JUMBO ELLIOTT: Maker of Milers, Maker of Men by

JUMBO ELLIOTT: Maker of Milers, Maker of Men

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A scrambled collection of anecdotes about the late Villanova coach--providing only the sketchiest picture of Elliott's career. At the time of his death in 1980, Elliott had started to write a book about his 46 years at Villanova, training such outstanding runners as Don Paige, Eamonn Coghlan, and Marry Liquori. In taking over the project, Berry, a friend and associate from childhood, purposely avoided discussion of coaching techniques to focus on Elliott's personality--and he did tap a host of athletes, and other acquaintances, for recollections and comments. But without the framework of Elliott's career or accomplishments to hang the material on--without so much as a coherent chronological progression--the book remains a hash of loosely connected short takes. The major trials of Elliott's life are represented--from his upbringing in a West Philadelphia working-class neighborhood, to his professional disappointments (Elliott was never named an Olympic coach--perhaps because of his criticism of the US Olympic Committee), to his devastation at the loss of wife Kay from cancer (Elliott himself died four weeks later). And some highlights are cited: 22 Olympians came from his teams, many of his runners held national or world records. But without a context, none of this has much impact. Not even the quirks come across in this disjointed compilation.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1982
Publisher: St. Martin's