Texas is a diverse state. But the one thing that binds Texans more than their state pride, even more than religion, is football. For the many towns and cities of Texas, high school football is more than a sport or an extracurricular activity—it’s the glue of their community. Author Gray Levy, a high school football coach for more than two decades, became disillusioned with the state of the education system nationwide and traveled to Texas, a place where high school football still matters, to see just what schools and communities were doing right. What he found will both confirm and debunk common presumptions about high school football in Texas, a complex phenomenon that varies by region, school size, and the ethnic diversity of the Lone Star State.
Gray Levy started coaching high school football while attending the University of Nevada, Reno in the 1980s. After spending twenty years as a teacher for the Washoe County School District, he retired to pursue other interests. Big and Bright is his first book and his research in Texas was the first adventure of his post-teaching career. Levy spends summers traveling, falls coaching football, and winters skiing the Sierra Nevada. He is currently working on a new writing and coaching project about the growth of American football in Europe. He is a member of the American Football Coaches Association and the Professional Skier Association, and blogs at TexasFootballRoadTrip.com. Levy resides in Reno, Nevada, with his wife, daughter, granddaughter, and two dogs.