In his two years as a starting quarterback from 1901 to 1902, the team achieved a combined record of 14–3–2. His best game came against the American College of Medicine and Surgery in 1902, when he made runs of 80, 65 and 40 yards and scored one touchdown. In 1903, he moved to left end, and helped the team to achieve their first undefeated season. McGlew never once fumbled the ball during his playing career.
McGlew was a teammate of College Football Hall of FamerRed Salmon, and succeeded him as head coach of the Irish in 1905. His lone season as coach included a record-setting 142–0 victory over American Medical, but the team finished a disappointing 5–4, and McGlew retired from the coaching ranks.