ABR Book List: Birds, Dogs & Kangaroos

Birds, Dogs & Kangaroos

Life on the Back Roads of College Basketball

by Rich Zvosec.

Life on the Back Roads of College Basketball by Rich Zvosec

College basketball is interesting.  I imagine so are other careers, but this is what I know.  The personalities, players, coaches, administrators.  The huge arenas or little gyms.  Recruiting and scouting trips, Final Fours.  Everyone in coaching has a story.  Many of them.

The interesting thing is that unless you are IN coaching, you don’t usually hear most of the stories.  You’ll hear Coach K’s, Coach Calipari’s, Pat Summitt’s and Geno’s or Coach Calhoun’s.  You rarely hear, in book form, “the back roads of college basketball” as Rich calls it – unless it is part of the aforementioned coaches background.  The thousands of “no-name” coaches and the interesting and funny things that happen on the way up the ladder… or down.  (No disrespect, there are thousands more of us “no-namers” than “big-namers.”)

Coach Z’s book is great compilation of all the van driving, practice gear washing, all night recruiting driving stuff – that didn’t land him in Chapel Hill!  Rich is funny, the book entertaining.  The first time I picked it up I rattled of 68 pages before I realized it.  My wife commented, I had a smile on my face.  Good stuff.

If you are a coach – you’ll enjoy it because you can relate and think back to your own stories, trips, players you’ve recruited, locker rooms you’ve painted.  If you’re not a coach, you’ll enjoy it because there are many funny, funny stories that you’ll shake your head at… how many people get fired on their birthday?  Sit in a tent for 9 days selling fireworks or work concessions at Jaguar games?  If you are in business, you’ll find it will stimulate a few ideas because Rich has to get creative with marketing and fund raising for his programs.


  1. I know people will enjoy this book. When Rich was at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, I did color commentary on the radio broadcasts for 5 years. I haven’t seen the book yet, but there must be some classic stories about downtown Brooklyn. There was a story around that one reason Rich left was because of the number of parking tickets.

  2. Brad!

    Great to see you checking in… Thank You for your comment. It was either the parking tickets or the number of times his car was broken into!

    Good luck with the start of the season!

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