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Beyond Winning: Memoir of a Women's Soccer Coach Hardcover – December 1, 1996

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Pr of Colorado; 1ST edition (December 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870813986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870813986
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,650,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"BEYOND WINNING: MEMOIR OF A WOMEN'S SOCCER COACH by S. S. Hanna has become one of my favourite books ever. . . I loved the book because it's not about the superstars and how they become superheroes by acquiring super powers: it's about how and what sports can contribute to normal people's lives. To me, that's what sports is all about."

Dağhan Irak, September 18, 2011, Women's Soccer United.com

"I picked up the Hanna manuscript two nights ago, thinking that I would get a small start on it, but I simply could not put it down. The book has plenty of charm, wit, and humor while making a significant contribution to a much neglected but potentially vital field: the history of women's team sports. In the telling of this compelling story, he has offered important commentary on both the reform of college athletics and the struggle for gender equity."

Dr. Ken Bain, Northwestern University. (From a reader's report to the University Press of Colorado cited on the book's dust jacket.)

"Hanna maintained a journal while coaching and included detailed conversations and recollections of the season in the book. The reader feels like a passenger in the van as the team travels to road games, eavesdropping on dialogues about everything from the afternoon's opponents to the music on the radio."
Ms. Lois Thomson in a two-page feature article (with pictures of the team) that appears in the Sunday magazine supplement of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 23, 1997, pages 6-7.

"I just read BEYOND WINNING and enjoyed it very much; you have an exquisite talent for weaving a message with humor. Once I started, I could not put the book down. Your views on college sports are provocative." 

Dr. C. Eugene Walker, Professor in the College of Medicine, University of Oklahoma. (The quote comes from an email to the author dated July 10, 1997.)

"Hanna's writing is comic . . . "
Jeremy Cramer, Shadows and Stadium Lights, a Master of Arts thesis submitted in 2010 to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, page 24.

"A cute memoir... Hanna, an English teacher and comic writer, spices the chronicle with literary references..." -- Reference and Research Book News/ July 1997

"BEYOND WINNING is the story of Dr. S. S. Hanna, an English professor by trade, and his successful attempt to start a women's soccer program from scratch at tiny Geneva College in Pennsylvania. [Hanna's]... story is one that we need to hear. It is the tale of a professor and students whose dedication to amateur athletics was so intense that they played on despite the lack of proper facilities and equipment, little funding, and almost no initial institutional support. It is, in short, a book that gives one a glimpse of college coaches, professors, and athletes acting the way they would if college sports were truly about education, personal growth, and amateur ideals." -- Sports: A Reference Guide and Critical Commentary, 1980-1999. Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut. London

"Beyond Winning is very rewarding reading for anyone interested in college athletics and a rousing good memoir..." -- Midwest Book Review Feb 1997

"Hanna advocates women's sports..." "The book lends insight into the struggle to establish a new team..." -- Choice, June 1997

From the Author


One day, shortly after I had finished work on the manuscript of BEYOND WINNING, our family (along with Muff, our poodle) climbed into our Dodge minivan and went on a picnic to celebrate the occasion.

We drove to a park located near a river. The four kids frolicked in the park, and my wife, Muff, and I hiked a nearby nature trail. At dinnertime, we gathered at the river, selected a picnic spot, unloaded the food from the van, and began to prepare the table.

While we ate, my wife (aware of my struggles as a writer) unfurled a disturbing assurance: an unsolicited assurance, I might add. "Your chances," she said, "of finding a publisher for the soccer manuscript don't have a prayer."

"You're probably right," I said and reached for a carrot. "That's sad but true."

She accentuated the sadness by tapping an equestrian analogy when she added: "A horse jockey is likely to play center in the NBA or tackle in the NFL before you find a publisher."

When I had worked on the manuscript, I suspected that to be the case, but I went ahead and completed the eighty-two-thousand-word narrative. The more I thought about the manuscript the more I realized that no commercial publisher or university press was going to be interested in an unknown author, writing about a little-known college, having a losing season in a minor sport played by women.

Fortunately, my wife and I were wrong. The in-house editors, the outside readers, and the faculty committee of the University Press of Colorado recommended publication, leading the press to issue a contract on the book. It was published in hardback and titled BEYOND WINNING: MEMOIR OF A WOMEN'S SOCCER COACH. The press sold all the copies printed, and the book is now out of print.

The press granted me the reprint rights (and other rights) to the book, and I registered the book in my name with the Copyright Office.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Edmon L. Rowell, Jr., senior editor, Mercer University Press (rowell_el@mercer.edu) on October 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Let me quote an early assessment by the author himself. It is classic. To wit: "This book deals with an unknown author writing about a little-known college having a losing season in a minor sport played by women." I need add only that it is, indeed, a good read.
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By dondo on May 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Hanna seems to be an interesting and amusing man. It seems he did a good job coaching his team. The memoir has some charm, and is presented with an air of rueful humor. It touches on a broad variety of topics, including (but certainly not limited to) the proper role of a coach and athletics in an academic environment, tension between men's and women's athletic programs, the dynamics of a team with a broad range of talent and experience, some details of the games played in their season, and a lot of light-hearted conversation among intelligent people.
Ultimately, however, it is an unsatisfying read. The author is a professor of English, so I had expected some provocative insights; however, none of the topics were covered in depth or with much creativity. I am left with no new insights into any of these provocative topics, and frankly the conversations and reflections aren't interesting enough to carry the book. This is particularly frustrating because I sensed an excellent work lurking under this treatment. There is some tantalyzing discussion of team dynamics; we are presented with a strongly polarized team in the beginning of the season, and a clearly united team by the end, but given no insight into how the union was forged. Ultimately, a book entitled "Beyond Winning" has to be about people, and the most interesting people in the book -- his team -- are rarely named and for the most part ignored.
I felt as if the book seeks to be everything to everyone, and so fails to be anything to anyone. It's not clear to me who would enjoy this book. Prospective soccer coaches will learn nothing about soccer. Sports fans will learn nothing about athletics. It's not funny enough to read for humor, not charming enough to read for joy, and most damning, no one will learn much about human nature.
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By A Customer on March 17, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Being a student of Dr. Hanna at Geneva College, I can say that he truly puts himself out onto the pages of this work. I am in a class which discusses the book, and Hanna is the same person in the classroom as anywhere else. Always ready to show something new, and smile the whole way through it. Beyond Winning tells a true account of a baseball coach and English professor who gets a job as a women's soccer coach in a small school and has a losing season. What exactly would make anyone want to read that? That question is exactly what made me pick the course and begin reading Hanna's work. See for yourself.
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