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Life Lessons with author Sam Gwynne of The Perfect Pass

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New York Times bestselling, award-winning historian S.C. Gwynne tells the incredible story of how Hal Mumme and Mike Leach—two unknown coaches who revolutionized American football in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s—changed the way the game is played at every level, from high school to the NFL.

Hal Mumme is one of a handful of authentic offensive geniuses in the history of American football. In 2015 ESPN Magazine, the nation’s leading sports magazine, called him the single most influential football coach in the last quarter century.

Mumme spent fourteen mostly losing seasons coaching football before inventing a potent passing offense strategy that would revolutionize the game. That transformation began at a tiny college called Iowa Wesleyan, where Mumme was head coach and Mike Leach his assistant. It was there that Mumme invented the purest and most extreme passing game in the 145-year history of football, where his quarterback once completed 61 of 86 passes (both national records). In The Perfect Pass, S.C. Gwynne explores Mumme’s genius and the stunning performance of his teams, as well as his leading role in changing football from a run-dominated sport to a pass-dominated sport. He also shares the history of a moment in American football when the game changed fundamentally and transformed itself into what tens of millions of Americans now watch on television every weekend. 

S.C. Gwynne is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Empire of the Summer Moon, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Rebel Yell, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and short-listed for the Pen Literary Award for Biography. He spent most of his career as a journalist, including stints with Time as bureau chief. 

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