by Porter Moses Forward by Sister Jean Schmidt, BVM
Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.
Both Porter and Sister Jean have an energy and enthusiasm for Loyola basketball that is unsurpassed by anyone, the team included! In the Forward, Sr. Jean States: “I hope other coaches will take this book to heart. I think a lot of other people will want to read it as well, especially if they are involved in basketball. I think high school coaches will read it. …the book comes from his heart.” And yes, the culture that he and his Final Four team of 2018 created is one to be admired. His young men learned more than basketball skills; they learned lifelong skills and are continuing to practice them and teach them to others. If you want to see a coach dedicated to his team and to his passion for basketball, just come to Chicago and attend a men’s basketball game in our Gentile Arena.”
In the book, Porter Moser knows what it’s like to live and work with determination, passion and grit. At the same time he knows what it’s like to keep the core values of faith, family, honesty and integrity at the pivotal point. Whether Moser is recruiting hiring running drills or just living day-to-day, he lives as a true Jesuit follower. Not that it’s always easy, but in All In he shows us that with enough practice it sure can look that way.
Moser reveals his ups and downs as both a college player and later as a coach, All In shows how Moser built his all-positive, no negativity work ethic; how a second chance from legendary coach Rick Majerus helped Moser achieve new levels of success; and how, in 2018, he guided the No. 11 seed Ramblers through one of the most inspiring Cinderella stories in college sports history.
In Chapter one Moser states: “I’ve learned a lot of lessons on how to be a person of influence. There are the hard lessons I’ve learned from responding to adversity. I’ve also learned about humility in facing those challenges. There are the invaluable lessons I’ve learned from my parents: Having a strong work ethic, maintaining a positive mental attitude, and putting others first. ….Most importantly, these lessons have led me to live a life of gratitude. I see gratitude as a gift that I can give others to make them feel special and valued.
At the end of each of the chapters, the author gives us definitions for the terms he uses with his players. For example, in the first ‘creating culture’, power up means “what gives you energy? How do you stay positive?” or surround yourself with positivity means “Who are the positive people in your life? How can they be a source of energy for you?” in the last chapter section of creating culture: name the decision means what decisions do you face in your life? When you look at a decision, try to name it as a choice between two options: Should I do this or should I do that? And tighten the circle means “Who are the people who put your happiness before their own? Who are the people you trust and who are a good influence on you?” The reader can feel how these phrases in the section called ‘creating culture’ are tightly woven into the life of Porter Moses
The author, Porter Moses, is an NCAA Division I men’s basketball coach for thirty years, Porter Moser has been the head men’s basketball coach at Loyola University Chicago since 2011 and has built a reputation for developing men on and off the court.While at Loyola, Moser has produced two Missouri valley Conference Player of the Year honorees, a pair of Associated Press Honorable Mention All –Americans, and two Academic All-Americans.In addition, he has guided the Ramblers to three post-season berths including a historic run to the 2018 NCAA Final four and back-to-back MVC regular-season championships in 2018 and 2019.