We Are the Troopers

The Women of the Winningest Team in Pro Football History


By Stephen Guinan

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Discover the unlikely story of the Toledo Troopers, the winningest team in the National Women's Football League, who won seven league championships in the 1970s—and gain full access to the players and key figures in the organization.

Amid a national backdrop of the call to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, the National Women’s Football League was founded as something of a gimmick. However, the league’s star team, the Toledo Troopers, emerged to challenge traditional gender roles and amass a win-loss record never before or since achieved in American football. The players were housewives, factory workers, hairdressers, former nuns, high school teachers, bartenders, mail carriers, pilots, and would-be drill sergeants. Black, white, Latina. Mothers and daughters and aunts and sisters. But most of all, they were athletes who had been denied the opportunity to play a game they were born to play.
Before the protests and the lobbyists, before the debates and the amendments, before the marches and the mandates, there was only an obscure advertisement in a local Midwestern paper and those who answered it, women such as Lee Hollar, the only woman working the line at the Libbey glass factory; Gloria Jimenez, who grew up playing sports with her six brothers; and Linda Jefferson, one the greatest, most accomplished athletes in sports history. Stephen Guinan grew up in Toledo pulling for his hometown football team, and—in the innocence of youth—did not realize at the time what a barrier-breaking lost piece of history he was witnessing. We Are the Troopers shines light on forgotten champions who came together for the love of the game.


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Author’s Note

I grew up in Toledo in the ’70s, watching my dad slap his knees and shout at the TV as his beloved Detroit Lions were getting shellacked. A devout football fan, he rooted with extreme prejudice for the teams of his youth, having grown up in Detroit, as well as those of his acquired hometown of Toledo. On weekends he left the Toledo Blade sports pages strewn about the kitchen. As I was learning to decode those headlines covering all manner of football from the NFL to college to the short-lived World Football League (WFL), one day I read about a team called the Toledo Troopers stomping the Detroit Demons. I asked my dad about it. “They’re a women’s team,” he said. “And they’re the best team in the country.”

One can never trust a father’s appraisal of his sports teams, but my dad’s tone was reverential. And the more I read, the more coverage I saw from the likes of Orris Tabner on Channel 11 sports, I came to understand that Dad was right. Toledo could pride itself as the home of the best.

And just as they were emerging in my consciousness, the team disappeared. No Blade stories. No nightly news segments. No championships. They were simply erased from existence.

Years later, by blind chance I sat next to a stranger in my high school cafeteria. “My dad is the winningest coach in football history,” he said.

“Your dad is Don Shula?” I asked. “Tom Landry?”

“His name is Bill Stout,” he said. “He coached the Toledo Troopers.”

“Winningest?” I asked.

Best winning percentage all-time, he told me. “I know,” he said. “I was the waterboy.”

The headlines came flooding back to me, as did the images of women in green and gold on the gridiron. But the picture was incomplete. In my mind the team had played for so long and had accomplished so much. There must be a history there.

Over the years, I would learn it. The waterboy and I became friends. Guy Stout would introduce me to the winningest coach himself, a barrel-chested force who related to others through bluster and busting chops. Later, I met the coaches Carl Hamilton, Jim Wright, Jerry Davis, and Mike Stout. When they spoke about the Troopers, I could hear an echo of my own dad’s pride: “It was the best time of my life,” Carl said.

And then I met the players.

Throughout the ’70s, eighty-two women suited up for the Troopers. Some played only a season. Many played for several years before injuries or pregnancies or career paths took them away from the game. Two players, Jackie Allen and Pam Schwartz, played all nine seasons. Together the Troopers represented the most diverse demographic you could draw up, except for three common traits: They were women. They were from Toledo. And they were football players.

In researching the book I’ve been touched by their stories, as well as those of their opponents in Detroit, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Dallas, Columbus, Middletown, Fort Worth, and Oklahoma City.

As the movement for women’s equality reached the halls of Congress in the form of Title IX, these women took to the most violent of American sports. They understood the game at a primal level as only one who has suffered its brutality can. They bore scars and sprains and broken bones. They did not see themselves as agents of change, but surely they were part of it.

Today they share an inspired reverence for the memory of their playing days and of a camaraderie found only in football locker rooms. They speak with misty-eyed pride about what it means to be a champion, and how the lessons they learned playing football and preparing for it would impact the rest of their lives.

“I was a Toledo Trooper,” Gloria Jimenez told me. “And it was the greatest thing I’ve ever done.”

