"Undefeated" coach talks about his message, newfound fame - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

"Undefeated" coach talks about his message, newfound fame

(WMC-TV) - The coach behind the Academy Award winning documentary "Undefeated" spoke at a Memphis Chamber of Commerce Luncheon Friday.

"I honestly have no idea what I'm doing here," said Bill Courtney.  "It's free lunch.  If anybody says free food, I'm like, that's me.  I'm in."

Courtney gave the keynote address on just another stop on what has been a whirlwind.

"I don't think anybody was going to come write a book or do a TV show or wanted to hear my ideas about the world prior to the movie," said Courtney.

For nine months in 2009, cameras followed Courtney's every move as volunteer head coach of the Manassas High School football team.

"Undefeated" took home the Oscar for best documentary.

"There's a million stories, mine just happened to get told, and I have a responsibility to maybe at least start a conversation about where our society is," said Courtney.  "It would be a waste of an opportunity not to start a conversation about stuff people really don't want to talk about, honestly."

Courtney's talks are about success, responsibility, and leadership on a personal level and beyond.  Courtney said it is a perk afforded by the movie.

"It's maybe offered a platform for me to be lucky enough to maybe start a conversation about some things," said Courtney.

Courtney said his newfound fame gets him recognized on the street.

"Yeah, it gets crazy," he said.  "I think some think, 'I thought Chris Farley died.'"

Courtney said his main message for his team was how to handle mistakes.  He said he keeps up with his former players and believes they take his message to heart.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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