"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.
is Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Duke University.