By Chris Willis, NFL Films
|Bill Walsh (1984)|
Building a Champion
|Building a Champion (Published 1990)|
Walsh’s autobiography (written with Glenn Dickey, sports columnist of the San Francisco Chronicle), Building a Champion was published in 1990 (St. Martin’S Press) just two years after retiring from the 49ers. In this 272-page volume Walsh gives background and insight into his coaching life; including his stops in Cincinnati and Oakland. He also explains his coaching philosophy about scripting plays; coaching quarterbacks; and building an organization. One of the best football autobiographies you can read. A plus is the Appendix in the back with four pages of Walsh’s most famous called plays including The Catch.
|The Catch play drawn up by Bill Walsh|
Rough Magic: Bill Walsh’s Return to Stanford Football
|Rough Magic: Bill Walsh's Return to Stanford Football (1994)|
Rough Magic was written by Lowell Cohn, long-time sports columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, and published in 1994. Cohn’s book followed Walsh’s return to coach at Stanford. It covers the whole 1992 Stanford football season with unlimited access to Walsh, his players and coaches.
Bill Walsh: Finding the Winning Edge
|Bill Walsh: Finding the Winning Edge (1998)|
In 1998 Walsh had his whole coaching philosophy and organizational foundation written in a 550-page “Bible.” Co-written with James Peterson and fellow coach Brian Billick, Finding the Winning Edge offers Walsh’s unique blueprint for developing a successful football program, as well as how to hire and develop a qualified staff; evaluate and acquire talented players; designing a winning program; making the right decisions, and so much more. Tons of high school, college, and even NFL coaches refer to this coaching “Bible” on how to run a football program.
Bill Walsh: Remembering The Genius, 1931-2007
|Bill Walsh: Remembering "The Genius" 1931-2007 (2007)|
Published by Sports Publishing, Inc. in 2007, this short 95-page paperback honors the life and legacy of Bill Walsh. Mainly filled with photos and short one or two page essays, Remembering “The Genius” is a nice collectors piece for fans of the great Hall of Fame coach.
The Genius: How Bill Walsh Reinvented Football and Created an NFL Dynasty
|The Genius: How Bill Walsh Reinvented Football and Created an NFL Dynasty (2008)|
Written in 2008 by David Harris (author of The League) The Genius (Random House) was published one year after Walsh had passed at the age of 75. Harris’s beautiful writing style brings Walsh to life with all of his glories and flaws. Definitely worth a read.
Today, let us remember "The Genius," by reading some of the best football books ever published.