I hope that telling this story honors what they did.

When my dad told me about the Troopers, I asked him who he would root for in a contest between his favorites Toledo and Detroit. He didn’t hesitate.

“Toledo all the way,” he said.


The simple notice was a rectangular blank stare: Helvetica type, 1/32 of a page, in black and white.

Players and Coaches Wanted for
Professional Women’s Football Team

In June 1971, the advertisement appeared on page 34 of the Toledo Blade, in the sports section, camouflaged by ads for Firestone tires and Imperial Lanes all-you-can-bowl and the postings for the horses at Raceway Park.

Lee Hollar had just clocked out of her shift at the Libbey glass plant, a four-acre churning furnace north of downtown. After work she liked to read the Blade on her porch in the thick evening air. When she saw the ad, she had no words. She read it over again and again, in disbelief. The ad struck Hollar not as a sign of the times but another sign, a calling whose specificity hit her like music. Her entire life she had known she was different. She never paraded around in dresses or dated boys, like her three sisters had. And while she had joined many of her classmates on the volleyball court or the softball diamond, she had always wanted something more. She had always dreamed of being a football player.

Gloria Jimenez never thought she belonged in a beauty parlor, but for the daughter of migrant farm workers, the term career path didn’t apply. At least cutting hair at the Northshore Salon beat picking tomatoes, which she still did on weekends to help the family make ends meet. Plus she could gab the day away with her pal Dorothy Parma, who one day showed her an advertisement for a women’s football team. Having grown up with nine brothers and sisters, it was easy to imagine, hitting, tackling, bashing. Now that’s where I belong, Jimenez thought.

One of eleven children, Pam Schwartz had grown up on Toledo’s east side, where the air smelled of burning oil from the refinery and tomatoes from the Hunt’s packing plant. With four brothers and six sisters, Schwartz learned to eat fast, like a pup at feeding time. Get what you can, and get it quick. When she saw the ad in the Blade, she could hear the world shout at her like a playground dare: I’ll bet you can’t do that.

Davelyn Burrows was thirty-four and worked at Frank’s Nursery transplanting trees and stacking bags of mulch and feed. Her six-foot, two-inch frame carried 220 pounds. Finally, she thought, after reading the advertisement, a shot in a sport she was built to play.

The Skiles sisters, Diane and Debbie, grew up in Genoa, in a foundationless house their father had built with materials he’d found. Part Shawnee, he’d raised his twin daughters to ignore what people said you were supposed to do and follow the spirit that flows in your veins. They never owned a TV, never got the message that women were not supposed to play football. When the sisters heard the call for female football players, they didn’t think twice. They had spent their autumns in the prairie behind their makeshift ranch doing what every girl presumably did: playing football.

Over the next nine years, more than eighty women answered the call in Toledo. They would practice on an abandoned lot west of downtown and play games in stadiums across the country. In dank locker rooms and torn-up football fields, clad in armor of plastic and pads and athletic tape, they would forge a sisterhood that would last the rest of their lives and find meaning in transforming into football players at a time when the culture around them was also changing. In the tumultuous decade that followed, the Toledo Troopers would not only prove that women could compete in a traditionally male-dominated sport but also they would define what it means to be a champion.

And so before the decade of dominance, before protests and the lobbyists, before the debates and the amendments, before the marches and the mandates, there was only an obscure advertisement in an obscure corner of the heartland and the women who answered it.

It was the birth certificate of the winningest team in football history.


Chapter 1

The Great Black Swamp

For centuries, geology, climate, and westward expansion conspired to create a region nobody wanted. The flat, unclassifiable town with dubious origins was born nameless and then grew into a surly adolescent only to endure a nasty custody battle between irreconcilable parents. It lived with a chip on its shoulder, a middle child that did not get along well with others. It had its heroes, those industry barons who amassed empires on the mantle of manufacturing, men whose promises foresaw into the future just distant enough to forge lasting myths of the riches men were capable of acquiring. It was the geologic center of the Midwest—Toledo, Ohio. A circle drawn with the Glass Capital at its epicenter encompassed New York to the east, the Great Plains to the west, the upper Great Lakes to the north, and the Ohio-Mississippi confluence to the south. Wider still, the forgotten city was literally the crossroads of the country: Build a road from Boston to San Francisco, and another from Sault Ste. Marie to Miami, and they’ll intersect in Toledo at the I-90 and I-75 junction.

