ROCKNE: The Coach, The Man, The Legend by Jerry Brondfield

ROCKNE: The Coach, The Man, The Legend

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Unapologetically deferential, this appreciation of the Notre Dame football coach and national hero reconstructs his professional life with a strong feeling for the personal appeal of the man. Rockne, who began as a talented chemistry teacher, built up the team through a combination of improvisation, imagination, and intelligence. According to those who played for him (quoted extensively here), he was known for dramatizing--reading a phony telegram from his son, concocting a special liniment for pain--but his ploys worked anyway. Great energy as well as obvious financial reward enabled him to take on public speaking, broadcasting, sportswriting, and coaching schools beyond his Notre Dame duties; ego is never mentioned although he clearly enjoyed the spotlight. Even when sidelined with phlebitis, he coached from a wheelchair (another act, some wrongly maintained) and persevered in getting a new stadium built. When he died in 1931 (the first famous victim of an airplane crash) the people of South Bend lined the streets and even Hoover sent a telegram. The man who named ""Monday morning quarterbacks"" seen in the first popular tribute in years.

Pub Date: Nov. 16th, 1976
Publisher: Random House