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Book Reviews

This Issue's Featured Book(s)

Books to be Featured in Later Issues

  • ACC Basketball. Peter Bjarkman
  • The Elements of Scoring. Raymond Floyd
  • An Olympic Journey: LeRoy T. Walker. Charles Gaddy
  • I Can't Accept Not Trying. Michael Jordan
  • This Game's the Best! George Karl
  • Every Shot I Take. Davis Love III
  • The Golf Doctor. Bill Mallon
  • The Carolina Panthers. Joe Menzer and Bob Condor
  • Four Corners. Joe Menzer
  • The End is Not the Trophy. David Odom
  • The Soul of Michael Jordan and Company. Gerald Sprayregen



Coach K, Building the Duke Dynasty

Doyel, Gregg.  Coach K, Building the Duke Dynasty.  The Story of Mike Krzyzewski and the Winning Tradition at Duke University.  Addax Publishing Group, Lenexa, KS, 1999.

This is an excellent overview of Coach K's success at Duke University and his methods to winning.  The author of the book says, "Along the way Krzyzewski has ruffled (UNC's basketball coach Dean) Smith's considerable plumage, bucked heads with former mentor Bobby Knight of the Indiana Hoosiers and offered no apologies to anyone."  A brief story of Coach K's early years is provided along with some of his experiences at Army.  It is a superb book for Duke fans, but suffers from a lack of objectivity.  The book is written in chronological fashion and finds few faults with either the Duke program or Coach K.  His stressful time in the early 1990's is discussed as his return to the 1995-96 season.  The human interest side of Coach K is provided along with his relationships with his players.  The writer does an excellent job of detailing Coach K's relationship with The Chronicle, Duke's student newspaper and of his excellent basketball records.  This book is a must-read for Duke fans and a must-have book for basketball coaches.


Go For the Goal

Hamm, Mia.  Go For the Goal: A Champion's Guide to Winning in Soccer and Life.  Harper Collins, New York, 1999.

Mia Hamm needs no introduction to excellence and to women's soccer, where she has become a spokesperson and a role model for young female athletes.  In this book, she provides some of her philosophy towards soccer and life, and ties the two together quite well.  This inspiring story is filled with personal anecdotes and excellent instructional photographs.  Mia, who has been U.S. Soccer's player of the year for five consecutive years, is superb in her philosophy and in her teaching/coaching techniques.  The book is a marvelous read, and in it, she introduces herself and her military family to us.  But more important, she tells how she became a soccer legend.  She mentions her older brother Garrett, who died in 1997, as her major source of inspiration, and cites coach Anson Dorrance as the most influential person in her life.  This book is a tribute to Mia the person, Mia the athlete, and Mia the role model.  Soccer coaches, parents, and soccer players will love this book.  It should be in every soccer coach's library.


Why We Win

Packer, Billy and Roland Lazenby.  Why We Win:  Great American Coaches Offer Their Strategies for Success in Sports and Life.  Masters Press, Chicago, Illinois, 1999.

Billy Packer interviews sixteen top coaches and explains why and how they win in sports and in life in this most readable book.  The question and answer technique, used throughout the book, has been compiled into segments by the co-author, Roland Lazenby.  The legends of coaching are listed, including John Wooden (UCLA Basketball), Dean Smith (Univ. of North Carolina Basketball), Joe Paterno (Penn State University Football), Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University Basketball), and Bobby Knight (Indiana University Basketball).  Anson Dorrance (UNC Women's Soccer) is included as another outstanding coach.  One female coach is included in the group; Pat Head Summit of Tennessee Women's basketball.  The book reaches the objectives of appealing to the general public and to business and professional leaders.  This reviewer recommends it to the business community and to sports fans at-large.  A synopsis of the common traits at the end of all of the great coaches might have been helpful, but nonetheless, it is an excellent book and should be on every coach's library shelf.


See How She Runs

Rapoport, Ron.  See How She Runs:  Marion Jones and the Making of a Champion.  Algonquin Books, Chapel Hill, NC, 2000.

