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March 11, 2011

The Courage To Coach

The brackets that frame March Madness will be distributed this weekend. And the drumbeat that takes us to the National Championship in college basketball will begin in earnest. Nolan Richardson coached the Arkansas Razorbacks to several Final Fours and one NCAA national championship in 1994. But as successful as his career has been, Coach Richardson says he's faced racial discrimination at every step of the way. He talks with Dick Gordon about how he became one of the first black men to break through the white world of coaching in the Old South, and the price he's paid for speaking his mind.

Also in this episode, Buzz Ridl was the coach of his time. He took little Westminster College in Pennsylvania to the national title 50 years ago this year. There is an event this weekend at Westminster, where many of the players are gathering to remember Coach Buzz Ridl. The coach’s son, Jack, is now a poet. He remembers that national championship, and he remembers the agony of sitting behind the bench, watching his dad try to win. Jack has recently published an entire book of poems that were inspired by his memories of basketball, his father, and the fans. It's called Losing Season. Hear Jack read the poem My Brother A Star

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