A Coaching Life
Sports - Biography/Memoir - Women's Studies
6.125 x 9.25, 288 pp.
28 color photos. 8 b&w photos.
Pub Date: 01/27/2017
Swaim-Paup-Foran Spirit of Sport Series, sponsored by James C. ’74 & Debra Parchman Swaim, Nancy & T. Edgar Paup ’74, & Joseph Wm. & Nancy Foran
Price:        $29.95

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A Coaching Life

Gary Blair, with Rusty Burson

“It’s still difficult to describe the scene after the final buzzer sounded, because the moment was just so damned surreal,” writes head coach Gary Blair following the conclusion of the title game of the 2011 NCAA Division I women’s basketball tournament. “So many things happened that I will never forget . . . kissing my wife on the floor of Conseco Fieldhouse . . . looking toward the stands, where my grandson was . . . flashbulbs popping as the Aggie Band played triumphantly . . . our players and coaches wildly celebrating the biggest win in women’s basketball history at Texas A&M . . . tears streaming down the faces of former players . . . I remember thinking that I wished I could somehow stop time.”

This memory and countless others form the greatest treasure of Coach Blair’s life, as he makes clear in this engaging, inspiring memoir, written with veteran sports journalist and author Rusty Burson. Indeed, as Blair says, “What I cherish the most are the memories of these players and coaches.” Beyond the trophies, beyond the impressive won-lost record compiled over more than four decades of coaching, beyond even the ungrudging professional respect he has achieved among his peers in a fiercely competitive occupation, Gary Blair values the images, moments, and memories collected during a life spent doing what he loves most: coaching and mentoring young women on the basketball court.

In A Coaching Life, Coach Blair offers readers a “freeze-frame” view of a storied career. He serves up more than a few of his favorite memories with wit, grace, and humility. In the process, he invites readers to reflect on life’s wins and losses and, most importantly, what both have to teach us.

GARY BLAIR, head women’s basketball coach at Texas A&M University since 2003, led the Aggies to an NCAA national championship in 2011. He was previously head women’s basketball coach at the University of Arkansas and Stephen F. Austin State University. RUSTY BURSON, author of Dat: Tackling Life and the NFL, is a freelance writer and sports journalist. He is director of membership and communications at Miramont Country Club in Bryan, Texas.


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