Top of the First: Former Philadelphia Phillie Doug Glanville is Just Getting Started
Doug Glanville (SE’92) has always appreciated versatility. During his decade-long career in Major League Baseball, Glanville was a well-rounded player known for his speed on the base paths, his crisp line drives, and his silky-smooth defense. Today, the former Philadelphia Phillie is no longer patrolling centerfield at the now-imploded Veterans Stadium like he did from 1998-2002, but the former Systems Engineering major still sees the value of a varied skill set.
Despite interest from traditional baseball powerhouses like Miami, North Carolina and Clemson, Glanville chose Penn due to its success on the diamond. Glanville was all-Ivy League in 1991 and a second team preseason All-American, but tried to resist placing himself in a particular niche at Penn. “To figure out [just] one place where you belong, whether it’s a fraternity, or black and white, or whatever the group may be, was never really appealing to me growing up,” Glanville says. “So I forged my own path and found my spot.”
That spot included a seat in renowned transportation systems professor Vukan Vuchic’s classroom. The UPS Foundation Professor of Transportation Engineering and City and Regional Planning would become Glanville’s mentor, a source of professional knowledge and later, friendship. Vuchic recalls that Glanville “was always remarkable. He was very capable, interested, intelligent, and he really enjoyed transportation, and wanted the required skills to work as an engineer.”
Glanville did join the Cubs minor league system, but returned to Penn in the fall of 1992 to complete his degree. He then embarked on a grueling five-year tour of the Cubs’ farm system. After a productive first full season in the majors with the Cubs, the organization traded him to Philadelphia. Glanville was surprised and a bit hurt by the trade, but eventually took it for what it was: opportunity. The lithe and speedy leadoff man became a regular in the Philadelphia outfield for five seasons, peaking in 1999 with a .325 batting average, 34 steals, and 101 runs.
The 37-year-old Glanville has embarked on a post-playing career that spans a wide spectrum, ranging from business interests to creative outlets such as writing a column, “Heading Home: Major League Reflections on Baseball and Life,” for The New York Times. “The knock on being a systems person at Penn,” Glanville says, “was that we were sort of a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. But what has transpired in our culture and our society, with everything being so international and globalized and with so many specialties, it’s becoming much more important in leadership positions to have many skill sets and be able to cross over to different disciplines.”
Crossing over into different disciplines is exactly what Glanville and childhood friend/business partner Assad Koshul are intent on doing. The duo first teamed up in 2004 on an energy-efficient housing development project in the Chicago area called Glanville- Koshul Homes. In 2006, with the real estate market sagging, Glanville and Koshul formed GK Alliance, LLC, a multi-faceted consulting company that provides the “intellectual capital” to help emerging businesses get off the ground and improve.
A former First-Team GTE Academic All-American at Penn, Glanville is excited to put his systems background to use in this new phase of his life. And like any good leadoff man, Glanville is adept at returning home. He maintains a very active role in Penn Engineering as a member of the Board of Overseers. “I have a lot of things on the table,” Glanville says with a smile, “but I have a lot of time, and I don’t feel overwhelmed. It’s really fun.”
Credit: Penn Engineering Magazine, “Top of the First: Former Philadelphia Phillie Doug Glanville is Just Getting Started,” by Eric McCollum.