Bowerman and the Men of Oregon: The Story of Oregon's Legendary Coach and Nike's Co-founder

Bowerman and the Men of Oregon: The Story of Oregon's Legendary Coach and Nike's Co-founder

The first biography of the legendary track coach, and founder of Nike, who had an unparalleled impact on the sport of runningDuring 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-hande...

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Title:Bowerman and the Men of Oregon: The Story of Oregon's Legendary Coach and Nike's Co-founder
Author:Kenny Moore
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Edition Language:English

Bowerman and the Men of Oregon: The Story of Oregon's Legendary Coach and Nike's Co-founder Reviews

  • Bob

    Quite simply, this is the best biography I have ever read. The names, places, and events may be unknown to many but I worked for a running publication for 12 years and was indirectly associated with many of the prominent individuals.

    Bill Bowerman was descended from a line of true American pioneers. He was an American hero during WWII and again during the Munich games, safeguarding not only his athletes, but the Olympic spirit as well.

    This book brought tears to my eyes as I finished it. I didn't

    Quite simply, this is the best biography I have ever read. The names, places, and events may be unknown to many but I worked for a running publication for 12 years and was indirectly associated with many of the prominent individuals.

    Bill Bowerman was descended from a line of true American pioneers. He was an American hero during WWII and again during the Munich games, safeguarding not only his athletes, but the Olympic spirit as well.

    This book brought tears to my eyes as I finished it. I didn't want the story of Bill's life to end. Kenny Moore's description of Bill's final moments is handled so well and with such a soft touch that remaning unmoved is impossible. I applaud Kenny Moore for this tribute to his mentor...we would all be truly fortunate to have a Bill Bowerman in our lives.

  • James

    I was overcome with emotion as I finished this book this morning; Moore has done a rare thing. He has humanized his "old coach," a legendary, mythic figure, and he has placed him in the context of his time (WW2 to the 90's), place (Oregon), and family (beloved wife Barbara, three children). I loved the focus of the book on Bill Bowerman the man and the coach, yet I still feel like he exists in a swirl of mystery and shade. His quips and retorts are legendary, but his warmth and intelligence unde

    I was overcome with emotion as I finished this book this morning; Moore has done a rare thing. He has humanized his "old coach," a legendary, mythic figure, and he has placed him in the context of his time (WW2 to the 90's), place (Oregon), and family (beloved wife Barbara, three children). I loved the focus of the book on Bill Bowerman the man and the coach, yet I still feel like he exists in a swirl of mystery and shade. His quips and retorts are legendary, but his warmth and intelligence underlie everything; here was a man who would do anything for his athletes.

    What a tribute Kenny Moore has made to the spirit of his old coach.

    No better person could have written this book.

  • Robert LaMarre

    Borrowed this book from Z on Christmas Eve. Loved it from opening story all the way to the finish. A vanilla biography of Bowerman would be interesting (he led quite a life), but the context Kenny places it in makes for a truly compelling read - learned a lot about the history of athletics (at UO, domestically, and on the global stage) as well as the formative years of Nike - quite something. He is able to evoke the thrill of racing in the same vein as Once A Runner; his background as a professi

    Borrowed this book from Z on Christmas Eve. Loved it from opening story all the way to the finish. A vanilla biography of Bowerman would be interesting (he led quite a life), but the context Kenny places it in makes for a truly compelling read - learned a lot about the history of athletics (at UO, domestically, and on the global stage) as well as the formative years of Nike - quite something. He is able to evoke the thrill of racing in the same vein as Once A Runner; his background as a professional sportswriter is clear. There were many lessons to be drawn from this book,concerning both life and running. Finally, I was struck by the overarching theme of the "Men of Oregon" all working towards "being deemed worthy" by their onetime coach, perhaps none more so than Phil Knight and Kenny himself. This seems to hit upon a universal human instinct.

    Now, I'm curious to read Shoe Dog (which Z was reading when he gave me this), and also need to get around to watching Without Limits.

  • Elisa

    Bowerman and the Men of Oregon was an enjoyable read. There was a lot of history about the U of O track team that I never knew and generally about places of interest in Oregon. I, for instance, had no idea that Bowerman's family was instrumental in the founding of Fossil, Oregon. I think that Kenny Moore's esteem for Bowerman came through really well, maybe too much so, in this book. Bowerman sounds like a guy who was pivotal in creating running shoes that everyone could use and also in creating

    Bowerman and the Men of Oregon was an enjoyable read. There was a lot of history about the U of O track team that I never knew and generally about places of interest in Oregon. I, for instance, had no idea that Bowerman's family was instrumental in the founding of Fossil, Oregon. I think that Kenny Moore's esteem for Bowerman came through really well, maybe too much so, in this book. Bowerman sounds like a guy who was pivotal in creating running shoes that everyone could use and also in creating the entire jogging movement but I do think that some interest in track and field might be a prerequisite to finding this book exciting to read. Luckly, I am interested in running so that worked out.

