Ask anyone whom they remember most, or most fondly, from high school, and there is a very good chance that they will name their coach. In this anthology, writers of note recall their great coach/teachers and what they learned about life from them. Some choices are obvious, such as John Irving on wrestling and John Edgar Wideman, author of the terrific HOOP ROOTS, on basketball. It is clear that some of the fondness expressed here comes from the distance of time, as many of the best coaches were hard taskmasters. (Francine Prose acknowledges the big lesson taught to her by a difficult gym teacher, if not with fondness then with gratitude.) Ben Cheever, Ira Berkow, Pat Conroy, David Maraniss, Lauren Slater, George Vecsey, and others contribute. Coaches are often important teachers, and their lessons, big and small, are honored in this literary tribute.
Twenty-five celebrated writers share the encouraging words and timeless wisdom of the coaches who influenced their lives.