College football's most colorful, endearing, and successful pioneer, Steve Spurrier, shares his story of a life in football - from growing up in Tennessee to winning the Heisman Trophy to playing and coaching in the pros to leading the Florida Gators to six SEC Championships and a National Championship to elevating the South Carolina program to new heights - and coaching like nobody else.
He's been called brash, cocky, arrogant, pompous, egotistical, and hilarious, but, mostly, he's known as the Head Ball Coach, a self-ordained term introduced to the lexicon of football by none other than the man himself, Steve Spurrier. He is the only coach who can claim to be the winningest coach at two different SEC schools, and the only person who has won both the Heisman Trophy as a player and a national championship as a coach. Or who has won a Heisman and coached a Heisman winner.
From the beginning, Spurrier didn't want to sound like other coaches, dress like other coaches, and, especially, coach like other coaches. As a controversial football pioneer, he ushered in a different style of leadership and play. Spurrier's press conferences were glorious - he refused to lapse into coachspeak and was always entertaining, although he took his football very seriously. He was known for his fierce competitiveness, roaming up and down the sidelines, often throwing his signature visor to the ground in disgust. Now resigned from coaching at age 70 - he doesn't like to say "retired" yet - Spurrier has calmed down, but don't mistake that for a lack of fire. He can be just as feisty as the day he set foot on the East Tennessee dirt in Johnson City's Kiwanis Park, where he grew up to become one of the state's all-time greatest athletes, and went on to play for Florida where he launched one of sports history's all-time great careers.
In his memoir, Spurrier talks for the first time about the circumstances under which he unexpectedly became a coach and why he resigned at South Carolina. He explains his unique style, the difference between winners and losers, his relationship with the media, why he follows the wisdom of ancient philosophers and warriors, his affinity for everything taught by John Wooden, and the reasons behind his relaxed regimen for living well. Spurrier, as always, speaks candidly, bringing together his thoughts about his words, actions, and achievements, while telling countless wonderful anecdotes.
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Entertaining and Inspiring
The insight into how he became the unique coach and personality that he is. Spurrier is a pretty decent story teller. And he's got some stories to tell...
Spurrier is self critical and owns up to some personal failings and regrets. His lists that he's made up over the years on leadership and winning are must reads. He's a much more thoughtful guy than I expected. I was a student at University Florida when he hired on as head ball coach in 1990. I would often see him jogging on campus and always said, "Hey Coach!" He was gruff and would just grunt back at me. Didn't want to be bothered. It became a game for me. I just thought he didn't like people. Listening to the book changed my opinion. He's very much a people person and very thoughtful.
No thoughts on this point.
Yes. I listened to about 80% of it the day I downloaded it. I even muted the Florida vs. Iowa bowl game and listened to the audiobook.
Love Spurrier. The book inspired me to think a little bit differently with respect to how I approach professional life. I also learned that the Head Ball Coach has some atrocious taste in music. Regardless, I highly recommend this audio book. Extremely entertaining. Go Gators!
- Chris S. Arnold