In the crosshairs evolved an everytown and a nothingtown, a region renowned for its obscurity. As though perpetually on the cusp, the city was neither this nor that. It was a town of wannabes fine with who they were. City yokels and urban bumpkins. The place itself was the butt of the joke. A region whose name had no clear derivative, and where the river flows backward. A patch of the map overlooked by the burning petrochemical-scented giants expanding around it. If Chicago was the second city, Toledo was the hundred-and-second city.

When the glaciers that covered the Midwest receded, they left behind the Great Lakes and a wetland known as the Great Black Swamp, a flat marshland that resisted settlement but for itinerant Native American tribes. In 1615, the Europeans established routes up the St. Lawrence and into the Great Lakes, and the gradual commerce of fur trading along Lake Erie and the Maumee River gave rise to sporadic settlement. The swamp wasn’t exactly home to the Erie and Wyandotte, but they abandoned the region when the Iroquois took over in the Beaver Wars and began a peaceable relationship with the European invaders. The global conflict between the French and British in the eighteenth century created fissures in the uneasy frontier alliances. By the time the United States came into its own, the French had chosen to retreat from the Maumee River and regroup into their northern holdings. When Great Britain and the young United States divided up the territory, there were no Native Americans at the table. Under the Western Confederacy, the Natives stood their ground, and President George Washington ordered the frontier Revolutionary War general Anthony Wayne to confront them. With God on his side, and superior weaponry, “Mad Anthony” routed the Native Americans at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, named after the trees that had been tackled by a recent storm. Eight years later, Ohio, the birthplace of football, was born.

It wouldn’t be for another generation, and the advent of canal-digging technology, that the region would grow populous enough to gain a commercial identity. Settlers named the swamp settlement after its denizens: Frogtown. At some point in the next century, common courtesy dictated a different moniker, and, for reasons unknown, a new name evolved. It wasn’t named after a person. It wasn’t named after an explorer, fur trapper, or general. Nor has the name any roots in Native American culture, language, or geography. Some credit Washington Irving’s brother, who boasted receiving letters from his famous kin traveling in Spain of all places. Others say it was christened by a popular merchant who liked the sound of it. People went about their business unsure of what to call one another. Over time, multiple towns along the Maumee River became known collectively as the Toledo Strip.

The Strip was just that, a swath of land ten miles wide extending from Lake Erie to the western border of the state on a straight plain, like skin under a bandage. Slipshod surveying soon led to disputes about the border between Ohio and the young upstart territory to the north called Michigan. As boomtowns along canal routes sprouted up, Michigan feared being left behind. Its brash young governor argued that his reckoning of the swamp was as valid as any other, and he claimed custody of Toledo by threatening to throw anyone who abided by Ohio laws in jail for five years hard labor. The Ohioans pushed back—but not on account of their own claim to a precious stake of hot swampland. They just didn’t like being told what to do. A Michigan militia ambushed an Ohio survey party and attempted to arrest them for illegal trespassing. Three Ohio boundary commissioners, including Colonel Sebried Dodge, escaped in the standoff. Shots were fired in the incident known as the Battle of Phillips Corners. Although there were no casualties, the event was hyped as the Toledo War. President Andrew Jackson intervened and negotiated the treaty, giving Ohio full custody of Toledo, reasoning that Ohio was a state, and its electoral votes lay at stake, should the citizens view the ruling favorable. As a rather imaginative consolation that has confounded cartographers ever since, Michigan was given the Upper Peninsula. If football is any indicator, today half the population of the city of Toledo maintains allegiance to the State Up North.

With its wetland, lake-effect summertime humidity, the city grew, like a swamp. The Miami and Erie Canal, a 301-mile dredging that connected the Ohio River to the rest of the planet, attracted agricultural and manufacturing merchants. For a time, the town was dubbed Corn City. When larger steamboats hit bottom in rival harbor towns like Manhattan and Tremainsville, the next wave carrying Polish and German immigrants chose the deeper port on the Toledo Strip. Throughout the mid-nineteenth century, more and more carriages trafficked the downtown streets, oriented not to the compass but to the river that ran a west-to-east diagonal, like a checkmark. Streets running parallel to the Maumee were named after the Great Lakes; streets running perpendicular, after the presidents. By the railroad revolution, Toledo had established schools, a telegraph network, gaslights, a sewer system, and buildings tall enough for elevators. The Strip was poised to become more than a stopover on the transcontinental grid. The Irish joined the wave of immigrants hired to construct canals. Between 1840 and 1870, the population of Toledo grew by a factor of ten. In 1867, Jesup Scott, an East Coaster by birth who made a fortune in real estate, had a vision. The editor of the Toledo Blade, Scott had tasted the power of suggestion. He published a pamphlet describing his revelation titled “Toledo: Future Great City of the World.” By 1900, Scott predicted, Toledo would become the largest city in the United States.

