Sports is filled with successful coaches, but Satch Sullinger’s story offers championship-level inspiration to players, parents and coaches who care about values and winning the right way, on and off the court. In an ego-soaked era where highlights and sound bites speak to a “me first” societal mentality, Sullinger’s message cuts through the din, to the core of what matters most: mastering the fundamentals of selflessness that allow us to raise our game, lift our teammates and rise to collective glory.
Satch Sullinger is the 2010 Naismith National High School Basketball Coach of the Year, a teacher, and the father of Jared Sullinger, a rookie with the NBA’s Boston Celtics and former All-American at Ohio State University, where he led the Buckeyes to the 2012 Final Four. Jared Sullinger won the Naismith National High School Player of the Year award, also in 2010. The Sullingers are the only father and son to be named Naismith National Coach and Player of the Year, respectively.
Winning with Purpose: Raising Our Game and Lifting Our Teammates, on and off the Court is a motivational must-read, an absorbing exploration of the power that exists in all of us to eliminate excuses, overcome adversity and achieve success in the name of greater team good. In Winning with Purpose, Satch Sullinger serves notice that character-check crunch time is upon us, that lasting victory in life can happen only when we slam-dunk selfishness and commit ourselves to our teammates.
Winning with Purpose features a foreword by Clark Kellogg, and is endorsed by ESPN basketball analyst Dick Vitale. The book is also endorsed by St. Anthony (N.J.) coach Bob Hurley Sr., one of only three high school coaches ever to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Satch Sullinger’s story is the essence of what it means to make the most of a second chance. As a young man, his bad choices led to a dirty world of drugs and crime. One night, police smashed through the door of his apartment, and he stood face-to-face with the brutal prospect of life in prison. That harrowing experience proved a turning point for Sullinger, who climbed from the depths to carve for himself a new life rooted in education and a commitment to helping kids avoid similar pitfalls.
At twenty-six, Sullinger enrolled in college at Oberlin, became captain of the basketball team,
graduated with a degree in education and later returned to his alma mater as coach. He was named the first fulltime black administrator of U.S.A. Basketball in the early 1980s, contributing to the growth of what has become the most successful international men’s basketball organization of all time. Sullinger carried his life lessons to the court as a coach and to the classroom as a teacher, where he continues his mission to aid youngsters in understanding and applying life fundamentals en-route to realizing their potential and making their teammates better.
Sullinger’s emphasis to kids on accountability, especially where education and respect for the game is concerned, received national attention a few years ago, when, as coach at Northland High, he became concerned that Jared wasn’t taking his schoolwork seriously and benched his son for a crucial playoff game. Without its star player, heavily-favored Northland lost the game, and with it an expected state championship. Sullinger establishes in Winning with Purpose a foundation for personal and team improvement buttressed by principles like effort and attitude, preparation and perspective, trust and teamwork, and accountability and integrity. He probes the game-changing payoff commitment to these principles provides within a framework of unique philosophies.
Winning with Purpose helps coaches learn to identify, erase and replace ego-based agendas with selfless leadership, and shows them how to build in kids the emotional strength critical to success far beyond the next big game. Winning with Purpose is a crucial wakeup call to players and parents; as well.
Sullinger utilizes a wealth of leadership experience, sprinkled with awareness gained from his own
poignant life lessons, in offering practical, powerful solutions to these and other ego-influenced impediments to victory. Ultimately, Sullinger’s message in Winning with Purpose is simple: Get your heart and mind right, and your game will follow. Then, you’ll be in prime position to rise to your potential and enjoy uncommon team success.