Spencer, a former head coach at West Georgia, has also been an assistant at Georgia Tech and Duke before coming to Oklahoma State. He coached defensive line one season and then linebackers before eventually being elevated to co-defensive coordinator and then this season to defensive coordinator.
The Cowboys are tops in the Big 12 and nationally ranked in takeaways, turnover margin, scoring defense, red zone defense, and opponent third-down conversions. They are second in the conference in total defense and rushing defense.
Last week they held the highest rated offense in the country to 17 points in the Cowboys 49-17 win over Baylor.
Spencer has guided this defense all season to act with humility and strip themselves of the satisfaction from each game and be as hungry as possible for each challenge, each week. Is that going to be more difficult after that stellar effort in beating Baylor?
"I hope it's not hard and I'm definitely conscious of it," said Spencer. "Texas game was a big one and they got back and came back down to earth and got to work, and nothing changes this week.
"We've said it every week, it the most important game of their life and it is because it's the next one. It's OU, c'mon now. It's Oklahoma and it's going to be one of those other days that we're going to get their best game and we're going to have our best game and play lights out and play physical. It's going to be a battle, I know it is."
While Spencer is up for an honor, he knows his players are dealing with the honors as well. Already, cornerback Justin Gilbert is a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award for the best defensive back in the country. He understands how that works.
"They are getting recognized and they should, but I'd like to talk about it after this game," said Spencer. "I really would. All the kids can do is their motivation for playing and that is what I'm proud of. If they get honored for it great, but no regrets and no remorse. That is what we talk about."
The Cowboys have wrapped up two days of practice before breaking for Thanksgiving until late Saturday when the players report back. Spencer said the practices went well and the break is needed.
"Very timely, very timely because we need to get some guys healthy. We have a lot of guys, we don't mention, that are playing and some that aren't because we're missing a lot of guys in scrimmage situations out there in practice. The off week will really help and is very timely."
Now as for the Broyles Award, Spencer is one of 40 nominees. There are two others with OSU ties in former OSU offensive guard and assistant coach Josh Henson, who is now the offensive coordinator at Missouri, and former OSU defensive coordinator Vance Bedford, now the defensive coordinator at Louisville.
Below is the list of nominees for the Frank Broyles Award.
Alabama - Doug Nussmeier, Offensive Coordinator
Arizona - Jeff Casteel, Defensive Coordinator
Arizona State - Mike Norvell, Offensive Coordinator
Arkansas State - Kent Riddle, Assistant Head Coach, TE’s/Special Teams
Auburn - Rhett Lashlee, Offensive Coordinator
Ball State - Rich Skrosky, Offensive Coordinator
Baylor - Philip Montgomery, Offensive Coordinator
Boston College - Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator
Brigham Young - Nick Howell, Defensive Coordinator
Central Florida - Brent Key, Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line
Colorado State - Dave Baldwin, Offensive Coordinator
Clemson - Chad Morris, Offensive Coordinator
Duke - Kurt Roper, Offensive Coordinator
Florida State - Jeremy Pruitt, Defensive Coordinator
Fresno State - Dave Schramm, Offensive Coordinator
Georgia Tech - Ted Roof, Defensive Coordinator
Houston - David Gibbs, Defensive Coordinator
Indiana - Seth Littrell, Offensive Coordinator
Iowa - Phil Parker, Defensive Coordinator
Louisville - Vance Bedford, Defensive Coordinator
LSU - Cam Cameron, Offensive Coordinator
Michigan State - Pat Narduzzi, Defensive Coordinator
Minnesota - Tracy Claeys, Defensive Coordinator
Missouri - Josh Henson, Offensive Coordinator
Nebraska - Tim Beck, Offensive Coordinator
Ohio State - Tom Herman, Offensive Coordinator
Oklahoma State - Glenn Spencer, Defensive Coordinator
Ole Miss - Dan Werner, Co-Offensive Coordinator
Rice - Chris Thurmond, Defensive Coordinator
San Jose State - Jimmie Dougherty, Offensive Coordinator
South Carolina - Lorenzo Ward, Defensive Coordinator
South Florida - Stu Holt, Special Teams Coordinator
Stanford - Derek Mason, Defensive Coordinator
Texas State - Mike Schultz, Offensive Coordinator
UCLA - Jeff Ulbrich, Assistant Head Coach/LB’s/Special Teams
Utah - Ilaisa Tuiaki, Defensive Line
Utah State - Todd Orlando, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
Virginia Tech - Torrian Gray, Defensive Secondary Coach/Pass Game Coordinator
Western Michigan - Charles Huff, RB Coach
Wisconsin - Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator/LB’s