The oracle would endure—not despite the festering swamp that was the landscape, but because of it. The marshland’s by-product was a natural resource about to become inconceivably valuable. In 1888, Renaissance man Edward Drummond Libbey moved his father’s glass manufacturing company from Massachusetts to Toledo to access its massive deposits of sand—quality sand. From the swamp, Libbey produced glass, and inventor Michael Owens created the machine that could blow it. The mechanized production of drinking glasses, bottles, and jars gave way to windows and windshields for the automobile. More markets opened under the umbrella of the glass industry, including insulation and fiberglass. Collectively, the economy spawned by the swamp would give Toledo yet another name: the Glass Capital. For the next century, Toledo mayors and dignitaries like Toledo Blade publisher Paul Block proudly stood on the mantle of the glass industry. In 1950, Block declared September 22 to be “Glass Day,” pronouncing that “it was the most important day in the city’s history. It marked Toledo as ‘the glass center of the world,’” said Block, echoing Scott’s grandiosity.

If there was a hyperbolic optimism expressed by dreamers Scott and Block, female pioneers worked in the here and now. Harriet Whitney, the first woman to teach in a Toledo school, made her history in a one-room log cabin on the extension of the Maumee called Mud Creek. Others like Pauline Perlmutter Steinem, the first female head of the board of education, supported suffrage efforts. She also passed along her activist spirit to her granddaughter Gloria.

Meanwhile, the resistance to women’s advancement in the nineteenth century came from the highest platforms and farthest reaches. Women had their place, as expressed by Woodrow Wilson, who believed that women acting in men’s traditional spheres was “ludicrous.” After witnessing a suffrage rally, Wilson wrote that he gained “a whimsical delight at watching women speak in public.” Women performing in roles of leadership was to him a joke.

Likewise, women playing sports inspired the same species of condescension and ridicule. In the 1896 Olympics in Athens, all 241 athletes from fourteen nations were men. Women were expected to lend their applause, not their athletic skills. The perception would continue into the twentieth century. In 1928, the New York Times reported that long-distance running for women was “too great a call on feminine strength.” The Olympic officials believed that running would cause a woman’s uterus to fall out. They banned women from running in any race longer than 200 meters. It wasn’t until 1960 that women were allowed to run for 800 meters straight. The marathon, 1984.

*  *  *

In 1918, a twelve-story chimney rose from the western horizon like a burning lighthouse. The Overland Smokestack became the beacon of the city and its factories churning out the residuals of the automobile: plastics, fiberglass, carburetors, windshields, mirrors, spark plugs. The hope embedded within the twentieth-century American Dream—that the masses, with nothing but the shirts on their backs from blighted counties or countries, could arrive, find work, and ultimately create a legacy—existed because of places like Toledo with its tent-pole industry sprawling enough to spread opportunity around. At the turn of the century, the city boasted the third-largest railway center as well as one of the largest inland ports in the country.

A mile west of the headquarters of these industries, Libbey engineered brick-lined neighborhoods of behemoth mansions, a fairy-tale village with carriage houses, servants’ quarters, and cupolas from which you could see ocean liners steaming in from the bay. Across Monroe Street from his living room window, Libbey established a museum to showcase the history of art in glass. Some of his neighbors in the Old West End caught a whiff of the legacy phase of the dream, like Thomas DeVilbiss, who invented a gun that sprayed paint and pooled his riches into one of the largest endowments for a museum that would befit a future great city.

The production of the automobile became the roots of an economy empire that soon sustained four high schools, drawn in an arc around the river: Scott, Libbey, Waite, and Woodward, named after the men who shepherded the city into the twentieth century. DeVilbiss and Whitmer soon followed, their stairwells filled with second- and third-generation immigrants with no reason to look beyond the opportunities afforded by the engineering of freedom on four wheels.

