Robert A. Glascott, 81, of Plymouth Meeting, a coach, boys' camp official, Penn Relays organizer, and retired college recreation director, whose work touched the lives of thousands of young people, died Monday, Dec. 7.
Mr. Glascott died of pulmonary fibrosis at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
A native Philadelphian, Mr. Glascott distinguished himself at Roman Catholic High School in football, basketball, and track.
In 1951 and 1952, he was named all-Catholic, all-scholastic, and all-city as a football player and twice received awards from the Maxwell Football Club.
At the University of Tennessee, Mr. Glascott, a tall, sturdy man, "was a lead blocker for Tennessee legend Johnny Majors in 1955, and went on to appear in the 1957 Sugar Bowl," according to UTSPORTS.COM.
The website said he was "on the Vols' 1957 Gator Bowl team, which defeated Texas A&M, 3-0." Mr. Glascott received a bachelor's and a master's degree, both in education, from the school in 1959.
In recognition of his football prowess, he was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame (Montco Chapter) on Oct. 4, 2013. In 2014, he was among 125 people of distinction honored by Roman Catholic.
After college, Mr. Glascott served in the Army as a first lieutenant at Fort Dix, where he was commanding officer of a service company and assistant football coach.
He began his career in 1961 as a special-education teacher in the Philadelphia School District all the while acting as football coach at Monsignor Bonner High School. In 1967, he was hired by the University of Pennsylvania as associate director of physical education and was named director of recreation in 1980. He retired in 1996.
Some of his happiest moments were spent as counselor and later assistant director at Camp Tecumseh, a residential camp for boys 8 to 16, set on 300 acres in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
The boys came from the Philadelphia area and the Northeast corridor all the way south to Kentucky but also from France, Belgium, and Italy. The camp mission was "to make good boys better."
His time at the camp began in 1951 and reached its 59th year in 2010, when he was honored for his service.
"I still enjoy it," Mr. Glascott told The Inquirer. "The little guys in the evening go up and sit on the hill with a great view of the lake. 'Tell us what it was like when you were up here as a camper, Mr. Glascott.' " Of course, he joked, "the lies get bigger every year."
Known as "Bob," Mr. Glascott had another public persona as a Penn Relays organizer.
In 1974, he began assisting at the Relays and kept it up for 41 years. Mr. Glascott's father, Jack, served as the Relays' chief clerk, overseeing the daily running of the carnival, from the early 1940s until his death in 1966. Mr. Glascott acted as associate to Herman Mancini, who took over after Jack Glascott's death. Eventually, Mr. Glascott assumed the clerkship, taking a ceremonial baton from Mancini.
Mr. Glascott regarded the post as a calling, not a chore.
"It is more or less a family thing," Mr. Glascott told The Inquirer in 1998. "I've been around the Penn Relays all my life. I guess if you are from Philadelphia and are interested in track and field at all, the Penn Relays gets in your blood."
He is survived by his wife, Patsy Stone Glascott; daughters Elizabeth A. and Margaret A. Glascott-Birch; son Robert A. Jr.; five grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and a brother. A brother and sister died earlier.
Services were Friday, Dec. 11.
Donations may be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 230 E. Ohio St., Suite 304, Chicago, Ill. 60611.