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Hall alumnus DJ Glynn (far left) retired his track and football cleats to drive trucks all over the U.S. and start a family. Glynn has been married to wife Elizabeth for nine years and has three children (from left to right) Elimea, Landon and Dylan. Submitted photo
When student-athletes are younger there is nothing more important than the feats accomplished on the sports stage.
The adrenaline rush of hitting a game-winning jumper, hitting the clutch RBI-single to send a team to state or winning a state championship in track and field is enough fuel to last some a lifetime.
In the life of former Hall track star DJ Glynn, winning nine state medals — including four state championships in the 100-,200-, 400- meter dash and the high jump in 1999 — was just the tip of the iceberg in happiness.
The excitement he enjoys now is from his family.
“I think it has turned out well,” said the 33-year old Glynn. “I was blessed to meet my wife (Elizabeth). I was blessed with three children. Honestly, that makes me the richest person in the world.”
Glynn has been married for nine years and the couple has brought 8-year old Landon, 5-year old Dylan and 2-year old Elimae into their home in Magnolia, Ill.
As the only two-time Hall Hall of Fame member — as an individual for his track and football accomplishments in the inaugural Class of 2010 and as a member of the 1999 boys track team — puts it, Landan is fast and a spitting image of him, while Dylan is his linebacker.
The boys didn’t realize just how fast their father was until they saw the tape of his state performances.
“About three weeks ago was the first time my boys have seen the video of me at state. We actually sat down and watched it and they were pretty amazed,” said Glynn, who is an assistant coach for his son’s baseball teams. “They were like ‘Holy cow dad that’s you. You’re on TV’ and ‘Holy cow dad, you were super fast.’”
“It gave me goose bumps. It made my heart race and still gave me that exciting feeling. I think it was more positive having the kids watch it and see their reaction more than anything.”
Dave Safransky, a Spring Valley doctor, remembers Glynn before he would have his name all over the record books as Safransky and his brother Steve Safransky gave Glynn advice.
Doctor Safransky knew the Glynn family from his office and began a track relationship with them when him and his son Frank, who ran track for St. Bede at the time, seen them working on Glynn’s craft on Hall’s track.
“We helped him a little bit, but pretty much what he did he did on his own,” said Dave Safransky, who last spoke to Glynn a year and a half ago. “On my end, I worked with him on running form and starting blocks.
“He is a great kid with a great personality. All the way around, I thought he was a great kid. He was a great kid to work with and a great kid to watch.”
Glynn holds four Hall records — it was five until Collin Aimone took the long jump record at the Three Rivers Conference meet in May by besting Glynn’s leap of 21 feet, 9 inches with a jump of 21-10 — three records in the now-folded North Central Illinois Conference and three in Bureau County.
After graduation in 1999, Glynn retired from athletics to help his little sister Jenna, who was 8-years old at the time, with her juvenile diabetes that required insulin shots two-times a day.
Glynn said he was happy to be there for her and is happy to see her as a 24-year old woman with a son of her own.
“Some things are more responsible,” said Glynn, who is the second youngest of six children. “You have to put your priorities first. Going to work and doing what I had to do was more important. You make sacrifices, but they’re not sacrifices. It’s family. You do what you’re supposed to do. There isn’t anything more important in life than family.”
The profession he chose instead of furthering his athletics was trucking. Glynn rode all over the country with his father Denny in his semi-truck when he was younger and decided to get behind the wheel himself.
Nick Hanck, who is the Lady Red Devils track coach and was part of the Hall of Fame 1999 three-man team with Glynn and Matt Stank, said he foreseen Glynn as a truck driver even back then.
“He talked about his stories with his dad on the road all the time,” Hanck said. “He was a great athlete. He was a varsity football starter for three seasons as well. He had the talent to be a good sprinter as well as a good jumper and he utilized his talent to the fullest while he was at Hall.”
Packard Transport in Channahon, Ill. was his first experience with heavy haul and oversize loads. He took some time away from trucking and owned his own demolition business, but returned to the road as he currently delivers RVs coast to coast from Monday to Wednesday for Hoosier Rapid Transport.
The other four days, he is at home enjoying his family.
“Looking back now, I wouldn’t change my life for anything,” Glynn said. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Brandon LaChance can be reached at 220-6995, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.
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