Digger Phelps -- the son of an undertaker from Beacon, N.Y. -- coached basketball at the U. of Penn. and Fordham before landing the job of his dreams at Notre Dame. Last year, in his third season at South Bend, he led the Irish to a come-from-behind upset of UCLA, thereby snapping their record 88-game winning streak. Even though his team was later beaten in the Mideast Regionals of the NCAA Championship, Phelps did direct the country's fifth-ranked team (26-3) and was named Coach of the Year. Less of an autobiography than a diary, this work highlights the '73-'74 campaign -- pre-game preparations, motivational psyching, glorious encounters, and recruiting techniques (""Winning and successful recruiting are synonymous in college basketball. The coaches who recruit best are the most successful""). An energetic and innovative floor strategist, Phelps is attuned to the intricacies of his playbook as well as the demands of his Notre Dame tradition-conscious role. A bit more spirited than the standard seasonal recapitulation -- Fighting Irish supporters will be the most supportive.