Coach Larranaga, Sportswriter Feinstein to Discuss Final Four during Fall for the Book

Posted: September 14, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Art Taylor

As part of the eighth annual Fall for the Book Festival, sportswriter John Feinstein, author of the best-selling “Last Dance: Behind the Scenes at the Final Four,” will chat with Mason men’s basketball Coach Jim Larranaga about his team’s “Cinderella story” during the 2006 NCAA basketball tournament.

The event takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in Harris Theater on Mason’s Fairfax Campus. Admission is free.

“No one captured Mason March Madness, Jim Larranaga and our team better than John Feinstein,” says Mason President Alan Merten. “I read ‘Final Dance’ after the Final Four and am looking forward to hearing John’s view of our Final Four experience.”

This year, Larranaga enters his 10th season as the head coach of Mason’s men’s basketball team. In addition to leading the Patriots to their first NCAA Final Four appearance, Larranaga and the Patriots marked a school record in wins for the 2005-06 season and earned Mason’s first national sports ranking and its first wins over teams ranked in the top 10.

Larranaga became the Colonial Athletic Association’s all-time leader in wins and the first coach at a mid-major school to take his team to the Final Four in 27 years.

In addition to his work as head coach, Larranaga is also the author of “Coaching Basketball’s Scramble Defense,” from the “Art & Science of Coaching” series. A graduate of Providence College, Larranaga began his career as an assistant coach at Davidson College and also coached at the American International College, the University of Virginia and Bowling Green State University.

Feinstein is the award-winning author of more than a dozen best-selling books about a wide range of sports, beginning with his first major success, “A Season on the Brink: A Year with Bob Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers.”

Other best-sellers have included “The Last Amateurs: Playing for Glory and Honor in Division I College Basketball” and “Next Man Up: A Year behind the Lines in Today’s NFL.”

Feinstein has also contributed to Golf Digest, Golf World, National Public Radio, Sporting News Radio, Sports Illustrated, National Sports Daily and the Washington Post, where he first began his career writing about politics and sports. Feinstein is a graduate of Duke University.

Other headliners to the Fall for the Book Festival – Northern Virginia’s largest and oldest literary celebration – include novelist and McSweeney’s founder Dave Eggers, author of the best-selling “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius”; novelist Kim Edwards, author of the best-selling “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter”; and linguist Deborah Tannen, author of the best-selling “You’re Wearing That? Mothers and Daughters in Conversation;” and Frank Warren, founder of the PostSecret project, a best-selling book and top-ranked web site.

Also, three of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize winners will be on hand: Geraldine Brooks for “March” (fiction); Claudia Emerson for “Late Wife” (poetry); and Martin Sherwin, who recently joined the Mason history faculty, for “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer” written with Kai Bird (biography).

The nine-day festival takes place Wednesday, Sept. 27, through Thursday, Oct. 5, on Mason’s Fairfax Campus and at locations in Old Town Fairfax. For a complete schedule and updated information, be sure to bookmark

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