In The End Is Not the Trophy, David Odom, who has guided Wake Forest University's men's basketball to seven consecutive NCAA appearances and two consecutive ACC championships ('95 and '96), shares his own thoughts and insights on his lifetime in the world of coaching and sports. With humor and revealing candor, Odom talks about the stresses faced by coaches at any level, but especially those at the highest collegiate levels; how balance is needed to survive; his views on important relationships (with other coaches, players, the media, fans); and other topics. As a unique addition, the book offers a chapter by his wife, Lynn Odom, giving her perspective on being a coach's wife and raising a family in the public eye. A foreword by Terry Holland, Athletic Director at the University of Virginia and former head basketball coach at Virginia with whom David Odom coached for seven years offers a southern perspective on basketball and life.
Considered one of the most competent in his profession, Odum, head basketball coach at Wake Forest University in North Carolina for the past seven years, has taken his team into NCAA postseason play seven times and led them to two Atlantic Coast Conference championships. After 11 years in high-school ball, he served as an assistant at Wake Forest and the University of Virginia until he accepted his present post in 1990. He notes that he wrote this book as a guide for young people who aspire to follow in his footsteps, and he succeeds notably. In discussing the coach's function in any sport, he makes a number of arresting observations: a coach who is not a teacher is not a good coach; a coach who relies only on computer printouts and other statistical data ignores the humanity of his players. Most intriguing of all, he claims not to read articles about himself or his team in the press, for he believes that sports reporters don't know as much about the game as he does. (Mar.)
It is difficult to explain why every college basketball coach feels compelled to write a book. Odom, head coach at Wake Forest University, has noble intentions but does not seem to have much on his mind. He reveals little that has not been thoroughly covered by other coaches in previous basketball books. The major issues afflicting college athletics, such as recruiting rules, agents, and the big money waiting in the NBA, are given just cursory treatment. Those seeking gossip will also be disappointed; perhaps he is too good-natured, but Odom has virtually nothing negative to say about anyone. Moreover, the style of the book, full of two- and three-paragraph remarks and recollections, makes for disjointed reading. This book will interest only Wake Forest alumni and those with an absolutely insatiable appetite for college basketball. Only for regional collections.Andrew Riccobono, Marymount Univ., Arlington, Va.