Synopses & Reviews
The first biography of the legendary track coach, and founder of Nike, who had an unparalleled impact on the sport of running
During his tenure as track coach at the University of Oregon from 1949 through 1972, Bill Bowerman won 4 national team titles, trained dozens of milers to break the 4-minute barrier, and his athletes set 13 world and 22 American records. Single-handedly he helped turn the college town of Eugene, Oregon, into the running capital of the world.
In Bowerman: The Wings of Nike, Kenny Moore, a world-class marathon runner and one of Bowerman's Oregon men, tells the story of his mentor and hero, drawing on years of taped interviews and the full cooperation of the Bowerman family and Nike, the company that Bowerman helped to found through his invention of the waffle-soled running shoe.
Whether providing a fresh look at the tragic siege at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, where Bowerman coached the track and field team; offering a close-up view of the coach's relationship with runner Steve Prefontaine (subject of the movie Without Limits, co-written and co-produced by Moore); or exploring Bowerman's role as a Nike innovator, this illuminating portrait is compelling reading throughout--ample evidence of why Bowerman's widow, noting how well the author understood her husband, said: "If anyone should write Bill's life story, it's Kenny Moore."
"The University of Oregon's running coach Bill Bowerman had revolutionary ideas for his time (the 1950s, '60s and early '70s). He instituted rest days, researched training methods and experimented with runners' clothing; his runners repeatedly broke the four-minute mile. Moore, a former Olympian and Sports Illustrated writer, trained with Bowerman, and he writes of his mentor with a veneration that frequently crosses into hagiography. For example, Bowerman hazed his new runners by urinating on them in the shower and branding them with a hot set of keys, a practice Moore calls 'an initiation rite, not unlike the ritual circumcision some African tribes use to make men out of boys.' Bowerman was a central player in the building of Nike, although, despite the subtitle, this is just a small part of his story. The focus is on running. Bowerman was at many important moments of running history; he trained Steve Prefontaine, coached at the Munich Olympics and developed Nike's waffle-soled shoe. Moore's writing distinguishes his book from others in the running genre; even smaller races are grippingly recounted. While far from objective, Moore's work is an inspiring and touching look at the man who made Eugene, Ore., the running capital of the U.S. Photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Moore, a marathon runner and one of Bill Bowermans Oregon men, tells the story of his mentor and hero, drawing on years of taped interviews and the full cooperation of the Bowerman family and Nike, the company that Bowerman helped to found.
Bowerman and the Men of Oregon No man has affected more runners in more ways than Bill Bowerman. During his 24-year tenure as track coach at the University of Oregon, he won four national team titles and his athletes set 13 world and 22 American records. He also ignited the jogging boom, invented the waffle-sole running shoe that helped establish Nike, and coached the US track and field team at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games With the full cooperation of the Bowerman family and Nike, plus years of taped interviews with friends, relatives, students, and competitors, two-time Olympic marathoner Kenny Moore - himself one of Bowerman's champion athletes - brilliantly re-creates the legendary track coach's life.
About the Author
KENNY MOORE, who trained with Bill Bowerman at the University of Oregon, is a two-time Olympic marathoner and former senior writer for Sports Illustrated. He cowrote and coproduced teh movie Without Limits, based on the life and tragic early death of Hall of Fame runner Steve Prefontaine. Moore lives in Eugene, Oregon.