During World War II, Toledo’s factories ran ceaseless, three-shift days. The Willys plant was refitted to produce a four-wheel-drive doorless reconnaissance vehicle that would be used by every Allied country in the war. They called the eyesore a vehicle for Government Purpose—GP for short. Jeep, for shorter. The design of the vehicle bespoke the attitude of the people who made it: all square angles, feisty as a buzz saw, and durable as rock. It didn’t care what it looked like, but it got the job done. In a nearly inconceivable feat of mechanical and social engineering, during the war years the Willys-Overland plant produced three hundred jeeps every day. The twenty-acre machine belching smoke and four-wheel-drive wagons never slept. At first, men filled the lines, while women took the jobs they left behind, such as mail carriers, surveyors, city managers, and other civil service positions. When more men shipped overseas, women didn’t bat an eye on the assembly lines, stamping out the car that was the vehicular symbol of the Allies across both oceans.

The neighborhoods in the perimeter of the Overland Smokestack became the second and final destination for the great migration, the movement of hundreds of thousands of Blacks from the Jim Crow South, who first found jobs in Detroit and Cleveland, then continued an inward spiral to the Midwest’s lowland center. They took up in the neighborhoods by the massive airline junction rail yards and sent their children to the schools named after the titans Libbey and Scott.

The postwar appetite of the Greatest Generation for the automobile kept the factories booming. While Detroit earned its moniker as the Motor City, Toledo saw its Overland factory unfold west into a massive industrial landscape painted with smokestacks against an orange horizon. The glass industry grew in lockstep, and a manufacturing center along I-75 morphed into a sprawling shimmering city unto itself known as the Toledo Complex, a term that could also describe the region’s inferiority neurosis. Despite its competitive standing among automobile manufacturing giants, Toledo was overlooked in favor of the metropolises around it, and Jesup Scott’s dream in the nineteenth century of a great city never caught up but was replaced by a different dream, one that gave rise to another Great Black Swamp global export.

*  *  *

The game was a century in the making, a sport cultivated in the petri dishes of recreation clubs, newly founded universities, and city athletics organizations, places for men to demonstrate physical prowess and compete against other clubs in an array of events: boxing, baseball, rugby. Princeton and Rutgers are credited with playing the first game known as football, but the makeshift rugby event would be unrecognizable as football to anyone born after the spectacle. The sport acquired the name pigskin because first-generation recreational equipment consisted of the inflated gallbladder of a pig. There was no line of scrimmage. No quarterback. No downs. No forward pass. These innovations would come later, at the turn of the century, as safety precautions for the game that took on the name the gridiron, echoing ancient gladiator brutality.

Among the legacies of the nineteenth-century dreamers like Scott stood one that could be drawn from the early days of organized sports through the twentieth century to the modern Super Bowl: An audience equaled profit. In autumn, school-session Saturdays brought out the student body, families, and spectators looking to fill time that a summer baseball game might kill. College leagues formed around the fall football season. Profit margins from ticket sales attracted the attention of university brass, mainly in the Midwest. At the turn of the century, tens of thousands of Toledoans paid to see a horse billed as the world’s fastest run in a circle. The thoroughbred named Cresceus broke the world record for trotting the mile in an event billed as the Champion of Champions race, paving the way for Toledo’s harness racing hub.

Crowds continued to gather to witness feats of athletic prowess, animal or human. In 1896, the presidents of seven Midwestern schools convened to christen their profiteering and came up with the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives. The official name of the organization would remain for ninety years, until the conference incorporated itself as a nonprofit entity, in 1987, as the Big Ten.

As glass became the region’s primary export, the sport known as football and its box office tagged along. Seen as a regional cultural export, the game didn’t always sell. In 1902, the first Rose Bowl was staged, an exhibition as part of a parade in Pasadena, California. The University of Michigan, emerging just north of Frogtown, squared off against Stanford. The game was so lopsided that the parade organizers gave up on football altogether in favor of ostrich races. It wouldn’t be for another fourteen years before the Parade of Roses would pilot the staged violence again.

Others took a more adamant stance against the game, on ethical grounds. In 1905, at least eighteen men and boys were killed playing football, and scores more were seriously injured, not counting the untold others who sustained brain damage. Like a Roman Colosseum death match, the game was carnage. The only strategy was a slaughter called the Wedge. Imagine a group of young men in a formation like a spear charging headlong into another group in full sprint to stop them. There were no helmets or pads. Splattered blood and broken bones were common. Death came as a result of spinal cords fracturing or, in one case, a broken rib perforating the heart. The Chicago Tribune called the year 1905 college football’s “death harvest.”

