An Oregon legend, one cannot just label Bill Bowerman a legendary track and field coach at University of Oregon and on the 1972 Munich Olympic team. This nearly 500-page biography of Bowerman documents the stories of his life, and Kenny Moore, who was coached by Bowerman, is the perfect writer to tell the stories. Bowerman was an educator, a war hero, an innovator, a philanthropist, a husband and a father who loved the creative process of his being and “was motivated more by the journey than the destination.”
I originally picked up this book after having learned that Steve Prefontaine was coached by him. I watched movies about Pre (both movies discussed in this book as Bowerman was involved in key decision making processes) and read stories about Pre, and there was always this coach who had such an authority and big influence on Pre’s adult life. After a few years of knowing each other, they built a beautiful coach-student relationship firmly built on mutual trust. I wanted to read about the coach. It turned out that he developed and created dozens of national champions.
As the book cover reveals, Bowerman was also a co-founder of Nike. He was the one who started to make running shoes for his runners at Oregon and he made them at home using his wife’s waffle irons. He was responsible for founding the company which was behind the national running craze of 1970s. While I don’t necessarily agree with the good Nike shoes did to the general public, but he gave back his wealth to the University of Oregon and people of Oregon. And the philanthropic tradition still continues today.
There are many aspects of his life that are exemplary to anyone’s life, and I recommend anyone to read this book, Bowerman and the Men of Oregon whether s/he is a runner or sports fan. His dedication to each aspect of his life was created by his strong conviction and executed with warmth and precision throughout his life. I am glad I read this book.[schema type=”book” url=”http://www.amazon.com/Bowerman-Men-Oregon-Legendary-Cofounder-ebook/dp/B004INH4MM” name=”Bowerman And The Men Of Oregon” author=”Kenny Moore” publisher=”Rodale” pubdate=”2007-09-04″ ]