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Publisher's Summary

In this New York Times best seller, College football’s most colorful, endearing, and successful pioneer, Steve Spurrier, shares his story of a life in football - from growing up in Tennessee to winning the Heisman Trophy to playing and coaching in the pros to leading the Florida Gators to six SEC Championships and a National Championship to elevating the South Carolina program to new heights - and coaching like nobody else. 

He’s been called brash, cocky, arrogant, pompous, egotistical, and hilarious, but, mostly, he’s known as the Head Ball Coach, a self-ordained term introduced to the lexicon of football by none other than the man, himself, Steve Spurrier. He is the only coach who can claim to be the winningest coach at two different SEC schools, and the only person who has won both the Heisman Trophy as a player and a national championship as a coach. Or who has won a Heisman and coached a Heisman winner. 

From the beginning, Spurrier didn’t want to sound like other coaches, dress like other coaches, and, especially, coach like other coaches. As a controversial football pioneer, he ushered in a different style of leadership and play. Spurrier’s press conferences were glorious - he refused to lapse into coachspeak and was always entertaining, although he took his football very seriously. He was known for his fierce competitiveness, roaming up and down the sidelines, often throwing his signature visor to the ground in disgust. Now resigned from coaching at age 70 - he doesn’t like to say “retired” yet - Spurrier has calmed down, but don’t mistake that for a lack of fire. He can be just as feisty as the day he set foot on the East Tennessee dirt in Johnson City’s Kiwanis Park, where he grew up to become one of the state’s all-time greatest athletes, and went on to play for Florida where he launched one of sports history’s all-time great careers. 

In his memoir, Spurrier talks for the first time about the circumstances under which he unexpectedly became a coach and why he resigned at South Carolina. He explains his unique style, the difference between winners and losers, his relationship with the media, why he follows the wisdom of ancient philosophers and warriors, his affinity everything taught by John Wooden, and the reasons behind his relaxed regimen for living well. Spurrier, as always, speaks candidly, bringing together his thoughts about his words, actions, and achievements, while telling countless wonderful anecdotes.

©2016 Steve Spurrier & Buddy Martin (P)2016 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Spurrier’s upbeat personality shines in this uplifting book that will appeal to anyone interested in college football." (Library Journal)

"The decorated football player and coach offers an overview of his upbringing and remarkable career...plenty to chew on for fans of college football, especially the SEC." (Kirkus Reviews)

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Great read on the HBC

A must have for all Gator fans. Great listen on the history of HBC. Love the stories of all his playing and coaching days. Living through the 90's as a huge Gator fan, it was great to reminisce those fun years. To hear it from his side was great to understand his thinking on some of those days. Also the stories about his time in South Carolina, Duke, USFL, and of coarse his playing years. A definite Gator favorite.

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Entertaining and Inspiring

What did you love best about Head Ball Coach?

The insight into how he became the unique coach and personality that he is. Spurrier is a pretty decent story teller. And he's got some stories to tell...

What did you like best about this story?

Spurrier is self critical and owns up to some personal failings and regrets. His lists that he's made up over the years on leadership and winning are must reads. He's a much more thoughtful guy than I expected. I was a student at University Florida when he hired on as head ball coach in 1990. I would often see him jogging on campus and always said, "Hey Coach!" He was gruff and would just grunt back at me. Didn't want to be bothered. It became a game for me. I just thought he didn't like people. Listening to the book changed my opinion. He's very much a people person and very thoughtful.

What does Tom Stechschulte bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

No thoughts on this point.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. I listened to about 80% of it the day I downloaded it. I even muted the Florida vs. Iowa bowl game and listened to the audiobook.

Any additional comments?

Love Spurrier. The book inspired me to think a little bit differently with respect to how I approach professional life. I also learned that the Head Ball Coach has some atrocious taste in music. Regardless, I highly recommend this audio book. Extremely entertaining. Go Gators!

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Fantastic!

Loved it!!!! Great inside information that I often wondered about, but now I have all the facts from a great man and Head Ball Coach.

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For every Football Fan!!

Where does Head Ball Coach rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

So, I don't write many reviews (over 450 books in my library) but this one was easy. I'm a UF Grad ('92) and was there for the first couple of his UF years and have lived in Gamecock country for the last 15. If you're a fan of any SEC school, Duke, the Redskins, the Bandits of the USFL or even FSU (eh, cough-cough-spittle) you'll love this book. Even Tennessee fans will love the HBC's insights into his upbringing in Tennessee and Phil Fulmer and Peyton Manning. Sorry Tennessee fans though, the narrator pronounces Vols like VOELS (read like bowls), it's even kind of annoying for other SEC fans who can't stand those Knoxville Rocky Tops. Maybe Steve had him do it on purpose? just sayin' Great book for anyone that LOVES college football. GO GATORS!

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Inspiring and Entertaining

This is a great book for a football fan, but more than that a very inspiring and entertaining motivational book. As an alumnus and fan of one of his most hated rival teams, Spurrier has fascinated and infuriated me at times. In fact, I’ve attended some of the games he mentions in the book. So, when I saw his book, I knew I had to check it out and it did not disappoint; it’s outstanding. I love his boldness, brashness, and unapologetic approach to winning; there are great lessons and advice here for anyone who wants to strive to the best in any field; I’m certain that I’ll add his advice to my own approach. Thanks Coach, great book; congrats on your accomplishments. See you at the beach.

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Not bad, but arrogant.

As a huge fan of the game of football, I enjoyed the behind the scenes stories and detail. Having said that... wow, Steve Spurrier is wildly arrogant.