Interview with Rich Zvosec — author, former coach, ESPN analyst

Rich Zvosec, former college basketball coach (and friend of The Scores Report), has written a book, Birds, Dogs & Kangaroos: Life on the Back Roads of College Basketball. In Zvosec’s humorous way, the book outlines what life is really like at the low Division I level.

I played ball at what would be considered the high Division III level and it sounds like we had more resources, support and continuity than a few of Zvosec’s teams. Coach Z is an engaging writer and has a plethora of funny/outrageous/touching anecdotes to relate as he goes through his entire coaching career.

The Scores Report had the opportunity to talk to Zvosec about why he wrote the book, what it’s like coaching in New York City, and the hurdles he had to overcome to develop into a successful color commentator for ESPN.

The Scores Report: Hi, this is John Paulsen from The Scores Report. How are you doing?

RZ: Hey, John. How are you doing?

TSR: Pretty good. I just finished reading your book over the weekend. I enjoyed it. It brought back some memories of when I played Division III ball – sounded like some of the same crazy stories. Can you tell me a little bit about why you decided to write the book?

RZ: When I first got the job at St. Francis in New York, some of the different things happened. My mother always told me, “You should save all these stories and write a book someday.” I guess I kind of wrote it for a number of different reasons. It’s kind of a cathartic look back at 25 years of kind of chasing a dream – college coaching. And the other part of it is, I wanted to give the reader a different perspective on college basketball. So often the media only covers the highest of levels and consequently everything is portrayed as just a business transaction, so to speak. Whether it comes to recruiting or wins and losses. I wanted people to get an inside look at what a coach actually goes through. And certainly it’s a little different at a St. Francis than it is at North Carolina or Kansas.

TSR: You said in the book that you coached at ten different schools. Could you give our readers a brief rundown of where you coached?

RZ: I spent 25 years, 16 as a head coach. I was the head coach at the University of North Florida, where I started the program. I coached at St. Francis college in New York. There was Millersville, Pennsylvania. And my last stop, as a college coach was at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, where I was at for the last seven years.

Read the rest after the jump...

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