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About Ian O'Connor
Ian O’Connor is a nationally-acclaimed columnist who has authored four previous books, including his third New York Times bestseller "Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time;" O'Connor's previous bestsellers were “The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter,” which the Library Journal called “excellent” and the “most complete account” of Jeter’s iconic career with the New York Yankees, and "Arnie & Jack: Palmer, Nicklaus, and Golf's Greatest Rivalry." His defining biography of retiring Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski will be published in February.
O’Connor has finished in first place in 18 national writing contests, including those conducted by the Associated Press Sports Editors, the Golf Writers Association of America, and the Pro Football Writers of America. He has been a sports columnist at ESPN.com, The (N.J.) Record, USA Today, Gannett (N.Y.) Newspapers, The New York Daily News and, now, The New York Post, and he has hosted national and regional radio shows for ESPN.
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Bill Belichick is perhaps the most fascinating figure in the NFL—the infamously dour face of one of the winningest franchises in sports. As head coach of the New England Patriots, he’s led the team to five Super Bowl championship trophies. In this revelatory and robust biography, readers will come to understand and see Belichick’s full life in football, from watching college games as a kid with his father, a Naval Academy scout, to orchestrating two Super Bowl–winning game plans as defensive coordinator for the Giants, to his dramatic leap to New England, where he has made history.
Award-winning columnist and New York Times best-selling author Ian O’Connor delves into the mind of the man who has earned a place among coaching legends like Lombardi, Halas, and Paul Brown, presenting sides of Belichick that have been previously unexplored. O’Connor discovers how this legendary coach shaped the people he met and worked with in ways perhaps even Belichick himself doesn’t know. Those who follow and love pro football know Bill Belichick only as the hooded genius of the Patriots. But there is so much more—from the hidden tensions and deep layers to his relationship with Tom Brady to his sometimes frosty dealings with owner Robert Kraft to his ability to earn the unmitigated respect of his players—if not their affection. This is a man who has many facets and, ultimately, has created a notorious football dynasty. Based on exhaustive research and countless interviews, this book circles around Belichick to tell his full story for the first time, and presents an incisive portrait of a mastermind at work.
Mike Krzyzewski, known worldwide as “Coach K,” is a five-time national champion at Duke, the NCAA's all-time leader in victories with nearly 1,200, and the first man to lead Team USA to three Olympic basketball gold medals. Through unprecedented access to Krzyzewski’s best friends, closest advisers, fiercest adversaries, and generations of his players and assistants, three-time New York Times bestselling author Ian O’Connor takes you behind the Blue Devil curtain with a penetrating examination of the great, but flawed leader as he closes out his iconic career.
Krzyzewski built a staggering basketball empire that has endured for more than four decades, placing him among the all-time titans of American sport, and yet there has never been a defining portrait of the coach and his program. Until now. O’Connor uses scores of interviews with those who know Krzyzewski best to deliver previously untold stories about the relationships that define the venerable Coach K, including the one with his volcanic mentor, Bob Knight, that died a premature death. Krzyzewski was always driven by an inner rage fueled by his tough Chicago upbringing, and by the blue-collar Polish-American parents who raised him to fight for a better life. As the retiring Coach K makes his final stand, vying for one more ring during the 2021-2022 season before saying goodbye at age 75, O’Connor shows you sides of the man and his methods that will surprise even the most dedicated Duke fan.
“Derek Jeter is undoubtedly the most talked about, argued about, cheered, booed and ultimately respected baseball player of his generation. And as public a figure as he has been, he is in many ways the least known. That changes now as Ian O’Connor, one of the best sports writers anywhere, goes deep and does what no one has quite been able to do: Tell us a bit about who Derek Jeter really is.”??—??Joe Posnanski, author of The Machine
"Deftly told.”??—??The Washington Post
In The Captain, Ian O’Connor draws on unique access to Derek Jeter and more than 200 new interviews to reveal how a biracial kid from Michigan became New York’s most beloved sports figure and the face of the steroid-free athlete.
O’Connor takes us behind the scenes of a legendary baseball life, from Jeter’s early struggles in the minor leagues, when homesickness and errors threatened a stillborn career, to the heady days of Yankee superiority and nightlife, to the battles with former best friend A-Rod.
All along the way, Jeter has made his Hall-of-Fame destiny look easy. But behind that leadership and hero’s grace there are hidden struggles and complexities that have never been explored, until now.
Surprisingly, one of sport’s most contentious, complex, and defining clashes played out not in the boxing ring or at the line of scrimmage but on the genteel green fairways of the world’s finest golf courses. Arnie and Jack. Palmer and Nicklaus. Their fifty-year duel, in both the clubhouse and the boardroom, propelled each to the status of American icon and pushed modern golf into mainstream popularity.
Arnie was the cowboy, with rugged good looks, Popeye-like forearms, a flailing swing, and charm enough to win fans worldwide. Jack was scientific, precise, conservative, aloof, even fat and awkward. Ultimately, Nicklaus got the better of Palmer on the course, beating him in major victories 18-7. But Palmer bested Nicklaus almost everywhere else, especially in the hearts of the public and in endorsement dollars. By the end of this page-turning narrative, we see that each man wanted what the other had: Arnold wanted the trophies. Jack wanted the love.
In the tradition of John Feinstein and Mark Frost, Ian O’Connor has written a compelling account of one of the greatest rivalries in sports history.