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Book spotlights successful Minnesota coaches

Glass, Mayer, Seltz among those included

If you want to know what makes some coaches tick, you can find out in Ross Bernstein's latest book "Legends and Legacies, Celebrating a Century of Minnesota Coaches."

For many of the coaches he features in the book, he used the question and answer method, with the coaches writing the answers in their own words.The only southeastern Minnesota coaches who are prominently featured are current Rochester Lourdes girls basketball coach Myron Glass, former Lourdes football coach Joe Mayer and former Austin High baseball coach Dick Seltz.

"It was impossible to include everybody," Bernstein said. The coaches he features in the book are from all sports on the high school, college and professional levels and from all eras -- from George Gibson of the Minneapolis Redjackets to Mike Tice of the Minnesota Vikings.

It also includes Minnesotans who went on to have outstanding coaching careers in other states, coaches like Bud Wilkinson of Oklahoma, Dan Devine of Notre Dame and the Green Bay Packers and Lute Olson of Arizona.

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I found it a little disappointing that coaches like John Nett of Winona Cotter, Jerry Snyder of Lake City, Evar Silvernagle of Rochester High and John Marshall, Ove Berven of Austin, Bill Sutter of Goodhue and Al Wold, John Drews and Gene Sack of John Marshall weren't featured.

I had also expected to find something on Rochester High graduate Tom Moore, who was voted the NFL assistant coach of the last 50 years and continues to serve as the offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts.

But the book is a good read.

The Q &; A's with Glass, Mayer and Seltz reveal a lot about those three coaches.

Glass had some advice for young coaches.

"Be prepared for a lot of work and for a big time commitment," he said, "and you better do it to have fun, not for wins or self glory. Enjoy the kids and enjoy what you're doing."

In another bit of advice for young coaches, Glass said: "You will have to be able to ride the storm of criticism that will undoubtedly come from parents and from players. You will make mistakes along the way but you have to stick to it."

Mayer coached football at Lourdes for 27 years and won five mythical state championships along the way, but his answer to the question: 'What are you most proud of?' had nothing to do with wins or losses.

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"I am most proud of the success that our kids achieved after high school," he said. "Hopefully, sports gave them the confidence to go out and move ahead in life."

Seltz, who coached baseball at Austin High for 36 years, answered the "What are you most proud of" question like this: "When kids come home and visit you and still call you coach, 30-40 years after the fact, that to me is about as good as it gets."

Seltz' advice for young coaches is to talk to successful coaches and find out what made them winners.

"I've been out of coaching for 15 years," he said, "but I could give a younger coach a little advice where he could win another six or seven ballgames each season, and that's a fact."

There are plenty of others featured in the book who coached or played in Rochester at one time or another. They include Ron Ekker (Rochester Renegade CBA team), Kevin Constantine (Rochester Mustangs), Bill Musselman (Rochester Renegades), Hon Lordly (Rochester High), Steve Fritz (Lourdes player) and Frank Serratore (Mustangs).

This is the 12th book written by Bernstein on Minnesota sports or sports personalties. He will be at the Barnes and Noble store in Apache Mall between 4 and 6 p.m. Sunday to talk sports and sign his books.

Bob Brown is the executive sports editor of the Post-Bulletin. His column appears Wednesdays and Saturdays. He can be reached at brown@postbulletin.com

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