Detroit Lions coaches as players: Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn

Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn watches warm up during minicamp in Allen Park on Wednesday, June 8, 2022.
Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn watches warm up during minicamp in Allen Park on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. /

Moving on to another in our series looking at the playing careers of Detroit Lions coaches, we have defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn.

When Dan Campbell was hired as Detroit Lions head coach in 2021, he brought a fellow former New Orleans Saints assistant with him when he hired Aaron Glenn as his defensive coordinator. After his first season as a coordinator, Glenn got head coaching interviews with the Denver Broncos and the Saints.

Glenn was the Saints’ defensive backs coach for five seasons before following Campbell to Detroit. Before that, he was the Cleveland Browns’ assistant defensive backs coach for two seasons (2014-2015). Before that, he was a general manager for a team in a small Texas-based football league and a personnel scout for the New York Jets.

Glenn started his college playing career at a junior college. But he had a nicely-decorated two seasons at Texas A&M in 1992 and 1993, including Consensus All-American honors in that final season as an Aggie.

Detroit Lions coaches as players: Aaron Glenn

The Jets took Glenn 12th overall in the 1994 NFL Draft. In eight seasons as a Jet, he started 120 games (121 appearances), with two Pro Bowl selections and multiple interceptions six times.

Glenn was left unprotected for the 2002 Expansion Draft, and the Houston Texans snapped him up. He made the Pro Bowl in his first season in Houston, of course among the first Texans to earn that honor in the franchise’s history, as he intercepted five passes and returned two of them for touchdowns.

After two more seasons with the Texans, Glenn signed with the Dallas Cowboys and reunited with Bill Parcells, his former head coach with the Jets. As a 33-year old in 2005, his first season with the Cowboys, he had four interceptions and 13 pass breakups.

Glenn spent one more season in Dallas, then he was cut just before the 2007 season started.  He landed quickly with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but only played five games for them that season.

Glenn signed with the Saints for the 2008 season. An ankle injury eventually landed him on IR, and he played just four games in his final NFL season.

Glenn later signed a one-day contract with the Texans, so he could retire as a member of that team.

Over 15 NFL seasons, Glenn played in 205 games with 176 starts. He had 41 interceptions, returning six of them for touchdowns, and he was a productive kickoff returner early in his career with the Jets.

Glenn has maintained how he’s focused on being the best defensive coordinator he can be for the Lions, but he is among the top rising stars in the NFL assistant coaching ranks. It’s a matter of time before he’s a head coach in the league, possibly as soon as 2023 as he’s sure to get interviews again.

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