She is the outstanding female track star in the world today, and this book documents how Marion Jones got to this most elevated position.  The biography of a most prominent track athlete in the United States and probably the world is a good read and should be included in every coaches library and every aspiring female track athlete's library.  Her skills in high school were only matched by her skills in college, and then in track she exploded.  In 1998, she took part in 37 different competitions and won 36 of them.  Say what you want; the young lady aims high.  Her stated goal was to win five gold medals at the Sydney Olympics, and while she did not accomplish this feat, her records speak for themselves.  She is a champion, and how she became the champion is well documented in the book.  Likewise, the story of how she met her husband, C.J. Hunter, is told.  Her discussions with Coach Hatchell, the women's basketball coach at UNC-Chapel Hill, about her competing in basketball or becoming completely dedicated to track, is covered in detail with Marion seeing the discussion in a different light than Coach Hatchell.  While there may be discussion about her staying and playing, there is no denying that Marion Jones is a winner in anything she undertakes to do.  Indeed, many writers are now saying that Marion Jones ranks along with Pele in soccer, Muhammad Ali in boxing and Michael Jordan in basketball, as a hero's hero.  (If you add Mia Hamm, you will note that three out of five attended UNC-Chapel Hill).

Her story is an inspiration to others, and her triumphs are victories for all people.  She has set herself in a different league in track and she belongs in this league by herself.  This excellent book is a good introduction to her beginnings, and this writer predicts that other books will follow on this most memorable track and field star.  Great book, great read, great inspiration.


Cyclone Country

Rawlings, Russell.  Cyclone Country:  The Time, The Town, The Team.  The Wilson Daily Times, Wilson, NC, 2000.

This is a marvelous book about football in small town North Carolina and small town USA.  It's a story of the Fike High School Cyclones from Wilson, North Carolina and how they won three state championships in spite of the fact they were a small school in the highest classification of schools playing sports.  Likewise, it is a story of a man, Henry Trevathan, a competent coach who instilled discipline in his players and respect in his fans. In 1967, 1968 and 1969, they won the high school football state championship back-to-back-to-back.  This book is real Americana because it tells about a relationship between a town and a team.  Like all good stories, attention is paid to individuals and credit is given to the players and their achievements.  While another team, Richmond County, has won three straight 4A championships, the Wilson story does not seek to detract from them but in its own way pays homage to other great teams and their leaders.

The story provides a good background on the status of sports in Wilson before Coach Trevathan arrived, and then describes in detail some of the leadership traits which he possessed.  Rightfully so, the book focuses on the players and their contributions, and their relationship to Wilson and the communities that make up the area from which the students attend Fike High School.  There is nostalgia in the book liberally mixed with on-field accomplishments of heroes at that moment who became leaders in later life.  The book is a story of dreams and dreams realized; it is a story of answered prayers made possible by mixing a heavy dose of inspiration with even greater doses of perspiration.  The coach dreamed and executed his hopes and his players executed his marvelous plays.

Assistant coaches are given credit for the team's success as are the players and the family.  The team had as one of its players, arguably one of the greatest high school football players in the state of North Carolina, and perhaps the United States.  His name was Carlester Crumpler, and his football feats and exploits speak for themselves and are recorded in the record books.  Many of North Carolina's great high school coaches are cited along with their teams, and they too have the qualities in which legends are made.

A word here about the author, who graduated from Fike High School and Barton College, and was also a reporter and assistant sports editor on the Wilson Daily Times.  Occasionally he loses objectivity and his spirit takes over, but he has done a marvelous job of telling a great story about a superb coach, his outstanding teams, and their relationship with a great city.  His knowledge, writing ability and enthusiasm help make this book a major read.  I predict that this book will be the beginning of other books related to high school sports in North Carolina.  There are other marvelous sports stories to be told and Cyclone Country is a great kickoff and complete game in beginning this movement.  Well done coach Trevathan, well done Fike High School, well done Wilson, and very well done Russell Rawlings.

Note:  This reviewer admits up front that he may occasionally lose his objectivity since he taught and coached at Atlantic Christian, now Barton College, in Wilson for a year and has a deep love for that college and for the great city of Wilson and its people.



Note: These reviews compiled by Dr. Ron Hyatt. See disclaimer on front page.