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Coaches: What books would you recommend for other coaches this offseason?


Update >> About 30 coaches have now weighed in with their recommended reads.

With the regular season done for nearly everyone (except the FBS), college coaches are hitting the road to recruit, while high school coaches are enjoying a brief breather before getting back in the weight room.

While it's far from an offseason of any kind, this time of year does leave coaches with some "down time" on their hands, even if that includes sleeping in hotels far away from family, or long nights on the open road.

That may help to explain why, over the last few days, we've fielded a number of emails, calls, and texts from coaches looking for some recommended reading material before next season creeps up. Plus, clinic season, when coaches are at their thirstiest for knowledge, is approaching quick.

Instead of responding to every coach personally with my own personal take on great reads, I thought I would instead provide my personal top three, and then open things up by taking recommendations from the coaching community to further help our colleagues in this great profession.

Leave your top 3-5 picks in the comments below, or shoot it to me @CoachSamz on Twitter, or at, and I will update the article throughout the day. All genres are wide open, if you think it can somehow help a coach out there, send it over.

My list is as follows:


The Winners Manual- Jim Tressel

When it comes to creating a culture of winning and a championship mindset, coach Tres did it better than anyone in my opinion, and he lays it all out in The Winners Manual, especially the intangibles of a great program. In my first year of coaching I heard the quote "They don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care" from coach Tressel, and I knew I had to read the book


Wins, Losses, and Lessons - Lou Holtz

Holtz shares his wealth of experience in this one, as well another book of his Winning Everyday. and has a ton of great advice. Reading either one of them means you won't ever have to pay to hear him speak, because he covers everything in this book.


Win Forever - Pete Carroll

To be honest, I bought this book about a year ago, and had been chipping away at it up until recently taking a renewed interest in it. My advice for this one is to pick out a coach (who has a book out) who your coaching style most resembles and you're bound to pick up a few good things from it. Pete Carroll is that guy for me.

Now time for your recommendations.

1: Earn the right to win - Tom Coughlin: Much like Coach Carrol’s book, he talks about building a program, the stress it takes on a family, and the mistakes he made. 2. The Education of a Coach by Book by David Halberstam is a great read and very well written. Coach Belichick’s meticulous attention to detail is impressive. - via email from Hans Straub 1. The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn 2. Good to Great by Jim Collins 3. Built to Last by Jim Collins - via email from Jason Aubry

Swing Your Sword by Mike Leach
Life is Yours to Win by Augie Garrido
The Life and Legend of Chris Kyle by Michael J. Mooney
Inside Out Coaching by Joe Erhmann
It's the Will, Not the Skill by Herm Edwards
-Email submission from Gil Speer of the Indiana Football Coaches Association

Season of life by Jeffery Marx
- Email submission from John Morrison, HC at Francis Parker HS (CA)

"The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lenciconi is a must read, especially for coaches taking over a program."
- Email submission from Tom Walsh