Glory Road: My Story of the 1966 NCAA Basketball Championship and How One Team Triumphed Against the Odds and Changed America Forever

ISBN: 1401307914
ISBN 13: 9781401307912
By: Don Haskins Daniel Wetzel

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About this book

Timed to the release of Jerry Bruckheimer's movie, the moving autobiography of Hall of Fame basketball coach Don Haskins and his storied team of players, the Texas Western MinersIn 1966, college basketball was almost completely segregated. In the championship game for the NCAA title that year, Don Haskins, coach of the then little-known Texas Western College, did something that had never been done before in the history of college basketball. He started five black players, and in the now legendary game, unseated the nationally top-ranked University of Kentucky. Broadcast on television throughout the country, the Miners victory became the impetus for the desegregation of all college teams in the South during the next few years.Now, for the first time, Hall of Fame coach Don Haskins tell his story. Beginning as a small-town high school basketball coach, Haskins was known for his tough coaching methods and larger-than-life personality. As a child growing up during the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma, he developed a strong set of values and discipline that he would instill in his players throughout his coaching career. With recollections from his former players, including those of the 1966 team, along with Haskins's own Seven Principles for Success, Glory Road is the inspiring story of a living legend and one of the most respected coaches of all time.With a foreword by basketball legend Bobby Knight, and coinciding with the release of the film Glory Road, the story of Don Haskins and his championship team is sure to become a classic for sports fans and historians.

Reader's Thoughts

Jaymond Kelly

Don Haskins and his Texas Western team won the 1966 NCAA Championship,by starting five African Americans.


I am not a huge basketball fan (enjoyed playing and watching in college), however, I really liked reading about how he struggled and what the players went through back in the time.

David Ward

Glory Road: My Story of the 1966 NCAA Basketball Championship and How One Team Triumphed Against the Odds and Changed America Forever by Don Haskins, Daniel Wetzel (Hyperion Books 2006)(Biography) is the biography of how Coach Don Haskins led Texas Western to the 1966 NCAA Basketball Championship over the University of Kentucky which was coached by Adolph Rupp, the legendary "Baron of the Bluegrass." This Texas Western team was the first NCAA program to start five black players. According to the book, "Back then, there was a simple coaching axiom. You can play two blacks at home, three on the road, and four if you were losing. But never, ever five at once." Glory Road, page 8. Don Haskins was the coach who changed the rules. My rating: 5/10, finished 11/29/12.

Andres Cruz

Don Haskins’ Glory Road amused me with an interesting and surprising story. I thought the book was very fascinating; it was both humorous and exciting.The theme in the story is hard to see because it is nonfiction and told in first person, but the theme is mainly to not judge people, and treat everyone equal. Haskins writing style is in first person and can be very humorous and straight forward. There are many characters throughout the book, but Haskins talks a lot about almost character some more than others but he talk mostly about their personality traits. The setting takes place in small town in west Texas and is mostly talked about the college campus. The setting is important to the story because it shows how big of under dogs Texas Western was.Haskins talks about many interesting and somewhat funny stories; there is really not one set plot throughout the whole book.I would recommend the book because it very interesting and humorous and can teach the reader about the history of a city and a college and legendry coach.


I just read a nonfiction book called Glory Road by Don Haskins and Dan Wetzel. The book is 248 pages and about $11, and has very little pictures. This was the first book I have read by them. The book is about Texas Western Coach Don Haskins move to start five black players in the NCAA finals against all white Kentucky, and how he turns a no good team into national champions. With this move he changed America forever. This book was written by two people, Coach Haskins and Dan Wetzel. Dan Wetzel interviewed Coach Haskins, and wrote a page or two that introduced you to each chapter. But Coach Haskins did most of the writing. The book was in Coach Haskins point of view. I thought the book was very good. I think that the book was relevant to me because I am a basketball fan and I think a person that doesn’t like basketball will not like it as much as I do. So, I would recommend this book to any basketball fans. The book had many unique qualities, but I think the best was the ability to tell how hard he pushed his players. I think the author of the book was perfect because it was coming from the man that made this all happen. I think the author did a very good job explaining all the details about how he made a no good team into a great one with hard work and defense. The style that the author wrote made the book even better, and he did a very job of tying the book together. So in all, I think this was a very good book, but I would only recommend this book to basketball fans.


