record with 64 points. (Ken Strong tied with Presnell with the same point total in 1933.)[3][4] During the 1933 NFL season, Presnell completed 50 of 125 passes for 774 passing yards and added 522 rushing yards on 118 carries for an average of 4.4 yards per carry.[5][6] He also kicked five field goals and 13 extra points. He led the NFL with six rushing touchdowns and 13 successful extra point conversions. He also finished second in the league (behind Harry Newman) in passing touchdowns, passes completed, pass attempts, and passing yards.[3] Following the 1933 season, Presnell was selected as a first-team All-NFL player by the NFL, the United Press, and Collyers Eye Magazine.[5]

In 1934, the owner of the Portsmouth Spartans sold the team. The team was moved from Portsmouth, Ohio to Detroit, Michigan, and became the Detroit Lions. When Presnell visited Detroit to sign his first contract with the Lions in 1934, team owner George A. Richards allowed Presnell to pick the team's colors. Presnell later recalled:

"Mr. Richards, the owner, the day I was up there and signed my contract, he said: 'There's a table out there in the next office covered with uniforms. Why don't you pick out the colors you like?' I went out. My wife was with me. We saw this Honolulu blue and silver and we fell in love with it."


Presnell remained with the Lions from 1934 to 1936. He combined with Dutch Clark, Ace Gutowsky, and Ernie Caddel to lead the Lions to a second-place finish in 1934. And in 1935, the same group led the Lions to their first NFL championship, culminating with a 26-7 victory over the New York Giants in the 1935 NFL Championship Game. Presnell also set an NFL record with a 54-yard field goal in 1934, a mark that was not broken until 1953.[4]

Coaching and later years

Presnell retired as a player after the 1936 season at age 31. He worked as an assistant football coach at the University of Kansas in 1937 and then as the backfield coach at Nebraska from 1938 to 1941.[7] In February 1942, he became the head football coach and athletic director at Nebraska.[8][9] The Cornhusers, compiled a record of 3-7 in Presnell's one season as head coach.

In December 1942, Presnell enlisted in the United States Navy.[10] In May 1943, he was commissioned as a lieutenant and assigned to the Navy's physical education training program.[11] In 1944 Presnell served as backs coach at the North Carolina Pre-Flight School.[12] He spent three years in the Navy.

In 1954, Presnell returned to coaching as the head football coach for Eastern Kentucky University. He held that position from 1954 to 1963. He was then athletic director at Eastern Kentucky until his retirement in 1971.

Presnell died in September 2004 in Ironton, Ohio at the age of 99. He had been the last surviving member of the Detroit Lions' inaugural 1934 team.[4]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Nebraska Cornhuskers (Big Six Conference) (1942)
1942 Nebraska 3–7 3–2 3rd
Nebraska: 3–7 3–2
Eastern Kentucky Colonels (Ohio Valley Conference) (1954–1963)
1954 Eastern Kentucky 8–1–1 5–0 1st L Tangerine
1955 Eastern Kentucky 5–4–1 3–2 3rd
1956 Eastern Kentucky 4–5 2–3 T–3rd
1957 Eastern Kentucky 4–5 3–2 3rd
1958 Eastern Kentucky 3–6 3–3 4th
1959 Eastern Kentucky 3-6 2–4 5th
1960 Eastern Kentucky 3–6–1 1–4–1 T–6th
1961 Eastern Kentucky 4–5 3–3 4th
1962 Eastern Kentucky 6–3 5–2 T–1st
1963 Eastern Kentucky 2–8 1–6 7th
Eastern Kentucky: 42–49–3 28–29–1
Total: 45–56–3
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth



