Foreword and introduction


The second-winningest coach in major college football history

I’ve always said walk-ons are my favorite players. They love football so much that they play it for almost nothing in return. Most of them just work their tails off to help their teammates and coaches win football games; others become starters at their positions. Either way, I can tell you that walk-ons win big in the game of life.

Several of my former walk-on players from Florida State and West Virginia have succeeded in business and other kinds of careers. They’ve done well in their personal lives too. Much of this success is due to their integrity and drive. I believe a great deal of it also comes from what they learned as student-athletes in college.

Walk-ons are great examples of success because of what they do and how they do it. Paul Corona tells you all about it in The Wisdom of Walk-Ons: 7 Winning Strategies for College, Business and Life. I’ll tell you, I haven’t seen another book like it. I believe anyone can apply this wisdom and get better at work, at home, and in school.

You know, I still give talks across the country almost every week, and I love to tell good stories because people love to listen and learn from them. That’s why I really like this book. It brings three amazing and true stories to life. You can’t help but be inspired and motivated after reading them. Paul also spells out seven valuable lessons we all can learn from these great storiesand at the end he includes an action plan to help us apply the lessons in our own lives.

I wish you great success with The WoW!

Bobby Bowden
Tallahassee, Florida

Introduction to The Wisdom of Walk-Ons

wisdom [wiz-duh m]
the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.

walk-on [wawk-on, -awn]
an athlete trying out for a team who has not been drafted, specifically invited, scouted, awarded a scholarship, etc.

The Wisdom of Walk-Ons tells the true stories of three unheralded and unrecruited college football players whoagainst overwhelming oddsplayed for some of the greatest programs and Hall of Fame coaches in history: the Alabama Crimson Tide with Paul “Bear” Bryant, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish with Dan Devine, and the Southern California Trojans with John Robinson.

Former walk-ons Gordon Adams, Bob Bleyer, and Alan Pizzitola graduated from these storied universities in the 1970s and ’80s with academic honors, national championship rings, practical skills, and a collection of winning strategies that helped them persevere and succeed in business and life in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. Fortunately, in 2010, they took time to put their feet up, reflect on their extraordinary experiences, and share their fantastic stories and priceless lessons with all of us.

Part inspiration and part self-improvement, The Wisdom of Walk-Ons combines the passion and pageantry of major college football, the inevitable ups and downs of business ambition, and a healthy perspective on what’s ultimately important in life. It helps businesspeople, sports fans, current and former athletesand all those who want more out of their professional and personal livesbecome more successful and fulfilled.

I hope you enjoy reading The WoW and, more important, putting it to good use!

Paul L. Corona, MBA, EdD
Optimus Coaching
Chicago, Illinois
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