This story is an unforgettable story that you will remember for the rest of your life. I would recommend anyone and everyone to read this amazing story. Coach Don Haskins tells memories from his life in El Paso and his focus on his 1966 NCAA Championship team. It also shows how Haskins breaks the color barrier in basketball, to make a team that he knew would be remembered forever in the history of basketball. He was the first to start five African Americans in a championship game. In the book the players deal with so much in having to deal with all the problems they got from their own fans. The book is based on a true story and tells about a game that changed the history of basketball forever. In the end, Haskins did what he had to do to win a national championship with a team no one thought would win.Tony Bennett Eng. 9.1Mrs. Mcdonald1st Period

Rashad miller

When I was reading this book I learned how to keep working hard and let stuff just happen and stay forces. This book really would help a lot of basketball and other sports that people play to and trying to get to that next level, because it helps you and leads you the right way,and when your reading the book it make you want to make a change in you life after high school and whats your next step that your going to take. Its helping me stay on top of my grade now and understanding that school is not a game it a place were you go to learn and get better at different things every day and if you really want it you have to go get it and work hard for it. I think a lot of people should read this book.


I'm biased since I graduated from UTEP (Texas Western used to be it's name) where Don Haskins continues to be an institution.

Samuel Daba

I think a lot of different thoughts towards this book. This book was a really different book compared to the other books i have read. This book was a real fun but yet exciting book to read. I really thought that this book was going to leave my head to my reading table, which it did but only because i stayed up reading it to the point where i fell asleep on the spot. This book had a lot of different controversy in it being in the segregated times and all. But this book really helps you see racism in a whole different point of view. I really thought that a black and white teams couldn't get along in a basketball team back in those days, but this book proved me wrong. This book was really humorous in a lot of ways. I liked the part when the couch said, Hey, hey, Winnaker, Winnaker, do you want me to get you a skirt? I'll get you a skirt if you keep playing like a girl!" The reason for him saying that was to push and motivate the player that was not playing as well as the others. But basketball is not all about fancy tricks because when the couch saw that one of the players was doing a lot of fancy tricks but not much skill (this was before he was in the team, when they did not know each other.) he said, "Brother, without a little work I don't think you can get past an old timer like me" Then when Orsten tried to shake him he failed just because he was focusing more on his fancy tricks than on the way he actually played basketball. But what really hit me was when the couch said, You got a real talent son, why throw it away?" The guy had a lot of talent but was to stubborn to listen to the couch. That is what happens when you don't think with your head but with your stupid side.

Kyon Simon

it was good but it wasn't like the movie because it talked more about the coach

Amanda Gibson

Texas Western Coach Don Hakins broke racial boundaries when he started five African American students and led them all the way to the 1966 NCAA Basketball Championship. Throughout the entire season the players and himself were faced with tremendous challenges that forced them overlook race as a whole. Because of their teamwork they overcame all of the racial and prejudice boundaries that were placed in front of them. Glory Road is an excellent story that students can relate to for numerous reasons. Race and prejudice still exists today and this book help demonstrates how teamwork and motivation will help you overcome many problems. In the field of management teamwork is a highly focused subject that is key to succeeding and I feel that this book helps illustrate just how important it really is.


