Coach: 25 Writers Reflect on People Who Made a Difference

Andrew Blauner, Author, Bill Bradley, Foreword by , foreword by Bill Bradley. Warner $25.95 (285p) ISBN 978-0-446-57745-8

These often entertaining reminiscences about the impact that athletic coaches can have on their players are a mixed bag. The very disparate nature of the essays sometimes creates a loss of overall focus, but the wide range of sports covered—baseball, football, basketball, track, tennis, golf and fencing—is a plus. Only four of the 25 pieces are written by women, but they offer interesting contrasts. Novelist Francine Prose describes the 1950s gym teacher from hell, while Christine Brennan fondly remembers her beloved 1970s high school coach who, before Title IX, battled against the lack of funds and equipment for girl's teams. Journalists George Vecsey and Frank Deford present historical recollections of, respectively, baseball's legendary Casey Stengel and Al McGuire, the high-profile basketball coach at Marquette University, but most of the other pieces touch on personal coaching experiences. Of particular interest is CNN correspondent Touré's evocation of a 1970s tennis club in Dorchester, Mass., started by Mister Smith, who dreamed of turning African-American ghetto kids into professional tennis players. While moving, Jane Leavy's description of being a dying coach for a friend with AIDS feels out of place in a collection that otherwise deals with sports. (Oct. 27)

Reviewed on: 07/25/2005
Release date: 10/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 285 pages - 978-0-446-69459-9
Open Ebook - 978-0-446-51460-6
Ebook - 978-0-446-51473-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4789-3169-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4789-3171-3
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