  1. ^ a b c Casey Laughman (August 9, 2002). "Presnell still loves the game: Oldes living former NFL standout played at Nebraska in the 1920s". McCook Daily Gazette (AP story).
  2. ^ a b Jim Walker (July 20, 1980). "Glenn Presnell" (PDF). The Coffin Corner (reprinted from The Ironton Tribune). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 11, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "1933 NFL Leaders and Leaderboards".
  4. ^ a b c d Richard Goldstein (September 18, 2004). "Glenn Presnell, 99, Star Back in the N.F.L. in the 1930's, Dies". The New York Times.
  5. ^ a b "Glenn Presnell".
  6. ^ "Glenn Presnell Leads Pro Backs In General Play". The Newburgh News. January 8, 1934.
  7. ^ "Presnell To Help Jones: Is Picked as Backfield Coach for Nebraska's Eleven" (PDF). The New York Times. February 4, 1938.
  8. ^ "Nebraska Job To Presnell". The Pittsburgh Press (UP story). February 3, 1942.
  9. ^ "Glenn Presnell 1942". Husker Century. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012.
  10. ^ "Presnell Passes Navy Exam" (PDF). The New York Times. December 10, 1942.
  11. ^ "Presnell Naval Lieutenant" (PDF). The New York Times. May 20, 1943.
  12. ^ Tomberlin, Jason (October 21, 2009). "Bear Bryant in Chapel Hill". North Carolina Miscellany. UNC University Libraries. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  13. ^ "Hall of Very Good Class of 2007". Retrieved November 23, 2016.

External links

1927 All-Western college football team

The 1927 All-Western college football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Western teams chosen by various selectors for the 1927 college football season.

1932 All-Pro Team

The 1932 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1932 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, seven of the eight NFL coaches for the Associated Press (AP), the United Press, and Collyer's Eye (CE).Five players were selected for the first team by all three selectors: Portsmouth Spartans quarterback Dutch Clark; Chicago Bears fullback Bronko Nagurski; New York Giants end Ray Flaherty; Green Bay Packers tackle Cal Hubbard; and Chicago Bears guard Zuck Carlson.

1933 All-Pro Team

The 1933 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1933 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the NFL coaches (NFL), the United Press, Red Grange for Collyer's Eye (CE), and the Green Bay Press-Gazette (GB).

1934 Detroit Lions season

The 1934 Detroit Lions season was the fifth season in franchise history. It was the first season the team played in Detroit; the franchise had previously played as the Portsmouth Spartans in Portsmouth, Ohio, a city with a population of approximately 40,000. Under head coach Potsy Clark, the Lions won their first ten games (the first seven shut outs) before losing three straight games to end the season. They finished in second place in the NFL Western Division behind the undefeated Chicago Bears.

Three Lions ranked among the NFL leaders in rushing yardage: Dutch Clark with 763 yards (third), Ernie Caddel with 528 yards (fifth), and Ace Gutowsky with 517 yards (seventh). Two Lions also ranked among the league leaders in points scored: Dutch Clark with 73 points (second) and Glenn Presnell with 63 points (third). Clark also led the NFL with 1,146 yards of total offense and ranked among the league leaders with 13 extra points made (second) and 383 passing yards (fourth). Harry Ebding led the NFL with 264 receiving yards and 22.0 receiving yards per game.

1935 Detroit Lions season

The 1935 Detroit Lions season resulted in the Lions winning their first National Football League (NFL) championship. In their second season in Detroit and fifth under head coach Potsy Clark, the Lions placed first in the NFL's Western Division and went on to defeat the New York Giants, 26–7, in the 1935 NFL Championship Game. The leading offensive players were Dutch Clark, who led the NFL with 55 points, and Ernie Caddel, who led the league with 621 yards from scrimmage and 6.4 yards per touch.

1935 NFL Championship Game

The 1935 National Football League Championship game was the third National Football League (NFL) title game, held December 15 at University of Detroit Stadium (Titan Stadium) in Detroit, Michigan. The 1935 champion of the Western Division was the Detroit Lions (7–3–2) and the champion of the Eastern Division was the New York Giants (9–3).The Giants, coached by Steve Owen, were in their third straight title game and were defending champions, while the Lions (coached by George "Potsy" Clark) were in their first title game, three years removed from their nailbiting loss in the indoor 1932 NFL Playoff Game as the Portsmouth Spartans.

1942 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team

The 1942 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team was an American football team that represented the University of Nebraska in the Big Six Conference during the 1942 college football season. In its first season under head coach Glenn Presnell, the team compiled a 3–7 record (3–2 against conference opponents), finished third in the Big Six, and was outscored by a total of 158 to 55. The team played its home games at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska.

