A Season on the Mat: Dan Gable and the Pursuit of Perfection

Overview

For twenty-one years, Dan Gable's Iowa Hawkeyes dominated wrestling to an extent rarely seen in any sport: twenty-one consecutive Big 10 titles and fifteen national championships. In A Season on the Mat, award-winning reporter Nolan Zavoral explores Iowa's storied wrestling program and Gable's record of excellence in an unprecedented, intimate look at the man and his methods during his final season as a head coach.

A Season on the Mat chronicles the dramatic 1996-97 season, in ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$12.55
BN.com price
(Save 37%)$19.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $4.04   
  • New (5) from $11.36   
  • Used (6) from $4.04   
Sending request ...

Overview

For twenty-one years, Dan Gable's Iowa Hawkeyes dominated wrestling to an extent rarely seen in any sport: twenty-one consecutive Big 10 titles and fifteen national championships. In A Season on the Mat, award-winning reporter Nolan Zavoral explores Iowa's storied wrestling program and Gable's record of excellence in an unprecedented, intimate look at the man and his methods during his final season as a head coach.

A Season on the Mat chronicles the dramatic 1996-97 season, in which Gable led his team — far from his most talented — to a record-breaking performance at the national championship, at which it scored the most points in collegiate wrestling history. Zavoral takes the reader behind the scenes into the stifling heat of the wrestling room, where young men from places like Rock Falls, Illinois, or Philip, South Dakota, sacrifice everything they have just to be a part of the Hawkeye program.

From his difficult upbringing, interrupted by the tragedy of his sister's brutal murder, through the single defeat that haunts him to this day, to the ups and downs of his phenomenal coaching career, Gable has come to symbolize to many all that is special about this demanding, elemental sport. Part biography, part chronicle, part portrait of this unique subculture, A Season on the Mat is the best and most thorough look at one of the most important and most overlooked figures in American athletics.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"One of the year's best sports books and the finest wrestling title to hit the mat in a long time" — The Library Journal

"Finally, wrestling has a classic to call its own." — The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)

"The ring of truth is unmistakable. . . . Some of the best writing on wrestling since John Irving wrote about 'Gorgeous Dan' for Esquire magazine." — Des Moines Sunday Register

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416535539
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 1/9/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 258,895
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Nolan Zavoral has been a reporter and editor for twenty-five years at newspapers ranging from the lowa City Press-Citizen to USA Today. He is currently a reporter for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune; his stories have appeared in The New York Times, Newsday, and The Washington Post. The author of In the Chutes, he lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 20, 2009

    Gable's Final Season

    This book is a very dramatic and descriptive narrative of not only the Hawkeyes last season under the watchful eye of Dan Gable, but also of Mr. Gable's personal life. The book explains how the tough things he endured growing up shaped him and strengthened him not only as a person, but also as a competitor. As the book explains, Gable is seen by those around him not only as the coach of a stellar Division I wrestling program, but as a man who could endure immense pain in the wrestling room and push his limits way past the breaking point of any other man around him. A Season on the Mat depicts the hard work that Gable's gang of dedicated wrestlers put in day in and day out. You'll go from joining in the taxing all-out practices in the sweltering Iowa Hawkeye wrestling room, to the track for mile workouts in multiple layers of sweatclothes, to the steamy sauna where the battle of making weight is seen. You will come to know the phrase "Hit it!" and know its significance between Gable and his wrestlers. As Gable leads the way to victory, his team follows diligently and makes any sacrifices necessary to achieve their goal. The book, at times, has a very detailed description of wrestling moves, scoring, and other technical things. Other times the book is biographical concerning Gable's early life and career as a high school and collegiate wrestler. A Season on the Mat takes you inside Gable's head and processes everything he says and the meaning behind it all. This book is great for any wrestling buffs or anyone looking for a superb example of a truly committed coach who is passionate about what he does and the sacrifices he makes for his athletes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)