Don Haskins, the coach of Texas Western’s 1966 NCAA champion basketball team, professes to be a highly reluctant subject of Glory Road (Hyperion), his autobiography as told to Dan Wetzel. Which makes it doubly amazing that this average Joe wearing a clip-on tie (when he absolutely has to) emerges as one of the most engaging and colorful sports characters this side of Muhammad Ali. The 1966 roundball title was a civil rights milestone of sorts, because Haskins’ school (now the University of Texas at El Paso) was the first ever to start five black players in a national college tournament. But it’s the man himself—a self-confessed lunatic of a disciplinarian who is universally beloved by his ex-players—who makes Glory Road a fascinating, and subtly hilarious, study in contrasts.
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