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Review: One Heartbeat II - The Road To the National Championship

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'One Heartbeat II' is an update to the original book 'One Heartbeat'. The updated version contains stories about the Texas Longhorns' from around 2000 to winning the national title game against USC. There is good news and bad news about 'One Heartbeat II'. The bad news is that Mack Brown isn't in any danger of quitting coaching to start a writing career. The book is weighed down with an 'aw shucks' gooeyness that is sometimes hard to overcome. Writer Bill Little does a pretty good job of narrating the book and adding his own stories but at times falls victim to the same goo.

The good news is that the book succeeds at it's goal of presenting Mack Brown's coaching philosophy. You get a good picture of Mack Brown the person, his life philosophies, and his perspective on how those things relate to his coaching and success with the Texas Longhorns.

'One Heartbeat II' walks through Brown's career, including heavy coverage of his stint at North Carolina and the reasons he left the Tar Heels. Brown presents inspirational stories about his encounters with people throughout his life and career, including stops at LSU, Appalachian State, Oklahoma, Tulane, and (of course) Texas. He includes stories about running back Ricky Williams, dealing with Cole Pittman's death in a car accident in 2001, and Brad Hermes who overcame his deafness to play for the Longhorns. Particularly enjoyable are his frequent encounters with and comments from Texas coaching legend Darrel Royal.

Despite difficulties with the number of cliches and heaping helpings of corniness, you cannot help but find a deeper respect for Mack Brown the person and head football coach of the Texas Longhorns. There is something in this book for everyone, whether a fan, a coach, or an athlete. If you're a Longhorn fan and you haven't read this book you're missing out on a fair amount of insight into the team and coach you hold so dear.