Let Them Lead, a new book by John Bacon, will become a welcome addition to any coach’s library. The New York Times’ best-selling author has written 13 books, and each one has been informative and entertaining. His most-recent publication is a “tool box” for anyone in a leadership position.

The narrative surrounds the Huron High School (Michigan) ice hockey team that Bacon coached for four years. The team had compiled a 0-22-3 record in the previous year, before he took over as head coach. The author, a Huron graduate, describes himself as the worst hockey player in the 

history of his alma mater, where he scored 0 goals in the 86 games that he was a part of. Yet, despite his lack of coaching experience and his woeful playing experience, he turned the program into a winner, by implementing a plan that every reader will relate to and use as an excellent blueprint for leadership.

Each chapter begins and ends with bullet points that make the book easy to read, understand, and adapt to a team in any sport or business. The entire idea is based on two simple rules: 1) Work hard; 2) Support your teammates.

When you consider these guidelines, they summarize a much longer list that is necessary for success on any athletic team, business, or government organization. As the great Michigan football coach, Bo Schembechler said in his famous locker room speech before a key game, 

“No man is more important than the team, no coach is more important than the team. If we think that way, all of us, Everything that you do will take into consideration what effect it has on the team.” When you reflect on the last part of this quote, it is easy to understand that Bacon’s two rules actually cover everything that it takes to succeed.

This will require your team to set goals, believe in themselves, and the coach, and be willing to follow a life style that is necessary to be the best that they can be at what they do. As Bacon points out in the title of Chapter 2, “Be patient with results, not behavior.”

Let Them Lead is a resource that will, without a doubt, help any leader, regardless of their field of endeavor, take their organization to a higher level of achievement.


Review of the Villanova Track Story: 1966-1981: Touching Greatness, Forever Together (Released December 2021)

The amazing winning streak occurred from 1966-1981, at one of the greatest track meets in the world, the Penn Relays. Villanova University placed first in the distance medley relay each year, and was led by some of the best distance runners in American collegiate history. Coaching 

icon, Jumbo Elliott and long-time assistant, Jack Pyrah were incredibly skilled at choosing the correct member of each team and placing them in the correct position, in order to establish this incredible winning streak.

Author Jerry Bouma not only does an extraordinary job of describing the fantastic races, but he also describes the lives of the participants and their two legendary coaches.

Track fans of any age will be fascinated by the journey that took the vaunted Philadelphia University and its athletes to the pinnacle of the track world, many years ago.

Yours in Track,

Rod O’Donnell

Read more of Coach O’Donnell’s Keeping Track articles on www.runohio.com

KEEPING TRACK – Rememberinghttp://runohio.com/index.php/news-features/news/211-keeping-track-remembering-by-rod-o-donnell 

Critical Time for Cross Country and Track & Field - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/news-features/features/96-track            

Facts - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/news-features/features/100-keeping-track-facts         

Track - http://runohio.com/index.php/news-features/features/67-keeping-track           

2021 Track & Field - http://runohio.com/index.php/news-features/features/200-keeping-track-2021-track-field    

Football and Track & Field - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/news-features/features/78-keeping-track-football-and-track-field          

Keeping Track - http://runohio.com/index.php/news-features/features/173-keeping-track-2    

Life Lessons from Cross-Country - http://runohio.com/index.php/news-features/features/10-life-lessons-from-cross-country-updated-2020   

2020 OHSAA State Cross Country Championships - http://runohio.com/index.php/news-features/news/134-keeping-track-by-rod-o-donnell-2020-ohsaa-state-cross-country-championships   

COVID 19 and Sports - http://runohio.com/index.php/news-features/news/120-keeping-track-covid-19-and-sports-by-rod-o-donnell       

Marc Bloom’s Amazing Racers - http://runohio.com/index.php/news-features/features/43-keeping-track-marc-bloom-s-amazing-racers-by-rod-o-donnel    

Ohio Men College Runnershttps://www.runohio.com/index.php/news-features/news/235-keeping-track-ohio-men-college-runners-by-rod-o-donnell 

College of William & Maryhttp://runohio.com/index.php/news-features/news/121-keeping-track-college-of-william-mary-by-rod-o-donnel       

Take care and I hope to see you at a race soon.

 Matt McGowan