Former EKU football coach Glenn Presnell to be inducted into Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame

Glenn Presnell will be inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer. He was a part of EKU athletics for 28 years. 

Former Eastern Kentucky University football coach and athletics director Glenn Presnell will be inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame in June. 

Presnell was a part of EKU athletics for 28 years from 1947-1974. 

Presnell will become the ninth EKU honoree in the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining former players Wally Chambers (2006), Jason Dunn (2006), John Jackson (2009), Yeremiah Bell (2010), Chad Bratzke (2013), Aaron Jones (2015), Myron Guyton (2016) and Tim Lester (2018).

His professional football career began in 1928 when he served as player-coach for the Ironton Tanks. In 1930, he led the Tanks to upset wins over the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears. 

The Ironton franchise was eliminated after 1930 and he played the next three seasons for the Portsmouth Spartans. In the inaugural season for the NFL in 1933, he led the league in total offense, set the single season record with 64 points and was chosen to the All-NFL team. 

After the 1933 season, the Great Depression claimed another small town team and Detroit bought the Spartans for $7,850. In the first year of existence, Detroit owner Dick Richards called Glenn and his wife, Liz, into his office and asked them to pick the team's colors. They chose Honolulu blue and silver, which have remained the Lions’ colors. Also, in his first season with the Lions, Presnell scored the game’s only points in a 3-0 win over Green Bay by kicking a league-record 54-yard field goal, a mark that stood as the league’s best for 19 years.

In 1935, Presnell quarterbacked the Lions to the NFL championship. His nine-year professional career ended the next year as he finished with more than 2,500 yards rushing, 3,000 yards passing and accounted for 35 touchdowns.

Presnell began his collegiate coaching career in 1947 at EKU as backfield coach for Tom Samuels. He remained in that position for seven years before being named head coach in 1954. His first season as head coach was his best as the Colonels went 8-1-1 and compiled a perfect 5-0 mark in Ohio Valley Conference play to capture the school’s first conference football title.

That 1954 team also was invited to Orlando where they played Omaha in the Tangerine Bowl, losing 7-6. In 10 seasons as the EKU head coach, the team collected 42 wins and added the 1962 league title to the 1954 OVC crown.

Presnell stuck around following his exit from serving as head football coach in 1963. Presnell was EKU’s director of athletics from 1963-71, while still coaching the Colonel men's golf team, a position he held from 1957-74. 

The future Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Famer was inducted into the Eastern Kentucky University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014. 

As of publication, the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony will be held at the Lexington Opera House on June 26 at 7 p.m.

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