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


Don Haskins memoir, Glory Road: My Story of the 1966 NCAA Basketball Championship and How One Team Triumphed Against the Odds and Changed America Forever, he recalls back to his season at Texas Western. Back in 1966 college basketball was primarily white. There had been many African-American basketball players prior to this team, and even started games at the division one level. This team, though, was slightly groundbreaking in the fact they were the first to start five black athletes in a national NCAA championship game.But first, the book begins with Mr. Haskins coaching a small town, high school basketball team. Haskins developed tough minded drills and techniques, which he credited to his lessons he learned from living through the dust bowl in Oklahoma. Haskins eventually developed what was referred to as the Seven Principles of Success that he, his coaching staff, and players strived to achieve/help achieve. Haskins eventually took the college coaching job at Texas Western in El Paso, Texas. This college is now called the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Back in 1966, this college wasn't known by many around the country, unlike college powerhouses such as Kansas, Kentucky and Iowa. This little known college ended up deifying an assumed college system of the time; black basketball didn't start, or even play, college basketball. Texas Western won their first 23 games of the regular season, but lost the last one. They made the tournament and won their first 4 games, one game against Cincinnati in overtime and another versus Kansas in double overtime. This ended up pitting the Texas western squad against Kentucky, where they would break history and change the college game forever.I love this story because it’s the underdog, lesser known, lesser liked team overcoming the obstacles and achieving ultimate success that wouldn't just affect them but all of college basketball after that. This is a very historical event in terms of sports. I wasn't so much fond of the more autobiography type route this book takes, but it does give better insight on what actually happened. This book should be reader by older high schools students who are interested in sports and adversity.

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


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.”

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.

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.

Jacob Lewis

The book Glory Road is about the team from El Paso Texas. The teams was name Texas Western college. The season before their hall of Fame coach reterea and then Texas Western College hire a coach name Don Haskins. In the season they were ranked in the top 25 to started the season. DOn Haskins rectruit some more black kids. Then the 1966 season no one if think the Texas Western would have made it to the title game and win the whole thing. In the title game it was 1vs.2. Texas Western was the first team in the title game that 5 black players started in the title game. Texas Western finished the year of 28-0 and ranked #1 in th eland. Don Haskins later went to the Hall of Fame in college Basketball. With the 5 black player open the rule book to allow black player to started a basketball game. The story is a real life story and now turn into a movie called Glory Road. The title game now will ever be in NCAA college basketball classic moment because of the starting 5 black player. The Miner 1966 players jersey are now restire and Don HAskines will never be forgotten in Miners basketball history. Now today Texas Western team has never ever won anotger title season that 1966 season.

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.

Emily mathews

This is good! There's a movie, also


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.


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

Pablo Caminada

Don't get thrown off by the super long title; Glory Road is a simple, autobiographical account of a revolutionary basketball team. Written by Coach Don Haskins, a legend and pioneer for the game, the story reflects on his life as a college basketball coach and specifically on the year 1966. Haskins coached the non-heralded Texas Western College to the NCAA tournament title and took the country by storm by openly defying the rules of sports by starting five black players against an all-white Kentucky team. This story goes beyond just basketball, by illustrating the importance of his decision to help desegregate college basketball and add to the civil rights movements of the time to change the nation. Haskins and his team faced innumerable obstacles on the way to the pinnacle of college basketball, including hate mail, death threats, and the other basketball teams. Through it all, the unassuming Haskins simply played his best players even if they happened to be black, won a national championship, and helped set in motion the integration of african-americans into all college teams.

Dekean Baines

This book was astounding! Probably one of the best independant reading book I ever had with its heartbeat pounding and breath taking moments...Glory Road was excruitating! Coach Don had the best players that brought talent and determination to the floor to be the first black starters to win the NCAA Basketball championship in 1966. I guess you can say all the hard work payed off. Especially when all the hatred, all the discrimination, and all the racism that these black starters recieved from them selfish, unrespectful people that dislike colored people. Players thought the way Coach Don was teaching them were meaningless and outrageous. Until then they realize what was his whole point of teaching them that way. Coach Don did things that most coaches wouldn't do but exceed in his goal. I respect Coach Don for everything that he did. All time quote, Coach Don Haskins: You'll play basketball my way.

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.


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.

Kyle Helton

The book I read this quarter was "glory Road". The author of the book I read was Don Haskins. The authors purpose of the book "Glory Road" is to show that just because you are a different race than other people does not mean you cannot win or play the same as them. The theme of the book is to tell that you can play any sport no matter what your skin color is. This book was a very good book to read because it caught me interested in it because it was about basketball and I like basketball. This book is not like any other I have read.

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