Coach: 25 Writers Reflect on People Who Made a Difference

Front Cover
Andrew Blauner
SUNY Press, Mar 1, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 285 pages
1 Review
“The really great coaches engage their players in a quest to be the best. In the right player-coach relationship, a quiet ‘well done’ can go a long way. These individual stories taken together form a narrative of value that shows us the powerful reward of vision, hard work, and the belief that together we can be something bigger and better than if we never listened to, learned from, or engaged with the people we encounter in our lives.” — from the Foreword by Bill Bradley

“What happens when 25 wonderful writers meet 25 unforgettable coaches? The 25 life lessons you are holding in your hands.” — Gary Smith, Sports Illustrated

“Compelling ... rich ... an all-star squad of scribblers. You don’t have to be an ex-jock with a trophy case to find someone you can relate to here.” — The Los Angeles Times

“Coach! One measly monosyllable, yet the word can evoke the entire range of human emotion, as it does in this masterful and touching anthology which promises endless pleasure for anyone who has experience coaching on either side.” — Madeleine Blais, Pulitzer Prize¬ winner and author of In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle

“This intriguing collection of essays will remind anyone who’s ever been coached that it can be a powerful experience. Coaches come in all sorts of flavors. The gruff and kind appear here, as do the wise and the foolish, the encouraging and the destructive, and some in whom lots of these qualities and inclinations are curiously mixed. What the coaches share, at least in this remarkable collection of writers chronicling coaching, is that they are unforgettable.” — Bill Littlefield, Host of National Public Radio’s Only a Game

“A solid, entertaining collection recognizing great coaches, and a Beelzebub or two.” — Kirkus Reviews

“A moving and often humorous collection.” — Booklist

“Here is a book for all of us who teach to consider—the way students learn through those who help them learn how to use their bodies (and minds) while doing athletic work. Coaches offer so much to athletes—addressing their minds, hearts, and souls—as this extraordinary anthology lets us know so very well.” — Robert Coles, author of Children of Crisis

“Perfect ... refreshing ... makes a true connection with the reader ... Sweet and often funny vulnerability, revealing the part of the writer that is willing to be coached. The collection has perfect ‘pitch.’ Writers pay tribute to coaches in the purest sense, showing their lasting influences.” — USA TODAY

“Coaches—after parents, offsprings, siblings, religious leaders, teachers, and rules—are the most important beings on earth. Good ones can change your world. Bad ones, too. From E. M. Swift’s crusty, old Frank Ward to Christine Brennan’s protective Miss O.—the whistle-tooters in Coach prove the point again and again: coaches really matter.” — Rick Telander, author of Heaven Is a Playground

“What coach wouldn’t love to have this team?” — Roy Blount Jr.

“Coach is a collection of wise, funny, and humane writing on a subject that’s poignant and elusive and usually sentimentalized into something unrecognizable. The intimacy of these accounts—some defiant, some celebratory, some subversively resentful—is what I enjoyed most.” — Alec Wilkinson, author of My Mentor

“A superlative book. The stories in this anthology are, by turns, funny, wise, poignant, and always inspirational. This is a book you will cherish.” — Peter Bonventre, ESPN

“This vivid, eloquent exploration of the connections between kids and their coaches is a memoir gem, a series of stories ranging from inspirational life-changing coaches to sadistic life-changing coaches. These stories speak to any parent whose child is being coached and to anyone who has ever been benched, been yelled into excellence, or been told to drop and do another twenty. Funny, sad, and inspirational.” — Susan Cheever, author of Home Before Dark and My Name Is Bill

“Instead of boondoggles and bromides, what we have here are essays about real sports and the characters who left lifelong marks in their attempts to make something of these writers.” — Katherine A. Powers, The Boston Globe

“I’ve spent much of a lifetime writing about coaches without thinking a great deal, if at all, about the people who coach elementary school kids or fencers or horseback riding. They are, for the most part, faceless and nameless to the sports world. But, as you see in this book, they leave lasting impressions just as Dean Smith or Vince Lombardi might. Coach is an intriguing mix of tales big and small, intimate, funny and sad. — The Charlotte Observer

