“Members of the ‘Gator Nation’ are going to burn the midnight oil turning these pages because Buddy Martin will be boldly taking them where no Florida fan has gone before.”---Tony Barnhart, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/CBSTo write the Urban Meyer story, Buddy Martin enjoyed a vantage point rarely afforded authors in constructing the authorized biography of the University of Florida’s high-profile coach. Martin takes the reader where no other journalist has gone before as he reports the most intimate details about one of the nation’s top college football programs and its coach.During the show-and-tell story of the 2007 Gator season, Martin listened on the headsets in the coaching booth, monitored Meyer’s locker room speeches, conducted in-depth interviews with assistant coaches and support personnel, ran on Florida Field with the team prior to the Gators game against Tennessee, and gave Tim Tebow his first Heisman Trophy quiz while having dinner together just weeks before he was named as the winner.Urban’s Way, however, is much more than a look at the 2007 season. Martin dug deep into Meyer’s background, from his growing-up days in Ashtabula, Ohio, under the strict guidance of his father; to his tumultuous days as a young assistant when he almost quit the profession; to the dynamics of his close relationship with mentors Earle Bruce and Lou Holtz; to the ultimate prize as coach of the 2006 national champion Florida Gators. Readers learn how Meyer was encouraged by his father and his wife, Shelley, to keep going; how his career took off at Notre Dame and then as a head coach at Bowling Green and Utah; how the Falcons came together after their historic “Black Wednesday”; and the impressive manner in which he championed diversity among players in Salt Lake City. Florida fans will be surprised to discover how close Meyer came to choosing the Notre Dame job over the one in Gainesville, despite his yearnings as a small boy to someday coach the Fighting Irish. Through his intense research---and talks with Urban himself---Buddy Martin provides an amazingly detailed look into how a football coach is made.This is not simply the authorized biography of one of college football’s top coaches; Buddy Martin also gives fans the inside scoop on the 2006 National Championship. In the chapter “The Joy of Winning It All,” players and coaches share their stories of that championship season that produced the middle leg of the “Gator Slam,” leading to the good life on the so-called Cul de Sac of Champions, which Urban shares with Gators basketball coach Billy Donovan.It is rare that fans get inside the head of a top coach, but here full disclosure is offered about Urban’s personal faith, his Plan to Win, and the inner workings of the Spread offense. Readers are also treated to Meyer’s own breakdown of the national championship tape, including his Six Key Plays of the game.Buddy Martin shines a bright light on Urban Meyer, the Florida Gators, and one of the top programs in the country. This is a must-have for Florida Gator football fans and one of the most insightful books ever written on college football.
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BUDDY MARTIN is a Florida-born-and-raised journalist who grew up in the shadow of the Swamp and has known and interviewed every Florida football coach of the past fifty years. This is his fourth book on Gator football. The son of a newspaperman, Martin has won more than 150 awards during his journalism career, which includes sports editorships of four major newspapers—Florida Today, The St. Petersburg Times, the New York Daily News, and The Denver Post. Among the awards Buddy received was an Emmy in 1992 as an associate producer of The NFL Today show on CBS for his work with Terry Bradshaw. Martin left as associate editor of the Charlotte Sun (Florida) in 2008 to become executive editor of GatorCountry.com and Gator Country Magazine, where his popular columns now appear. He is a regular sports talk-radio commentator in Denver and in Florida. Buddy is also co-creator and associate director of the Sports Journalism Summit, held annually at the Poynter Media Institute in St. Petersburg. He and his longtime wife, Joni, and dog, Rinny, reside in Ocala, the birthplace of Buddy, his oldest daughter, Lori, and his late father, Wilton.