Oscar-winning 'Undefeated' coach publishes first book - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Oscar-winning 'Undefeated' coach publishes first book

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MIDTOWN MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) - It's been a few years since the documentary "Undefeated" on the 2009 Manassas High School football team won an Academy Award.

Bill Courtney, who volunteered to coach the team featured in the documentary is still calling plays, this time in the book "Against The Grain" that was nationwide online and in bookstores Tuesday.

MORE: 'Undefeated' coach publishes first book, 'Against The Grain'

The affable coach made famous in the Oscar-winning documentary is still riding the wave of renown from that film. Quiet moments like these are rare.

Courtney's not complaining. The fame and attention from his near-miraculous turn-around of the Manassas High School football team has given him a platform to share his belief that a few fundamental principles can turn-around a business, a life, even a city.

MORE: Still Undefeated
MORE: Bill Courtney still remains 'Undefeated'


"The amazing things I see happening in life go back to fundamental tenants in life like Character, civility, grace, perseverance, and the dignity of hard work," Courtney said.
 
Those are the very principles Courtney used when he started his own lumber company in the fall of 2001, right before September 11. Today he has more than a 100 employees with $40 million in annual sales.

In "Undefeated" we met Money, O-C, Chavis, and the other young men struggling to get away from  poverty and trouble  by focusing on football and the coach who offered them a different kind of help. Courtney says those young men changed his life.

"When life is stacked against you and you don't sit there and while and cry and make excuses, but you show up every day trying to get a piece of a better life ... that's inspiring," Courtney said.

In his first penned book, "Against The Grain," we catch up with them again.
 
"Their example of perseverance and fortitude has changed my life," Courtney said.

Coach hopes they'll read it, but knows they already got the message.

"They've heard most of it," Courtney said. "Haven't heard stories of people but they heard principles, that's for sure."

This is a book of stories. Everyone has a story, and Courtney uses those stories to share what he believes is the secret to giving anybody's story.

A Hollywood ending.

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