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Dare to Dream: How James Madison University Became Coed and Shocked the Basketball World

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In 1971, Madison College was a small-town teacher's college with around 3,000 students, most of them female. To elevate the college's visibility and to appeal immediately to males, new president Dr. Ronald E. Carrier sought to build a solid men's collegiate athletic program in basketball and other sports. So he hired a young, energetic, ambitious, and fast-talking yet untested basketball coach from New Jersey - Lou Campanelli.

Dare to Dream, a collaboration between Campanelli and veteran sports writer Dave Newhouse, tells the amazing Hoosiers-like story of how Campenelli, within ten years, created a basketball program out of almost nothing, building it into a powerhouse. Coach Lou's teams were known for their innovative flex offense, relentless half-court man-to-man defense, and a never-give-up attitude that led not only to conference, state, and division championships, but also to historic and nationally significant upsets in the NCAA tournament against Ohio State, West Virginia, and Georgetown and a down-to-the-wire, two-point loss against the University of North Carolina national championship team whose roster included future NBA stars Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, and James Worthy.

Dare to Dream is an inspiring story of the Carrier and Campanelli glory years at what became James Madison University. In this fast-paced and compelling book, we share in the passion, integrity, and dedication with which Coach Lou recruited, coached, and mentored his players - most of whom were overlooked or passed over by the traditional basketball powers. And we also learn how sports at JMU transformed not only the lives of student-athletes, but also the once small and largely female school into one of Virginia's most distinguished public institutions of higher learning within just one decade.