Eddie Robinson was the head football coach at Grambling State University from 1941 through 1997. Robinson's teams won 408 games, making him the first, and one of only two coaches, to win more than 400 football games in a career. Most importantly, by grooming and mentoring two players -- Paul "Tank" Younger and James "Shack" Harris -- he opened pro football to athletes from historically black colleges and undermined stereotypes that excluded black players from leadership positions in the game. Robinson began his coaching career under the South's rigid Jim Crow system of racial segregation, and achieved great success as both a football coach and a role model for African Americans in Louisiana and neighbouring states throughout the Civil Rights Era. This book places Eddie Robinson's career, his life as an influential leader of his race, and the growth of the Grambling football program in the larger context of the Civil Rights Movement.
Denny Dressman is the author of three previous books, including Yes I Can! Yes You Can! Tackle Diabetes and Win, the story of diabetic football star Jay Leeuwenburg; The Diabetes Antidote, a fitness advice book co-authored with Doug Burns, 2006 winner of the Natural Mr. Universe title, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of seven; and Gerry Faust: Notre Dame's Man in Motion. He is a past winner of the Ohio Associated Press Sports Editors' award for Best Sports Column as well as numerous other writing awards, and is a past recipient of the College Football Foundation's Contribution to Amateur Football award. He served as president of the Denver Press Club in 1986, and was president of the Colorado Press Association in 1993. He is a 2008 inductee into the Denver Press Club Hall of Fame. He concluded a forty-three-year newspaper career in 2007.