Whether you're a rabid sports fan or flip to another channel fast, read this terrific, exhilarating story of a year in the life of a women's basketball team. At the University of Oregon--as at most schools--women's athletics drew the short straw: spartan quarters, bad practice times, low-paid coaching staff, and little respect. In 1993, ambitious new head coach Jody Runge sought to change this. A competitive player who had benefited from 1970s laws demanding equity between male and female athletics, Runge whipped her lagging team toward winning while legally pressuring the school to ante up. Full Court Press
is remarkably suspenseful and dramatic as Runge and her team set out to "jump on 'em and show 'em who lives here."
From Publishers Weekly
Jody Runge took the job of women's basketball coach at the University of Oregon in 1993 and in her first year vitalized a moribund program, even getting an invitation to the NCAA tournament. But the following season is the author's focus here. Kessler (Stubborn Twig), who teaches writing at the university, is a master of her craft. Particularly striking is the in-depth portrait of Runge, who was concerned not only with building a winning team but also with securing a long-term contract and establishing women's basketball as a sport that deserved recognition and decent funding from the male-dominated athletic department. To carry on all these battles, the coach needed almost superhuman fortitude, and somehow she found it in herself to persevere and win all her struggles. Kessler also explores the personalities of the players as they experience good games and bad, moments of joy and of despair. For all her ability to show Runge's strengths, Kessler has not written a hagiography: she makes clear that her subject is an outstanding coach for tough young women but a poor one for players who need stroking and reassurance.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.