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Against the Grain: A Coach's Wisdom on Character, Faith, Family, and Love
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Against the Grain: A Coach's Wisdom on Character, Faith, Family, and Love

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Bill Courtney is a familiar name to those who saw him in Undefeated, the Oscar-winning movie about the high school football team he coached in a downtrodden section of North Memphis. Now, in his first book, Against the Grain Courtney describes the key principles— including service, civility, leadership, character, commitment, and forgiveness—that have helped young people ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by Hachette Books
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Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Against the Grain by Bill Courtney is not at all what you first expect when you see the cover. When I first heard about and saw the book I thought, "Oh, it's a football book. I don't get football." That thought could not have been further from the truth.

Against the Grain is a tale of perseverance, hard work, faith in humanity, faith in yourself, leadership, business, and giving it your all, every single day. As I worked my way through the 14 chapters--Bill's 14 tenants on living a successful lif
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great motivational book that has a great message.
Walker Hawkins
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Against the Grain" by Bill Courtney, was a fantastic book. He did a great job describing us how he goes through many hardships and obstacles through his book. Also, he sacrificed multiple hours for his kids to help out inner city kids and try to be financially stable. You should watch the movie about his volunteer coaching jo at Manassas in 2009, it is called, "Undefeated." The last chapter ended it well with legacy and that when you die; People should remember you as a person with great charac ...more
Quinn Selby
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: leadership
Pretty let down with this book..

The reason for 2 stars is because I believe the current average rating of 4.26 stars is unwarranted and my 2 star review is meant to offset that disparity. Pretty self-inflating view of my own viewpoint, but I have read a fair amount of material on leadership. And comparing this book to others, "Against the Grain" was a personal let down.

In actuality, this book had hidden gems of insightfulness written in practical language using first hand anecdotes. Of course, t
May 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, blog, football, sports
4 1/2 of 5 stars (excellent)

Bill Courtney gained fame and recognition as the assistant coach in the Oscar-winning documentary “Undefeated” about a Memphis high school football team that became a winning program through hard work, faith and the teachings of a volunteer part-time coach. That coach was Courtney who also turned an abandoned piece of property into a thriving business. These successes helped Courtney decide to write this book in order to “coach” even more people on his
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was one of the students at Rosemark Academy during Coach Courtney's time there. I count him among the greatest teachers I had at any level of education, elementary through doctoral. He was the man who taught me as an eighth grader how to read a novel, what the "elbow" is on a basketball court, why a "knight on the rim is grim", and gave me a base for developing leadership.

One of the things I really enjoyed while reading Against the Grain was seeing how Billy's thoughts on leadership have coale
Christopher Anderson
I got about 2/3 through the book and then had the opportunity to watch the documentary. What was interesting to me is how although both were good, they didn't quite match. For example, in the book he indicated he didn't tolerate the use of the "N" word on his team. Yet in the documentary, the word is used and tolerated.

The messages, in both the book and the documentary were good - but nothing you probably haven't read somewhere else. But, I guess that is part of his point. Building a team or li
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I won this book in the goodreads giveaway. I had previously seen the documentary, Undefeated, and I was glad to see Coach Courtney had written a book. I was thrilled when I won a free copy. The information in this book is material we all know, but Coach Courtney provides his own personal interpretation. The book is truly inspirational and I feel it should be mandatory reading in our Middle Schools, High Schools, and Universities. This would be a great gift to give to anyone. Read it with an open ...more
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This book is a guide to a solid foundation to understanding what we have personally lost in this country and what is necessary to gain it back. It challenges us to servant leadership in everyday life based on a foundation of faith and examples of others. This book was a Goodreads giveaway and I want to say thanks for your story. I will certainly pass it on to others.
Finney Moore
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and this story! It is a great read and a true story.
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William B Courtney (Bill), a native Memphian, founded Classic American Hardwoods, Inc. in 2001. Today, it employs 120 people with a 45 acre manufacturing facility and domestic sales offices in Memphis, TN and international sales offices in Shanghai, China and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In 2007, Classic American Hardwoods, Inc. won the Memphis Business Journal's Small Business of the Year Award bas ...more

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