Some demanded that the game’s savagery be outlawed. Other clubs and universities already tied to profits apologized that the voluntary violence was an unfortunate cost of doing business. The president of the United States intervened. Teddy Roosevelt enjoyed the blood sport and demanded that a committee be formed to institute changes that would save the game. The next year, the meeting of more than sixty universities called itself the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the organization formed principally to reduce football’s body count.


  • “An absolute treat….The story of the long-forgotten (if ever remembered) Toledo Troopers, a woman’s football team that dominated the land for a good decade. Guinan is a fabulous writer, and his joy dances from page to page.”—Jeff Pearlman
  • We Are The Troopers is the story of a group of game-changing women from all walks of life who came together to leverage the power of sports to influence the gender discussion and inspire their generation and future generations.”—Billie Jean King
  • “Stephen Guinan has written an important book detailing a crucial time and place in women’s sports history. I grew up in Toledo following the Troopers. This book is a wonderful walk down memory lane for me, and a compelling story about trailblazing women who broke barriers and inspired a generation of girls and women to follow their dreams.”—Christine Brennan, author of Best Seat in the House and Inside Edge
  • "Women's football has been drawn out of the shadows of history to some degree in recent years, but We Are the Troopers breathes true life into that history through its focus on the league's best team, its breakout star Linda Jefferson, and her groundbreaking teammates. By showing us the game through the eyes of the women who played it, Guinan brings us closer to that time and that action than a mere chronicle ever could and ensures that this unique chapter in sports history will never be lost."—Craig Calcaterra, author of Rethinking Fandom
  • “Utterly surprising and exhaustively researched, We Are the Troopers manages to be both lovingly nostalgic and reflective of the current moment. This is a story about the American obsession with football that is, at its heart, a story about the stubborn persistence of the American dream.”—Michael Weinreb, author of Season of Saturdays: A History of College Football in 14 Games
  • "An essential book on one of the most dominant teams of all time. I'm thankful Guinan has brought the story to light, writing with elegance and urgency to tell the story of the Troopers beautifully. I won't forget this team."—Mirin Fader, New York Times bestselling author of Giannis
  • "An incredible story."—Buzzfeed
  • “The inspiring, little-known story of a powerful women’s professional football team in the 1970s….In this exciting, informative resurrection of largely forgotten history, Guinan…tells the story of the Toledo Troopers… [and] does a fantastic job of delving into the lives of the women who play…. Fabulous lost sports history for historians and sports fans alike.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred)
  • “These women played with passion, broke barriers, and risked ridicule and alienation from their families, not to mention career-ending injuries. Coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of Title IX and a companion documentary with the same title, this eye-opening account introduces readers to a special sisterhood that made history and defied gender norms.”—Booklist
  • “An obscure but significant chapter in American women’s professional sports comes to dazzling life in essayist Guinan’s debut…Feminists and football fans alike will find much to appreciate.”—Publishers Weekly
  • We Are the Troopers is a well-written and engaging ode to these women who made history on the gridiron and in the hearts of every little girl who wondered to what heights they could soar.”—G-pop.net
  • “An excellent addition to the field…. Guinan has written an epic saga of the Troopers…. His prose not only tells the story of a football team, but it also grabs the reader and carries them from the formation of the team to its decline…. Guinan writes with the style of a modern-day Grantland Rice…. Guinan’s book should appeal to football fans everywhere. His descriptions of the player’s backstories provide a window, often in the words of the athletes themselves, into a past when women had to struggle to play sports of any kind, let alone football…. We Are the Troopers is a compelling read.”—Russ Cawford, USSportHistory.com
  • “Amy Landon’s strong narration anchors this in-depth history of the Toledo Troopers….Landon balances the author’s appreciation for the players’ tenacity and toughness, skill and sacrifice with a clear-eyed examination of the demanding physicality and business sides of the sport.…Landon’s light characterizations emphasize the diverse personalities of the players, including Linda Jefferson, Lee Hollar, and Pam Schwartz, who shined on and off the field. This solid production is a welcome addition to American sports history.”—AudioFile (audiobook review)

On Sale
Aug 30, 2022
Page Count
288 pages
Hachette Books

Stephen Guinan

About the Author

Stephen Guinan, originally from Toledo, Ohio, is a writer and high school English and film teacher in Columbus. An Ohio State MFA recipient in fiction writing, he has had short stories and non-fiction published in The Massachusetts Review, The Green Mountains Review,The South Carolina Review, and other magazines. He is also the recipient of the Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council for his fiction.

Learn more about this author