Recommended Books

Gift Ideas:

*Also, click on the link of Coach McElroy's No-Huddle book to check out the Foreward by Chip Kelly and the endorsement by Gus Malzahn.

These are some good books I have run across.  It is difficult to rank them, but I will try.  They are ranked according to how they can help me to be a better coach, not on how good of a read they are.  I would recommend all of them on the "A" or "B" List.

"A" List
Finding the Winning Edge by Bill Walsh     (It goes beyond X's and O's to how to implement a system of football in the most efficient and effective manner.  Bill Belichick said this, "Saying it was outstanding wouldn't do it justice.  For a coach, it's a Bible."

How Good Do You Want to Be?  by Nick Saban     (This is one of the very best football books ever written.)

Faith in the Game by Tom Osborne     (This book talks about the impact a coach can have on young people, and it helped me to decide to become a coach.)

Coaching Team Defense by Fritz Shurmur     (This book is awesome.  A must read for all coaches.  The principles in this book are universal and can be used no matter what defense you run.)

Nike Coach of the Year Clinic Manuals     (These are a great source of information on a variety of subjects.  They greatly accelerated my learning curve as a young coach.)

The Quick Passing Game (Vol. 1-3) and The Bunch Attack by Andrew Coverdale and Dan Robinson     (Coach Coverdale and Coach Robinson do a super job explaining passing concepts and how to attack defenses.)

The Winners Manual by Jim Tressel    (Great information on the intangibles of a football program.  The chapter on Love may be the best chapter in any football book I've ever read.)

Think Like a Champion by Mike Shanahan     (This is a really great book that not a lot of people know about.)

Bringing Out the Best in Others by Thomas K. Connellan     (Not a football book, it talks about how to motivate people to succeed.)

Football's Eagle and Stack Defenses  by Ron Vanderlinden     (This package is big but can be trimmed down for simplicity at the HS level--better too much than not enough.  It goes into superb detail that no other defensive book that I have read--not just the how's of each position, but the why's behind every call he has.)

Developing an Offensive Game Plan  by Brian Billick     (Great job of explaining how to efficiently set up your game day call sheet and coordinate it with your practice schedule.)

The Bible     (I don't read this one enough, especially during football season.  My favorite books in the Bible are probably James and Daniel.  If reading the Bible for the first time, start with the book of John.)

"B+" List
Coaching the Under Front Defense  by Jerry Gordon     (Great and much needed resource on the 4-3 Under front.  The section on LB play is extremely well done.  There is a good section on defending the spread.  The only thing I would like to see is a section on defending the Wing-T and Flexbone Option.  I may have to start a petition for him to write another book.

Quiet Strength
by Tony Dungy
     (He talks about what it means to be a Christian coach.  More specific examples of exactly how he communicates with his players would have been very helpful for us coaches who want to learn to coach more like Coach Dungy.)

Concept Passing: Teaching the Modern Passing Game by Dan Gonzalez     (Very good book.  I really like that it is geared towards helping the high school coach.)

Complete Conditioning for Football by Michael Arthur/Bryan Bailey     (Really good look at how to implement the Nebraska strength & conditioning program.)

Leading with the Heart  by Mike Krzyzewski     (Coach K does a great job of communicating with his players.)

Coaching Matters  by Brad Adler     (This book looks at ten great NFL coaches and how they motivate and communicate with their players.)

Winning the NFL Way  by Bob LaMonte     (This book is another look at the motivational and leadership tactics of some of today's NFL coaches.)

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team  by Patrick Lencioni     (This is not a football book, but I liked the section on Accountability.)

Wooden  by John Wooden     (Coach Wooden may be the best coach ever, in any sport. He has some other books that I need to read and put on this list. His Success Pyramid is something you need to check out.)

The Gamemakers  by Jack Clary     (This is an older book that looks at how Vince Lombardi, Paul Brown, and others motivated and communicated with their players.)

Patriot Reign  by Michael Holley     (Here is my favorite part of this book, expletives are excluded.  It is midseason, the year after the Patriots upset the Rams for their first Super Bowl win, the Pats are struggling, and Bill Belichick is talking to his team:

"I've seen a couple comments here, some of the players talking about how we need to get our 'swagger' back.  You know what? We didn't have a 'swagger' last year.  If you think about it, we didn't have a swagger.  What we had was a sense of urgency, a sense of urgency about playing well, being smart, and capitalizing on every opportunity and situation...It wasn't about a swagger.  You can take that swagger and shove it...")

"B" List
Coaching Football's 4-3 Defense  by Tim Simons      (Pretty good look at defending different types of Offenses that you see at the high school level. This was the first good book written on the 4-3 Defense.)

Coaching Football's 46 Defense  by Rex Ryan     (I'm not a 46 guy, but this book has a great section on defending the Option.)

Attacking Coverages with the Passing Game by Steve Axman     (A good look at what pass plays to run vs. each coverage.  I highly recommend this for new coaches learning about the passing game.)

The Complete Handbook of Clock Management by Homer Smith     (Very good content by an extremely good coach; however, it is somewhat of a difficult read and could be easier to comprehend.)

Turning the Thing Around  by Jimmy Johnson     (JJ was a master of psychological tactics.)

Everyone's a Coach  by Ken Blanchard and Don Shula     (Good book, but somewhat written for business people, too.  Still a lot of good material for coaches to use, especially with player feedback.)

Winning the Mental Way  by Karlene Sugarman

For God and Country  by Fisher DeBerry      (I didn't like this book at first, but I really liked it the second time I read it.)

Racing to Win  by Joe Gibbs     (Some NASCAR stuff, but the football content is solid.)

The Education of a Coach
by David Halberstam    
(A look at how Bill Belichick became a coach and the influence of his father, who was the premier scout in all of football.)

'Cane Mutiny by Bruce Fledman     (This one will raise a few eyebrows, but it is a good book.  It has a great look at accountability and how the Miami players would help each other out, even if that meant someone beating you out for a position, because that would make the team better.)

Do You Love Football?
by Jon Gruden    
(Why can't I get by on only two hours of sleep a night?)

One Yard Short  by Les Steckel     (Coach Steckel was the OC for the Tennessee Titans that were one yard short in losing to the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl.  He talks about his faith and the ups and downs of his coaching career.)

The Leadership Game  by Tom Mullens     (A look at the leadership methods of recent collegiate national champion football coaches.)

Coaching Football
Successfully  by Allen Trimble     (Coach Trimble is from Jenks H.S., and while I usually don't like these type of comprehensive books, this one was pretty good.) 

Wish List

Here are some books I have browsed and want to read:

This book is supposed to be made into a movie soon:

I hear this book is great, but I grew up as a Dolphins fan when Olivadatti was the DC, so I am a bit skeptical:

Books I'm Reading/Trying to Read Now