The long awaited autobiography of one of the greatest and most meaningful coaches our sport will ever know is here. Luck of the Draw is a “unique glimpse into the life and persona of an Olympic medalist, world-renowned exercise scientist, and a devoted family man.”

You might find the title of this book somewhat odd. However, I think you will find as you read this that many aspects of my life and experiences must be characterized with some luck – luck of timing, circumstances, and situation. Many people who have read my books on running or who have attended a clinic often ask how I got into coaching. As you will see, the answer to this question is a rather lengthy and complicated tale.

We just got our copies in the mail yesterday. If you know Jack or have been lucky enough to be around him at some point in your life you know there’s no shortage of stories. This man has lived a thousand lives and we’re lucky he’s dedicated most of it to teaching people how to enjoy running through proper training. 

Jack at his first Olympics in Melbourne meeting 4-time gold medalist Emile Zatopek…

One day I got to jog a couple miles on the practice track with Emile Zatopek. Can you believe that? Just me and Zatopek were jogging about 7 or 8-minute miles, in lane 8. I couldn’t understand why he was going so slowly, but now I understand – his training was finished and he was just hanging out, jogging around while waiting for his final marathon. I was still dumb enough as a runner that I thought you should be training extra hard in those final few days – just thinking like my running coaches thought.

Not the only decorated member of his family…

One of my younger brothers, Jerry, based on his prowess as a smoke jumper, had gone to work for the CIA, and Nancy and I visited him in Bangkok one year before he died in a rather mysterious accident. In fact we were never allowed to open the casket in which he was returned. Jerry has been mentioned in about 8 or 10 different books describing the “secret war” in Laos, where he lived for a number of years. He was about the most well-known case officer the agency had there and I didn’t really know until I was called to Washington after his death to receive his medals – the 2nd, 3rd and 4th highest awarded by the CIA. As far as I am concerned, Jerry accomplished far greater things than I ever did as an Olympic athlete and it is my honor to have known him as a brother.

It’s a great read, starting with Jack’s upbringing to his days serving along the DMZ in the Korean War, to competing and winning medals in the Olympics, to his days in the lab at Nike and on to becoming one of the greatest running coaches ever.

Order a copy of Luck of the Draw here.