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Undertaker's Son

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About the Author

Richard "Digger" Phelps is an ESPN college basketball analyst. Before joining ESPN, he was one of America's most visible college basketball coaches.The nickname "Digger" derives from his birthplace of Beacon, New York, where his father owned a funeral service.He began his coaching career in 1963 as a graduate assistant at Rider College, where he had played basketball. After a move to the high school ranks, he got his first full assistant job in 1966 at the University of Pennsylvania. His first head coaching job came in 1970 at Fordham University; after leading the Rams to a 26-3 record in the 1970-71 season, he was named head coach at the University of Notre Dame.During his 20 seasons at Notre Dame (1971-1991), his teams went 393-197, with 14 seasons of 20 wins or more. In 1978, Notre Dame made its only (men's) Final Four to date. However, his most-remembered game was on January 19, 1974, when the Fighting Irish scored the last 12 points of the game to defeat top-ranked UCLA 71-70, ending the Bruins' record 88-game winning streak.After retiring from coaching, he briefly worked for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and also served as an observer in the 1993 elections in Cambodia. His broadcasting career began in 1993, when he did color commentary for that year's NCAA tournament for CBS. He joined ESPN the next season.


"Digger is not only a survivor, he's an optimist who has made an indelible impression on everyone who has been lucky enough to know him. His book is a lesson in having the right attitude to not only overcome obstacles, but to contribute to society and our country in a big way. Undertaker's Son is a terrific read, and a wonderful book to add to any collection." ---Donald J. Trump "Digger was an outstanding basketball coach who cared greatly about both the game and his players. However, beyond that he is an extremely intelligent guy whose experiences with life and people go way beyond the dimensions of the basketball court. This in itself makes his book a great read for people in all walks of life." -Bob Knight, Head Men's Basketball Coach, Texas Tech University "Sound advice delivered in an entertaining context from a high-profile personality who doesn't take himself too seriously."-Booklist "Digger Phelps' life story inspires us to harness the best within ourselves and to help others do the same. Digger's life lessons can motivate each of us to identify and seek the very best outcomes. Whether you want to make the most of your life, your team or your community, Digger's game plan can tip the balance decisively in your favor." --Thurgood Marshall, Jr."Digger always has something to say and is worth listening to or even reading with pleasure." --(Rev.) Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., President Emeritus, University of Notre Dame "Who better to write a game plan for life than Digger Phelps? Already a successful basketball coach and commentator, Digger takes on important issues like education with the combination of brains and bravado that has served him well. Digger's many passions are reflected in this book as he goes beyond x's and o's to thoughtful solutions-a winning strategy." ---Hannah Storm

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