Riveting, sometimes hilarious memoir of a gentle, kind, humble man who might just tear out someone's heart to win a basketball game. Full of folksy expressions such as "He couldn't play dead." The full subtitle of this book is "My Story of the 1966 NCAA Basketball Championship and How One Team Triumphed Against the Odds and Changed America Forever." The subtitle has more bragging than the entire book.Hear the wisdom of Coach Haskins:On his birthplace of Enid, Oklahoma: “Boy, was it flat. You could go bowling outside. It was the kind of place you could sit on your front porch and watch your dog run away . . . for three days. You could stand on top of a can of soup and see Colorado. And was there dust? More than you could believe.”On coaching boys’ and girls’ basketball: “To me, they were all just players. I hardly thought about whether they were boys or girls. I just wanted to win. So whatever the boys had to do, the girls had to do. . . . Players are players, doesn’t matter if it is a girl or a boy, a great player thrives on being pushed hard.”“After the game, [Nevil] Shed came up to me crying. He was apologizing and begging and carrying on. He had called his mother from a pay phone and told her he was coming home, that he had been kicked off the team. He said his mother wanted to speak to me. I was in no mood to speak to anyone’s mother, but I respected that woman so much that I did it. I was expecting her to beg for forgiveness, to ask for Nevil to get a second chance. Most parents will automatically defend their children. His mother got on the phone and says, ‘Coach, make that boy walk home. Make him walk back to New York. Don’t even give him a ride to the bus station.’ Well, how can you throw a guy off the team with a mother like that? She was the best. She was angrier at Shed than I was. So I decided then and there to keep him on the team. I figured I was saving him from the whipping of his life. I did bench him for the start of the next game though.”About the 1966 NCAA championship, in which he defeated all-white powerhouse Kentucky by starting five black players (a first in NCAA title game history) and playing only black players: “I certainly didn’t think I deserved a medal or anything. All I had done is exactly what a coach is supposed to do; I started my five best players.”After the championship: “The game did have an impact, I must admit. Within a week of winning the national championship the hate mail flowed in by the garbage bucket. . . . the school estimated I received forty thousand pieces of mail. I sure as hell didn’t read them all. It took only a few for me to know what they all said.”“A couple months after we won, Vanderbilt of the SEC recruited the first black basketball player and the floodgates opened. . . . Within five, six years everyone was recruiting black players because if they didn’t they wouldn’t be able to field a competitive team. Heck, even [Kentucky’s] Adolph Rupp eventually recruited a black player.”“The players who go on to the NBA are the ones who make millions and get the media attention, but it’s the education so many of us (myself included) get while playing college sports that’s invaluable.”“I get a lot of attention for being the first to start five black players in a game, but if it weren’t for all of the leaders in the black community who helped send these kids to me it never would have happened. There are countless heroes in this tale and I thank all of them, even if they sent their players to someone else. This wasn’t about just winning basketball games. This was about helping these young men, helping entire communities.”“Allowing even a single easy basket would rip out my heart.”“I just could not accept anything less than complete and total effort. No matter what the score was.”“People were really excited about our team. El Paso had no other sports teams then and really no national identity at all. There were a couple of old country songs about El Paso, but I think most of the country thought it was located in Mexico. Which it damn near is.”“My main concern at that point was getting guys to pass and on their way to that diploma. I didn’t want a bunch of bus drivers like I had been.”“They may not be good enough to make me happy, but they’re good enough to be better than every other team in the country.”


The title is pretty self-explanatory. It's interesting to compare what really happened with the movie version. As always, don't trust Hollywood. But, it's an interesting got a little long at the end.

Bo Manuszak

A very good story of a man by the name of Don Haskins who grew up in Enid Oklahoma during the dust bowl. He played basketball his whole childhood. He was recruited by the Mr. Iba at Oklahoma A&M. Iba was a harsh coach. When Don grew up he coached a few high schools in in Texas. He would soon coach at Western Texas now known as UTEP. The rest you will find out by reading on your own


This book is a true story about the first team and coach to have ever played five starting black players on a team. The Coach who had put together this championship winning team was named Don Haskins and the college was Texas Western College. The five black players were from places like Michigan, New York and Indiana. This college wasnt well known so they couldnt get the best players in high school because they wouldnt come. Instead Don sends some recruits to the street courts from states in the north. They find the most talented not the most well known white players. The five starters on the team were named Bobby Joe Hill, David Lattin, Orstin Artis, Willie Worsely, and then Willie Cager. This team went 23-1 in the regular season in the NCAA and went on to the NCAA tournament with a top 5 ranking. They had to beat teams like Cincinatti and Kansas who the UTEP Miners beat in double overtime 81-80 (Kansas) Then in then NCAA championship game they had to play the legendary Kentucky Wildcats who were the top ranked team overall coached by the legendary Adolph Rupp. Kentucky was an all white team who didnt like the fact that a team had five starting black players. There was no overtime the UTEP Minors won 75-67.

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