1946 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team

The 1946 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team was the representative of the University of Nebraska and member of the Big 6 Conference in the 1946 college football season. The team was coached by Bernie Masterson and played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Charles A. Keith

Charles Alexander Keith (February 28, 1883 – June 22, 1960) was an American football, basketball and baseball coach. He served as the head football coach at Eastern Kentucky University in 1912 after serving as the head baseball coach at the University of Texas in 1910. Keith was a Rhodes Scholar and a member of the faculty at Eastern Kentucky for 41 years.

Clyde H. Wilson

Clyde Hubert Wilson (born December 28, 1889) was an American college football and basketball coach. He served as the head football coach at Eastern Kentucky University from 1910 to 1911 and at West Tennessee Normal School—now known as the University of Memphis—from 1912 to 1915.

Eastern Kentucky Colonels

The Eastern Kentucky Colonels are the intercollegiate athletic teams of Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), located in Richmond, Kentucky, United States. The Colonels athletic program is a charter member of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) and competes at the NCAA Division I level including the Football Championship Subdivision. The EKU mascot is The Colonel, and the school colors are maroon and white. While the women's teams were formerly known as the Lady Colonels, the school now emphasizes that all teams are now Colonels.

Eastern Kentucky Colonels football

The Eastern Kentucky Colonels football program represents Eastern Kentucky University in college football as a member of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC), and competes at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. The school has traditionally had much success on the football field, having won 21 OVC conference titles and two Division I FCS National Championships (then called Division I-AA) in 1979 and 1982, and reaching the finals in 1980 and 1981. Much of the success came during the long tenure of head coach Roy Kidd from 1964 to 2002. In 1990, Eastern honored Kidd by naming the school's football stadium Roy Kidd Stadium. Eastern Kentucky's football team was able to secure 31 consecutive winning seasons before finally posting a losing season record in 2009.

In September 2013, the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper of nearby Lexington, reported that EKU was considering moving its program to the top-level Football Bowl Subdivision. However, under NCAA rules, such a move would require that EKU receive an invitation from an existing FBS conference.

Harry Hopp

Harry Hopp (December 18, 1918 – December 22, 1964) was a professional American football fullback who played in the National Football League (NFL) and the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). He played for the NFL's Detroit Lions (1941–1943) and the AAFC's Buffalo Bisons (1946), Miami Seahawks (1946), and Los Angeles Dons (1947).

Ironton Tanks

The Ironton Tanks were a semi-professional football team organized in 1919 in Ironton, Ohio.

Their historical marker gives the story of the Tanks origin: "Semi-professional football began in Ironton in 1893 with a team known as the Irontonians. The Ironton Tanks, founded in 1919, was a combination of two Ironton cross-town rival football clubs known as the Irish Town Rags and the Lombards." Their name reflected both the town's deep roots in the iron industry and the desire of returning soldiers from World War I to run over their opponents.

List of Detroit Lions starting quarterbacks

These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Lions.


Presnell is a surname and given name. People with that name include:

Alistair Presnell (born 1979), Australian professional golfer

Glenn Presnell (1905-2004), American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator

Gregory A. Presnell (born 1942), Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida

Harve Presnell (1933-2009), American actor and singer

Michele D. Presnell (born 1952), Republican member of the North Carolina General Assembly

Pres Mull (Presnell Alfonzo Mull, 1922-2005), American football player and coach

Todd Hons

Todd Hank Hons (born September 5, 1961) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League and Arena Football League. He played for the Detroit Lions and Detroit Drive. He played college football for the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Tom Dublinski

Thomas Eugene Dublinski (August 8, 1930 – November 26, 2015) was a professional American football quarterback who played in five NFL seasons from 1952–1960 for 3 different teams including the Detroit Lions. He also saw playing time in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Dublinski died on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2015.

Turkey Hughes

Charles Talton "Turkey" Hughes (April 22, 1902 – August 31, 1985) was an American college football, basketball and baseball player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Eastern Kentucky University from 1929 to 1934. The baseball field at Eastern Kentucky, Turkey Hughes Field, is named in his honor.

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