If the reaction to the opening speaker was any indication of the afternoon to follow it, the first Al Glick Youth Football Camp was a success.
More than one dozen former players serving as coaches stood in a line as current Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh received the microphone from Jackson native Al Glick to kick off the first Al Glick Youth Football Camp.
Harbaugh, who spoke fondly of attending youth football camps as a child — and added how most if not all of his former players shared a similar experience when they were in grade school — instructed the young athletes on how to approach the day.
“The first thing to remember is that you’re all unique,” Harbaugh said. “The best piece of advice I can give you is to do what your coach tells you to do, as hard as you can do it.”
More than 250 athletes in fourth through ninth grades from the greater Jackson area showed up at Jackson High on Saturday to learn from former Michigan football players, such as Lamarr Woodley, Mike Martin, Marcus Ray, Glen Steele and more.
The football camp is just the latest move in a life dedicated to youth sports in the Jackson area for Glick.
Glick, 91, a 1986 Al Cotton Award recipient and 2012 Jackson Citizen Patriot Citizen of the Year award winner, has been a Michigan fan since his older brother attended the university when Glick was a child. Since founding Alro Steel Corporation in the mid-1940’s,. he’s made it a point to donate to the school.
But instead of the University of Michigan, Saturday was about the youth, and Harbaugh didn’t mix words when speaking of the man whose name hangs on the practice football facility in Ann Arbor.
“As a person, (if) you want to follow somebody (and) you want to learn how to set an example, there’s no-one better I think in this world than Al Glick,” Harbaugh said. “Big thrill (to open the camp), I love Al Glick, love what he’s trying to accomplish for young kids who are trying to play football.
“You can see it, there are 250 that want to participate and get out here and run around.”