He transformed the game of football forever and inspired a nation. Knute Rockne’s journey from immigrant child to Notre Dame coaching legend to revered national figure shows us even today the endless possibilities of the human spirit.
Coach For A Nation transports the reader to an extraordinary time of energy, excitement, passion, and possibilities in America of the early 20th century. Into this burgeoning drama stepped an immigrant lad destined to make his mark on the nation like few before him, or since. We see Rockne in his formative years in Chicago and learn of the moods and motivations that stay with him for life. He blossoms at Notre Dame and skyrockets to national fame because of his excellence as a player and later as the coach of the Fighting Irish. Rockne’s visionary genius made Notre Dame football a household name from coast to coast as second-generation immigrants packed newly-built stadiums across the land, while millions more gathered around their radios to listen to the weekly exploits of Rockne’s “Wonder Team.”
Yet his story transcends athletics; it embodies the hope and promise of a new era dawning in the United States. All things were imaginable in a nation expanding in ways never before seen. Rockne was quick to grasp the latest innovations in communications, transportation, and business. With a quick wit and an engaging spirit, Rockne used football as a stage to connect with America. Upon his shocking death in an airplane crash in 1931 at the height of his popularity, the outpouring of sentiment from around the nation and world was unprecedented. Rockne’s legacy, in life and in death, still impacts the game of college football and an American audience of the 21st century. Now his life story is told as never before.
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‘Just A Wonderful Read’
I am a native Kansan, a history buff and a Notre Dame grad. I still enjoy Pat O’Brien’s Hollywood portrayal of Knute Rockne. However, for the real story I read all four hundred sixty-three pages of “Coach for a Nation” in the twenty-two hours it took to fly from Naples, Florida, my home, to Toulouse, France. I was awake throughout and simply could not put this book down. The Author effortlessly segues in and out of the time line between 1888 and 1931 with the same timing and precision of the famous Notre Dame backfield shift, through rapid changes in both American and world history, good and bad. In his short forty-three years, we witness a transformation of a Norwegian immigrant to a national hero with impeccable character traits of fairness, sportsmanship and the drive to be the best one could be. And he was. I have often visited the beautiful Flint Hills around the unincorporated town of Bazaar, Kansas, where Rockne’s plane went down. Truly an incredible and magical place where eight-hundred different wild flowers bloom each year. A natural bouquet befitting a guest of great honor. In fact, a legend. In this book, the end is just the beginning. See for yourself. Just a wonderful read.
Best Book Ever On Rockne
I just finished this terrific book! I’ve read 20 books about Knute Rockne…and this is the best. The author did an excellent job integrating the story of Knute Rockne with the history of our country and Notre Dame. This was a book clearly written by an excellent historian…and a lover of Notre Dame.
Entertaining and Well Researched
Coach For A Nation allows the reader to journey back in time 100 years ago and actually relive, as a companion, a story long since vanished from our busy world of today. This is not only the tale of one great gentleman, Knute Rockne, it is a thoughtfully researched book that delivers a first-hand account of worldwide events in a fascinating and compelling manner. I highly recommend this tale for any and all who are interested in traveling back to those “good old days” we’ve heard so much about all of our lives. This story is not just for fans of Notre Dame or Knute Rockne … Kudos to the author for such an entertaining and historical work!