Tom Penders is a great coach and a very personable guy. He has taken these attributes as well as over 30 years coaching experience and woven it into a great book about college basketball. Unfortunately not without its weaknesses. For example some chapters are written in first person penned by Tom Penders, some are written in third person written by the co-writer. I found this inconsistency to be inappropriate and distracting and not something I recall reading in any other book without appropriate disclosure. Also, the book can be somewhat rambling and "only slightly" self serving.
Now, with negative disclosures out of the way let me say that I really enjoyed reading this book. As a U of Memphis booster I've seen Penders coach numerous times in Houston and Memphis. He's light hearted and enjoyable to watch. He always has a very entertaining team that is fast, furious and great shooters even though his teams were less talented than the Memphis teams. He should have beaten us many more times than he did so I always considered ourselves quite lucky when we played. But, I loved playing them as you knew it would be a great game and also that Penders would be entertaining on the sideline.
I know Penders for the good run at Houston and the solid years at Texas. I really didn't follow his extended career at Tufts, Columbia, Fordham, Rhode Island, and George Washington. The book goes in to great detail of how he got into coaching and the great runs he had at all these schools, no failures at any. Yes, he was fired at Texas. But, welcome to big time athletics and his NCAA record has to have him listed as one of their best coaches ever there.Read more ›
The author has shared his experience with us in a very direct unfiltered manner. His former players are referenced in terms of their talent, temperament and the families they came from; not their statistics He paints a picture of greedy AAU operatives as they influence the college game in a manner very similar to the way Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs greed influenced the destruction of our economy
Like Donald Trump the author holds nothing back in describing the coaches who inspired and those who floated below the radar. Bob KNIGHT is the best of all the rest as he profiles the other coaches of his era.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dead Coach Walking by Coach Tom Penders and sports writer Steve Richardson. The book is aptly subtitled "Surviving and Thriving in College Hoops", and you'll have an even greater appreciation for the world of college hoops, the difficulties of being successful as a college coach, and what Coach Penders had to deal with throughout his impressive career, including a serious heart condition and the inherent pressures in coaching college basketball. You'll get an appreciation that coaching is far from a November through March job, and the NCAA could use some major improvements - and Penders makes his own suggestions on how to improve the game. The book is an interesting and quick read, written in third and first person by the co-authors. The book takes the reader through Coach Penders' career - coaching at 7 NCAA schools and taking 4 to the NCAA tournament. For those familiar with his career, you'll be even more impressed after reading his book. The book also provides an illuminating insider view of college hoops, covering topics from the AAU influence to the NCAA selection committee to RPIs and APRs, and of course, the media! Penders is quite candid with his views and he doesn't mince words. He tells is like it is and does so with a sense of humor. For those interested in Penders' career or an inside view into college hoops and college sports, this is a must read. Even novice hoops fans will find the book entertaining, and those fighting serious ailments like heart disease will find the book inspiring.