“A must-read for anyone who thinks back to their childhood and remembers that special coach who demanded more. Coaches are all about finding diamonds in the rough, and this book contains a number of diamonds who recall all of the polishing and chiseling it took to make them shine.” — Bill Ingram, HoopsWorld

“If you [coaches] ever had any reservations about what you do for a living, Andrew Blauner and 25 of the best writers in America have dispelled them. Blauner has assembled an incredible cast, including novelists, sportswriters, broadcasters, and commentators, who look back at their lives and identify coaches who’ve influenced their lives.” — Coach and Athletic Director magazine

“Superb.” — Chronicle of Higher Education
 

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Haven't read more than this little section about Coach Moates. As a freshman manager who started with the freshman team and ended up with the varsity after Buddy had grade troubles in 1968-69, Johnny was a good guy. Had great stories about travelling around hustling games on playgrounds. And a pretty good coach for the freshman team. Dave Williamson a nice scorer on that team. Fun days. Plane trip to Blacksburg when the engine on the plane caught on fire. Bus ride back to Richmond. Good guys on that team. Bobby Ukrop. Kenny. Stan - what a shooter, like our Larry Bird. 

Contents

The Old Man
1
Why Be Last Son?
15
My Losing Season
29
When I Was Young
41
Passing It On
47
A Panegyric
55
VBK
69
Physical Education
75
Golf Lessons
163
Tripp Lake
175
The Last of the Great Dreamers
187
The Boy They Cut
199
To Althea From the Net
211
Coaching Bob
217
The Duel
231
Our Miss O
239

Underdog
87
Something Special
93
Ironing
109
The Coach Who Wasnt There
113
The Depression Baby
125
Long Island Shaolin
147
Making It to the Majors
251
Back to Basics
261
Fit to Be Tied
275
Acknowledgments
287
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Andrew Blauner is the Editor of four previous anthologies: "Coach;" "Brothers" (Finalist, Books for a Better Life Award); "Our Boston "(for the benefit of the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings); and "Central Park" and is the coeditor of "For the Love of Baseball". His writing has been published in "The New York Times", and he has appeared on NPR's "On Point", "The Leonard Lopate Show", "Brian Lehrer", "On Writing with Ben Cheever", ABC, CBS, NBC, and other media outlets. He is the founder of Blauner Books Literary Agency; a graduate of The Collegiate School, Brown University, and Columbia Business School; and a member of PEN American Center and National Book Critics Circle.

David William Duchovny was born on August 7, 1960 in New York. He is an actor, writer and director, but he is best known for playing FBI Agent Fox Mulder on the science fiction drama The X-Files and the alcoholic novelist Hank Moody on the comedy-drama series Californication. Duchovny won Golden Globe awards for both series. He graduated from Princeton University in 1982 with a B.A. in English Literature and received a Master of Arts in English Literature from Yale University and subsequently began work on a Ph.D. In 1993, Duchovny began starring in the science fiction series The X-Files as FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder, a conspiracy theorist who believed his sister had been abducted by aliens. The show developed a following and became one of The Fox Network's first major television hits. Also in 1993, Duchovny was cast alongside Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis in the thriller, Kalifornia. In 2015 his book Holy Cow made The New York Times Bestseller List.

Bill Bradley served in the U.S. Senate from 1979-1997 representing the state of New Jersey. In 2000, he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Before serving in the Senate, he was an Olympic gold medalist in 1964 and a professional basketball player with the New York Knicks from 1967-1977 during which time they won two NBA championships. Bradley is the author of six books on American politics, culture, and economy, including Time Present, Time Past, The New American Story, and Values of the Game all New York Times bestsellers. Currently, Senator Bradley is a Managing Director of Allen & Company LLC and the host of American Voices, a weekly show on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio that highlights the remarkable accomplishments of Americans both famous and unknown.

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