BREAKING NEWS: Glass leaving Lincolnton to be head football coach at Hickory (updated)

Published Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

Joe Glass, the new head football coach at Hickory High, is leaving Lincolnton to guide the Red Tornadoes. HHS is his fifth school in the nine years he has been a head coach./HICKORY PUBLIC SCHOOLS PHOTO

He’s a former Red Tornadoes assistant

whose first head-coaching job was at Patton


A look at the changes in head football coaches at Hickory High — which approved a new one on Tuesday night  – since the late Frank Barger retired after the 1984 season:
Head coach               Years  Final Yr.
Larry Wittenberg          7          1991
Bob Hanna                      2         1993
David Elder                     9         2002
John Worley                    9         2011
Tom Harper                     1         2012
Mike Helms                      1+      2013
Forrest Blake                    1         2013
Allen Wittenberg             2         2016
Russell Stone                     4        2020
Notes: Larry Wittenberg, Allen’s father, is deceased … Blake was interim head coach in 2013 after Helms was removed from the position… Hickory’s varsity record over the 36 seasons is 227-197, inclusive of 12 forfeits, two in 1998 and nine in 2011 for eligibility violations… The Red Tornadoes have made the state playoffs 25 times in that span with five league titles and a share of four league titles.
SOURCE: research and files.

Editor’s note: This story has been edited to correct Glass’ tenure at Lincolnton, the number of years he has been a head coach and his career record.


HICKORY – Joe Glass, head football coach at Lincolnton High for the last two seasons and an assistant coach during his career at Hickory, is the new leader of the Red Tornadoes’ football program.

Glass will meet with current football players and prospective football players and their parents at the HHS gym on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

The school system announced it will schedule a Meet & Greet for HHS supporters and the community at a later date.

As reported on the coaching opening at HHS, multiple sources said Glass was among the three finalists and then was the choice. did not publish Glass’ name until this story to protect his privacy in his position as head football coach at Lincolnton.

Glass replaces Russell Stone, who was given an option of resigning or be fired in late April after four seasons as HHS head coach. He resigned on April 28.

Hickory went 0-7 last season overall and 0-6 in the Northwestern 3A-4A, and 15-27 under Stone.

Lincolnton went 1-5 last season in the South Fork 2A. It was Glass’ second season there (3-8 in 2019), and he came there after one season at Eastern Guilford (10-3).

His nine seasons as a head coach include two years at Patton (2012, 2013), four seasons at Concord Robinson (starting in 2014) and then one year at Eastern Guilford and two years at Lincolnton.

Glass’ career record is 53-42.

He also had stints as an assistant coach at Patton, Alexander Central, Hickory, East Burke and South Iredell.

Glass is a 1995 graduate of Freedom.


He was not available for comment on Tuesday and did not return phone calls seeking comment. When earlier reached by and asked about interest in the HHS job, he declined comment.

Confirmation of a teaching contract offer — needed by HHS Principal Rebecca Tuttle before she can assign Glass as head football coach – is expected within 24 to 48 hours in response to a request by for notification of anyone hired by the Hickory Public Schools at a Tuesday night meeting. is publishing Glass’ hire now because it has obtained via additional sources that Glass was approved by the HPS Board of Education.

Jason White, an attorney representing HPS, said Tuesday the school system would provide a press release to all media on Wednesday morning — if the HPS board in fact did approve a teaching contract for someone who would become head football coach.

That press release from Beverly Snowden, HPS public information officer, is expected on Wednesday morning.

She and HPS Superintendent Dr. Robert Adell would neither confirm or deny when asked (via e-mail) early Tuesday about whether Tuttle had coordinated a Meet and Greet with the new head coach for Wednesday at 6 p.m.

In an e-mail late Tuesday afternoon, White said Snowden would issue a press release if there was news related to HHS football, and that will receive a list of all school system hires approved Tuesday within 24 to 48 hours.

Actions by school boards are a matter of public record under state statutes, which say a public body has a “reasonable” amount of time to respond to such requests.

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