A Coach’s Life: Les Hipple and the Marion Indians

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iUniverse, Sep 22, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 380 pages
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Playing a sport for Coach Les Hipple meant a life of rigor, clean living, modest behavior, and self-denial; even so, many boys were eager to meet these demands for the right to play on one of Hipple’s teams. In A Coach’s Life, author Dan Kellams narrates the story of one of the greatest high school coaches in Iowa’s history, an extraordinary man who lived according to the principles he taught, even when it meant losing a game or a championship—or the job he loved.

Kellams, a former Hipple athlete, offers a vivid portrait of a coach who imposed stern discipline on hundreds of boys and, in the process, transformed them into champions. A Coach’s Life recalls Hipple’s eighty-six full years, focusing on his long career at Marion High School in Iowa, where he led his Indians to championships in football, basketball, track, and cross-country, giving the town its most glorious years in sports. Many young men learned unforgettable life lessons they later passed on to others around the world.

Meticulously researched, this biography is set against the backdrop of small-town America during the 1940s and 1950s. Its poignant stories include those of a superb athlete who died on the verge of greatness, a school controversy that turned brother against brother, and a changing society that trapped a great coach in the vise of his own principles.

“Part Hoosiers and part Our Town ... Tough and to the point.”
—Phil Grose, author of South Carolina on the Brink

 

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Contents

How Paddles Made a Champion 1953
184
Overachievers 19531954
191
Chapter 26 Living with the Rules
206
Piling Up the Wins 19541955
216
Falling Stars 19551956
225
A House Divided 19561958
236
Changing Times
251
The Magic Fades 19581960
261

Vernon at the Helm 19431945
44
Hipple Is Hired 1945
50
Hipples Way 19451946
54
Landmarks 1947
67
We Cant Have Dishonesty 19461947
75
Coach Lyle
81
Falling in Love 19471948
87
Racing into the Glory Years 19481949
95
Sweethearts 19491950
105
The Gym
115
Shooting Star 19501951
123
The Peak of Glory 19511952
133
Leffingwell Out
140
A Man for All Seasons
147
The Missed Shot 19521953
172
The Beginning of the End 19601962
269
A Thousand Cuts 19631964
277
Hipple Is Fired 19641965
288
Aftermath 1965
305
Just Teaching 19651978
310
Chapter 37 Redemption
319
Later Years 19781998
327
Messerlis Memories
330
Farewell 19981999
335
Acknowledgments
337
Appendixes
338
Sources and Notes
348
About the Author
367
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