'Undefeated' coach begins new chapter in life - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

'Undefeated' coach begins new chapter in life

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The world first learned about Bill Courtney through the Oscar-winning documentary, "Undefeated." The world first learned about Bill Courtney through the Oscar-winning documentary, "Undefeated."
There's much more to Courtney's story and he's put it all in a new book. There's much more to Courtney's story and he's put it all in a new book.
While Courtney sells materials, he is really into building things, like a winning football team at Manassas High School. While Courtney sells materials, he is really into building things, like a winning football team at Manassas High School.
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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - A Mid-South businessman best known for his time on the football field is writing a new chapter.

His name is Bill Courtney and he's going against the grain once again.

He has offices across the globe, and 120 employees in a $45 million North Memphis-based lumber company that began in a living room in 2001.

"It was an empty piece of dilapidated property. Our first 30 days, 75 40-yard containers of garbage left. There were four or five homeless people here and a crack house on the corner," said Courtney.

While Courtney sells materials, he is really into building things, like a winning football team at Manassas High School.

"Undefeated [the award-winning documentary] was nothing. They put a microphone on me and followed me around for 14 months," he said. "So, no, Undefeated was not hard at all. I was just doing what I do. I was running my business and being a father and coaching football."

But Courtney says the movie did give him a platform. In the years since, he's been on the public speaking circuit. In the next chapter of his life, Courtney authored Against the Grain set for release nationwide on May 13.

"The most daunting task I've ever taken was the two years I spent on this book," said Courtney. "In fact, the first 18,000 words went in the garbage, and I started over, because it started sounding like a biographical manifesto, and that's not what I wanted to write."

Courtney says his emotional capital is written in 206 pages and 14 chapters. It is broken down into individual anecdotes about people he knows who illustrate important tenets, characteristics, and values.

He says those who strive to live by these will leave timeless, inspirational impressions on themselves and others.

"Again, it's not a football book. It's not a sports book. It's not a self-help book. It's not a faith-based book. But it's got some of all that in it," said Courtney. "A 30,000-foot view is this: We can be an inclusive, open-minded, progressive-thinking society without abandoning the principles that got us here in the first place."

While his business is global, his book national, he says his story, his heart and soul are all Memphis, all the time.

Legendary Coach Phil Jackson wrote the foreward to Courtney's book. Read an excerpt of Against the Grain and pre-order it by following the link: http://www.amazon.com/Bill-Courtney/e/B00ICRMASI.

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