'Undefeated' with Coach Bill Courtney

So to Speak: The Free Speech PodcastEp. 203
'Undefeated' with Coach Bill Courtney

'Undefeated' with Coach Bill Courtney

Bill Courtney is an American football coach, entrepreneur, author, and the subject of the academy award winning 2011 documentary "Undefeated," which tells the story of Courtney leading a high school football team in an economically depressed area of Memphis, Tenn. to the playoffs.

Courtney is the host of the An Army of Normal Folks podcast, in which he shares stories of "ordinary people doing extraordinary things in and around their communities." His book "Against the Grain: A Coach's Wisdom on Character, Faith, Family, and Love" was released in 2014.

In this episode, we discuss coaching, the surprise success of "Undefeated," and how talking across lines of difference can heal a polarized America.


0:00 Introduction

2:25 Courtney's background

5:41 The influence of coaches

16:50 How Courtney ended up at Manassas High School

18:50 Coaching in difficult environments

24:30 Bridging divides

30:12 Forgiveness and grace

35:57 Daryl Davis

42:45 The "death spiral" of division and polarization

53:15 What happened to Manassas after Courtney left?

54:00 How did the filmmakers find Manassas?

59:21 Was the documentary good for the school and the kids?

Show Transcript

Recent Episodes

The Antisemitism Awareness Act
Ep 213: Campus unrest - live webinar
Dodging censorship in Russia