A Good Man


A Good Man

The Pete Newell Story

Bruce Jenkins
Foreword by Ron Fimrite
With a new introduction by the author

352 pages
62 illustrations, 23 tables


March 2010


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Pete Newell is considered one of the finest basketball minds in the sport’s history. His death in 2008 spawned tributes from around the country, including legendary UCLA coach John Wooden and Bob Knight, who considered Newell his mentor. Newell, Knight, and Dean Smith are the only men to coach championships at the Olympics, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the National Invitational Tournament (NIT), and of the three, only Newell won the NIT at a time when it was considered the nation’s most prestigious tournament. He had a fiercely competitive rivalry with Wooden and won his last eight meetings against Wooden’s UCLA teams before retiring in 1960. Although he retired for health reasons, he continued to teach the game, notably at the famed Big Man’s Camp, for the rest of his life. Based on hundreds of interviews of veterans of the game, A Good Man is Bruce Jenkins’s complete biography of Pete Newell.

Author Bio

Bruce Jenkins is a sports columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of Goodbye: In Search of Gordon Jenkins, North Shore Chronicles, and Inside Maverick’s. Ron Fimrite is a sportswriter, enjoying a thirty-four-year career with Sports Illustrated, and the author or editor of several books, including Golden Bears: The History of Football at the U.C. Berkeley and  Birth of a Fan.


“James Naismith invented basketball. He did so in order that Pete Newell would come along a few years later to perfect it. Newell operates what is called a 'Big Man's Camp' each year, but the biggest man of all runs it. Count me among the embarrassed legions who only now realize that the greatest unwritten story in basketball was Pete Newell’s. Thanks to Bruce Jenkins, it is unwritten no longer.”—Bob Ryan, Boston Globe

“Every fan of hoops and hoops history should get this book.”—Jack McCallum, Sports Illustrated

“Enlightening and interesting on every page. . . . [Newell] has a wonderful basketball mind, and his story has been told by a wonderful writer.”—Dan McGrath, Chicago Tribune

“Pete Newell is a basketball treasure, the game’s guru, and he is needed now more than ever to educate a fundamentally deficient generation of basketball players. Bruce Jenkins has captured the man and the coach perfectly.”—Dave Newhouse, Oakland Tribune

“An insightful look at one of the game’s most renowned coaches.”—Mal Florence, Los Angeles Times

“The Pete Newell story, told with great detail and affection by Bruce Jenkins, is a portrayal of a great man who just happens to be a basketball lifer. It is about a coach from a much simpler time whose wisdom is as contemporary as it is old. . . . Get to know Pete Newell. He truly has had an amazing life.”—Mike Wise, New York Times

Table of Contents

Foreword by Ron Fimrite
Chapter One: Allie's Boardinghouse
Chapter Two: This Pier is Condemned
Chapter Three: Florence
Chapter Four: The USF Years
Chapter Five: The Michigan State Years
Chapter Six: Berkeley, Before the Storm
Chapter Seven: Cursing the Hills
Chapter Eight: Mr. Newell and Mr. Wooden
Chapter Nine: The Ref Was Crooked
Chapter Ten: My Name's Dalton, What's Yours?
Chapter Eleven: Smoke from the Hallways
Chapter Twelve: The Original Dream Team
Chapter Thirteen: Tear Gas on Campus
Chapter Fourteen: Two Really Bad Drivers
Chapter Fifteen: In Search of Kareem
Chapter Sixteen: The Big Man's Camp
Chapter Seventeen: Dissecting the NBA
Chapter Eighteen: Loose Ends
Chapter Nineteen: An Afternoon at Kapp's
Pete Newell's Coaching Record: Scores and Statistics

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