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Wins, Losses, and Lessons


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After nearly three decades on the sidelines, Lou Holtz retired from coaching and now shares his strategies for success with Fortune 500 companies, groups, and organizations. He is the author of two bestsellers, The Fighting Spirit and Winning Every Day. He lives in Florida.


With a strong overtone of moral teaching, college football coaching legend Holtz offers a prosaic but endearing memoir. It's clear from the beginning that Holtz sees coaching as nurturing more than mere athletic achievement; it's an opportunity to mold promising student-athletes into superlative young men: "Coaching gives one a chance to be successful as well as significant." Holtz grew up in a hardscrabble West Virginia mining town in the 1940s and '50s, keeping a determinedly working-class and strictly religious attitude no matter how high he climbed as a coach. His stories of assistant and then head coaching at institutions from Ohio State to North Carolina State-as well as run-ins with big names like Bill Cowher and Bill Clinton-are full of funny anecdotes and neat little lessons, but they tend to blur in the mind. A standout is Holtz's long-term position at Notre Dame, of special importance not just because of his devout Catholicism but also his refreshing devotion to strict academic standards for the players. In fact, what stands out is his modesty and adamant belief that football is ultimately less important than education. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

The football Coach of the Year (in 1977 and 1988) follows up two best sellers with a full account of his life and career. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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