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Book recounts how Mendenhall brought success back to BYU football

By Sarah Petersen

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Aug. 30 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

"RUNNING INTO THE WIND: Bronco Mendenhall — 5 Strategies for Building a Successful Team," by Paul Gustavson and Alyson Von Feldt, Shadow Mountain, $25.99, 400 pages (nf)

Calling all coaches whether your blood runs blue or not. With the help of Paul Gustavson and co-author Alyson Von Feldt, you can find out just how Bronco Mendenhall was able to turn around the BYU football program upon becoming head coach in December 2004.

But he didn't do it alone. In the book released Aug. 30, "Running Into the Wind: Bronco Mendenhall — 5 Strategies for Building a Successful Team," Mendenhall explains his personal decision to inquire for help from Gustavson. The book tells of the first phone call Mendenhall had with Gustavson, when Mendenhall said, "This is my first time as a head football coach. I want to be a great head football coach. You're somebody I was told I can learn from."

Gustavson, a management consultant, has a background in organization design and has become well-known for his presentation “Leadership’s Five Smooth Stones.” In the book, Gustavson explains how they were able to work together in shaping the "five smooth stones" for the BYU football program.

Although the book focuses on these outcomes, it also takes a look into Mendenhall's personal interaction with his family and team. "Running Into the Wind" goes step-by-step through his life: from when he was 10 years old, to accepting the head coach position, to the 2011 team with flowing-haired quarterback Riley Nelson. The book recounts how Mendenhall's example of high standards has been essential in establishing a program for players to learn to be successful on and off the field.

Urban Meyer, the Ohio State head football coach, said in a review of the book, "Bronco provides the leadership, motivation and energy for student athletes to balance their lives and develop athletically, academically and socially. His daily life emphasizes that always doing what is right is a path that can lead to lifetime success for them and their families."

Sarah Sanders Petersen is an intern for Deseret News where she writes for Mormon Times and other feature articles. She attends Brigham Young University and is studying Communications. Petersen enjoys playing tennis and riding her bike to Utah Lake.

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