  • Matthew Callman

    What an amazing story about an amazing man. I sort of wish that the book was a bit shorter and got to the later part of his life quicker...but nonetheless Bill Bowerman revolutionized the track and field and Athletic industry.

  • Ta0paipai

    Although the family history connects to Mr Boerman's tenacious character, the depth of his family tree was a little much. The meat of the book, chronicling Bowerman's contributions to Oregon athletics, the Olympic team and shoes technology can't be beat. It's all well written and fun. Fans of running and sports history should not miss it!

  • Nate

    In a sense, this three-star rating is an average: for those in the first group, this book may well merit four or five stars, but to the general audience (non-athletes in particular), the book would be of little to no interest. But if you fall into one of the former categories (runner, coach, or Nike fan), read on for a quick recap of the book's salient aspects.

    First of all, I have to commend author Kenny Moore (former Oregon runner coached by Bowerman, and later Oregon MFA graduate) for his thor

    In a sense, this three-star rating is an average: for those in the first group, this book may well merit four or five stars, but to the general audience (non-athletes in particular), the book would be of little to no interest. But if you fall into one of the former categories (runner, coach, or Nike fan), read on for a quick recap of the book's salient aspects.

    First of all, I have to commend author Kenny Moore (former Oregon runner coached by Bowerman, and later Oregon MFA graduate) for his thoroughness: 400+ pages including 14-page index, and numerous photos covering everything from Bowerman's ancestors to his coaching heyday and early Nike days all the way up to near the end of Bowerman's life. As Moore notes in the acknowledgements, it took hundreds of sources, and the depth of source material comes through in the countless firsthand quotes and anecdotes from everyone from Phil Knight to long-forgotten collegiate runners.

    What Moore does so nicely is weave the sprawling pile of material into a coherent narrative, centering on Bowerman's life and coaching (as the title would suggest), but also shedding significant light on the origins of Nike, the evolution of running coaching, the Olympics (including Munich), and the rise of the jogging movement (spurred in no small part by Bowerman, and his counterpart Arthur Lydiard, the great Kiwi coach). Moore also (at least to this runner) well conveys the thrill and suspense of races, the recounting of which plays a significant and regular role in the book. For the most part Moore's prose, like a good rabbit in a race, leads you along quickly and efficiently, but shines out with a bon mot or deep insight--often on running, but sometimes on life as well.

    And after scanning through to write this review, I'm now inspired to go run myself--and that, for fellow runners, is always a valuable quality in a book.

  • D

    bill bowerman sounds like he was brilliant, an amazing leader, and a visionary. he also sounds like he was sort of a dick. like, not steve jobs levels of dick, but just . . . kind of a curmudgeonly mini-bully who kind of got away with dickery because he was so damned smart. still, he's a fascinating guy.

    this story dives into the twentieth-century origins of running culture in america and give us special members-only access to athletes and coaches who became legends, given that kenny moore, the a

    bill bowerman sounds like he was brilliant, an amazing leader, and a visionary. he also sounds like he was sort of a dick. like, not steve jobs levels of dick, but just . . . kind of a curmudgeonly mini-bully who kind of got away with dickery because he was so damned smart. still, he's a fascinating guy.

    this story dives into the twentieth-century origins of running culture in america and give us special members-only access to athletes and coaches who became legends, given that kenny moore, the author, knew most of them and participated in many of the stories he's telling. i'd heard of a number of these people before, but it became a thrill to finally figure out who they really were and in such an intimate, part-of-the-club way -- bowerman himself, of course, steve prefontaine, jim ryun, phil knight and the first employees at Nike, arthur lydiard, and on, and on, and on. of greatest interest to me was seeing how the munich olympics went down and impacted the athletes there.

    sometimes the book dragged in painstakingly detailing track meets; it may be that these were historic meets that only i and noobs like me would find eye-glazing. still, the author failed to make them universally appealing.

    also, since the author was one of bill bowerman's athletes and knows his widow well, i think he sort of pulled punches when writing about bowerman's darker tendencies; something tells me there are more details to bill's dickery, bullying, and hinted-at misogyny that a less–emotionally extricated author might be willing to spill.

    still, an engaging read and an almost-comprehensive review of bowerman's far-reaching impact on the sport.

  • Perttu

    Captivating story, which made me acknowledge what a sports genius Bowerman was. Book's barrage of split times and distances didn't really translate well to an audiobook, but I have to blame myself for the choice of format (and deducting a whole star from rating).

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