High School Sports Coaches - book project

UPDATE (7/27): Michael Groves, head baseball coach at Monterey High School and a member of the California High School Baseball Coaches' Association Hall of Fame, is profiled in today's Read the Spirit. Coach Groves is a subject in my forthcoming book. Enjoy this moving story of his relationship with a young player that has shaped the team and the community for 30 years now. (For other updates, see the bottom of this page.)

Most of what people know about high school coaches is what they see on game day in stadiums, gyms, and fields. The truth is, what happens on the sidelines on game days is a tiny fraction of what high school coaches do. And the wins and loses that many people use to measure their effectiveness don’t capture the thousands of lives these people affect every year. (Read more below)

At a time of division and anxiety in America, there are mentors in millions of young lives who many have forgotten—our high school coaches. These often unsung heroes—black and white, men and women, spread all over this nation in towns large and small—have for generations shaped the future for young men and women who come out of these programs with resilience and commitment and, most importantly, the skills to work in healthy communities toward a greater good. Now, senior journalist Martin Davis has crisscrossed the nation in interviews with coaches of various sports to launch a book that captures 30 of their most enduring, inspiring stories. Some are of legendary coaches who have touched thousands of lives and in some cases revolutionized their games, others are fairly early in their careers, creating programs that guide not only the lives of their athletes but improve the communities they live. There are personal stories of coach/player relationships, about coaches building and sustaining programs, about coaches growing and maturing in their sports, about coaches affecting their communities for the good. Then there are the stories of the athletes who played for them. Personal looks into the life-long impact a coach has. 

Martin Davis has spent more than 20 years as a journalist. He has written nationally on the issues of public education, sports and society, health and human resources, and American religion. His publications have appeared in The Tour Championship magazine, National Journal, National Review, Read the Spirit, and many other publications. He lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with his wife Thelma. They have three children. Andrew, a researcher in Washington, DC; Austin, an active-duty Marine and Olympic weightlifter; and Katie, a high school junior with an interest in medicine.

UPDATE: This week I appeared on Mind of A Football Coach podcast (42 Minutes). Listen to me talk about my coaching passion and explore my forthcoming book.

Update - Proud to appear on the "30 for 30 Podcast," hosted by Coach Marvin Nash (Coach at San Marcos High School in Texas). We talk about the book, where the idea for it came, and tease a chapter. Listen to it here  (20 minutes)

Update - I recently interviewed Coach Phil "Smokey" Moresi - Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and winner of the Jim Calhoun Award for the top high school basketball coach in New England. Among his protegees is former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt. Moresi will be featured in the book. He covers the importance of the second team, and the beauty of scripted practices.


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Martin Davis 
Fredericksburg, VA
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