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Dear Jay, Love Dad: Bud Wilkinson's Letters to His Son Hardcover – January 15, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

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"Bud Wilkinson defined greatness as a football coach. The letters in this book to his son Jay reach far beyond sports and speak to the timeless lessons every father wants to leave to his children." —Bob Stoops


“We all have much to learn from the loving, encouraging, and insightful letters of Bud Wilkinson to his son. While Bud was undoubtedly a gifted football coach, these letters show that his success was deeply rooted in his personal values and in his love for young people.”—David Boren, President of the University of Oklahoma


“Jay Wilkinson has done what many a son has wished he could do for his father—create a loving and revealing look at the man who has had such a deeply positive influence on his life.”—Charlie Rose, broadcast journalist and host of Charlie Rose


“Bud Wilkinson’s success as a coach was due not just to the speed, strength, and skill of his players but also to the values and principles that guided every action he took and every decision he made. Those values and principles, articulated in these letters, can inspire leaders today to achieve success—whether in business, politics, or academia—with integrity.”—Roy Bostock, Chairman of the Board of Yahoo! Inc.


“The life Jay Wilkinson describes in this wonderful book is the life of faith. He may not have intended to do that, but faith runs through all of these letters like a golden thread. Jay helps make our own faith come alive in these words of a father to his son.”—Right Reverend Steven Charleston, Interim Dean, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Oklahoma City


“The genius of Bud Wilkinson as a football coach becomes apparent in these remarkable letters to his son Jay. He imbued his players with the same values he instilled in his sons. He treated the players like family members, and it showed.”—Barry Switzer, former head football coach, University of Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys


“I had great respect for Bud Wilkinson, whom we all remember as one of our great football coaches. Now we know something else: he was a great letter writer, and a great dad. These letters to his son not only tell us a little more about Bud, but also a lot about our country during the tumultuous ’60s. You don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy this peek back into time.”—George H. W. Bush, Forty-First President of the United States


“A timeless guide for all of us.”—Bill Cosby, comedian and author of Fatherhood

About the Author

Jay Wilkinson, son of University of Oklahoma coaching legend Bud Wilkinson, was a standout football player at Duke University. During his senior season in 1963, he earned All-American honors, was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, and finished eighth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy. After graduation from Duke University in 1964, he chose to forego professional football, instead pursuing a divinity degree which he received from the Episcopal Theological School in 1967. After spending several years in public service, he worked in executive management in the financial services industry for 37 years. Recipient of the NCAA’s prestigious Silver Anniversary Award, Jay today is a noted motivational speaker. With four children and seven grandchildren, he and his wife Rita reside in Oklahoma City.  He is the author of Bud Wilkinson: An Intimate Portrait of an American Legend.


Mike Krzyzewski is Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Duke University.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press (January 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806142472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806142470
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,010,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Wilson Trivino on February 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A man does not really become a man until he loses his father goes the old saying, but it is also true that the older you get, the wiser your parents become. The world has changed significantly since the 1960s, but some universal truths stay the same. In Dear Jay, Love Dad: Bud Wilkinson's Letters to his Son by Jay Wilkinson, the author delves back into his youth as a student at Duke University. Like most young men, Jay was trying to deal with homesickness and finding his way as a adult. Fortunately for him, his father's support, love and guidance was ever present and reassured in a series of letters that he sent him.
His father, Bud Wilkinson, was a coach at the University of Oklahoma and still holds the record for orchestrating a winning streak of 31, and then 47 straight games in a row- a National Collegiate Athletic Association record that still stands today. In addition he won 14 conference titles, 3 national championships.
The book is meant to share not only a more caring side to the coach, but also to the interpersonal relationship between a father and son. In the letters, you understand that his father was striving to share his perspective and wisdom. For instance that your keys to healthy living are rest, diet, and exercise and to feed the body with fish, protein, and fresh vegetables.
These letters allow the reader to experience an intimate peek inside one man's thoughts and reflections as he struggles with his own challenges while attempting to strengthen the bonds with his son.
Dear Jay, Love Dad: Bud Wilkinson's Letters to his Son by Jay Wilkinson is a remarkably candid story of how the more things change, the more they stay the same. It will sure give you perspective on what really matters in life. As Bud quotes Lincoln, "People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Jim on July 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dear Jay, Love Dad: Bud Wilkinson's Letters to His Son

This is a collection of letters written by Bud Wilkinson, Iconic coach of the Sooners, to his son Jay at various junctions of his life. Collected and edited by Jay Wilkinson, this is a heartwarming, yet very informative, collection that is a great example for all dads.
When Bill Cosby says this is a must read for dads, believe it. Amazon was the only place I could find this read!

Dr. Jim (father of a 31 year old man who also wrote letters to his son. He turned out great)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TableRock55 on January 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There were some tremendous words of wisdom in this book from Coach Wilkinson. I saved several. However, the underlying tone of the book, in my opinion, was the struggle on the part of a father who had not always been there for his son because of career and the parallel struggle of a son trying to find his way in the world, wanting desperately to please his father who he idolized and yet may not have ever known as personally as he might have wanted.
I thought it was kind of sad.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Davis on February 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an encouraging,upbeat, easy read. Refreshing content. I believe any dad would learn something from Bud Wilkinson and the relationship he had with his son. It is not easy being a coaches son, and after it is all said and done, all one may have is the encouragement of a father.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nick Murray on April 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Bud Wilkinson is one of the most iconic coaches in college football history who led his Oklahoma Sooners to an NCAA record 47 game winning streak. Although he was a great coach, he was a better dad who through his letters, continually expressed his love while giving his son advice that would serve any young man or woman just at it did his son 50 years ago.
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