Against the Grain

A Coach's Wisdom on Character, Faith, Family, and Love


By Bill Courtney

With Michael Arkush

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$25.99 CAD



  1. Trade Paperback $19.99 $25.99 CAD
  2. ebook $9.99 $12.99 CAD
  3. Hardcover $36.00 $46.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around October 6, 2015. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Bill Courtney — entrepreneur, football coach, and subject of the Oscar-winning documentary Undefeated — shares his hard-won lessons on discipline, success, teamwork and triumph over adversity.

In Against the Grain, Bill Courtney shares his convictions on the fundamental tenets of character, commitment, service, leadership, civility, and others that, in his decades of success as an entrepreneur and educator, have proven to be the keys to a winning and meaningful life and career. Each chapter tells the story of one of these tenets through compelling anecdotes of the colorful characters in Bill's life, leading to a deeper understand of the meaning of each and how to employee these fundamentals in all aspects of one's life. Against the Grain intertwines inspiring and thought-provoking anecdotes, lessons, and amazing real life examples. Bill's passion for us all to reconsider our own approach to life and constantly improve upon it comes across on every page.


  • “Coach Courtney is an ultimate competitor with a passion for excellence. He continues to be an inspiration to coaches and players all around the football world—from high school to college to the pros—and also those from off the gridiron as well.”
    – PETE CARROLL, head coach of Super Bowl XLVIII champions the Seattle Seahawks and New York Times best-selling author

    “Bill Courtney is a special person with an inspiring and incredible story.”
    – JIMMY KIMMEL, comedian and host of Jimmy Kimmel Live!

    “Sports is not the only realm where coaching counts. Bill Courtney has written a book that demonstrates to the beaten-down executive that by peeling down to the values of character, commitment and leadership, you can find your way back to a successful business and a meaningful life.”
    – JEANIE BUSS, president, Los Angeles Lakers

    “Bill Courtney has nothing to prove to anyone as a football coach, as a businessman and as a human being. But if you want proof that his life has been fascinating, Against the Grain gives you all you need. Enjoy the ride.”
    – JOHN FEINSTEIN, author and columnist

On Sale
Oct 6, 2015
Page Count
240 pages
Hachette Books

Bill Courtney

About the Author

Bill Courtney is a volunteer football coach and the founder, President, and CEO of Classic American Hardwoods as well as the Sigma Nu Charity Bowl. He hosts An Army of Normal Folks on iHeart Media. He is a motivational speaker keynoting at Nike, Frito Lay, The Paralympics, FedEx, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Barrett School of Banking, and more. Courtney has been inducted into Bridge Builders, is the recipient of the Harry Zinn Spirit of 1776 Award, the Carnival Memphis’ King’s Award, the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame – Memphis Chapter, and was inducted into the Society of Entrepreneurs. He is an Executive Producer for two feature films in production and has been the voice of Madden. Courtney was active in Sigma Nu, Psi Chi, and Sigma Tau Delta. He is the recipient of the Chi Omega Service Award, The Memphis Small Business of the Year award, and the U.S. EXIM Banks Exporter of the Year Award. A native Memphian, Courtney lives in Memphis, TN with his wife Lisa and is the proud father of four children.

Michael Arkush has written twelve books, including Rush! and The Fight of The Century. He and his wife, Pauletta Walsh, live in Oak View, California.

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