Bookstore hosts Pitino book signing

By on October 26, 2013


By: Wesley Kerrick

Noon couldn’t come soon enough for the nearly 40 people lined up inside U of L’s bookstore last Wednesday. In a flurry, cashiers were selling each of them Coach Rick Pitino’s new book, “The One-Day Contract: How to Add Value to Every Minute of Your Life.”

At 12:02, the dark-haired man in casual sportswear walked in briskly. The crowd, taking note, burst into quiet applause. Pitino signed books for the next hour, as students, faculty and staff streamed in, bought his book and secured the coveted autograph.

Pitino said he appreciated the turnout. “Especially (in) the holiday season, it’s a gift that most people buy for somebody else, so it’s nice to see that people do that.”

As stacks of books flew, bookstore manager Scott Schuknecht said he was “very excited” as he reflected on all the work it took to make this happen. “Getting the word out was the biggest challenge,” he said, “spreading the word to let them know that Coach would be available today.”

Written with the help of WDRB sports columnist Eric Crawford, “The One-Day Contract” was published Oct. 1 by St. Martin’s Press. The publisher’s description states: “Pitino details his key to success, on the court and in life: to focus on making the most of each day, by creating a contract with yourself.”

“It’s interesting,” said Schuknecht, who has been reading the book. “I love the idea of the ‘one-day contract.’ It’s just the fact that you have to own your work and do everything right each and every day.”

Pitino said he is motivated by the letters he’s received from people who have read his previous books. “This is my fourth book, and I’ve had so many great letters throughout the years. And that’s to me what writing a book is all about. I mean if you can write a book and it impacts someone’s life in a positive way, you know you’ve done something really good.”

Freshman psychology major Isaiah Hein was among the eager in line. “I’ve been a Louisville basketball fan for as long as I can remember, and my whole family wanted me to come out to get his signature. My dad, my grandparents – it’s just a big thing to them. So just to be able to get the signature, I think will mean a lot to me and to my family.”

Pitino pointed out two chapters of particular relevance to students. “I think chapter three, ‘The Trap of Technology,’ is very important. I think the first chapter, ‘Humility,’ is very important, because so many fail because of a lack of humility. I think it’s really, really important that you handle adversity the right way and handle it with courage.”

The celebrated coach’s right hand is getting pretty accustomed to signing autographs. “It’s been a thousand pieces of the (Georgia Dome) floor, eleven hundred Maker’s Mark bottles, so I’m used to it now.”

“I’m a big fan of Rick Pitino,” Hein said. “I’ve always admired him as, you know, a person and a coach. I think he’s got a lot of good qualities to him.”

Pitino’s 1997 book “Success Is a Choice” was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller.

Schuknecht said the bookstore has hosted numerous book signings before, including basketball sportscaster Dick Vitale, who drew a crowd in 2011.


Photos by Val Servino

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