NC Literary Hall of Fame



The Coach's Wife by William J. Torgerson

Cherokee McGhee
$17.95, paperback / $6.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1937556075
February, 2015
Fiction: Literary / Sports
Available from

"One of the best books about basketball and coaching I've ever read with a love story so complicated and wonderful it will have book clubs talking about it for many years."
—Pat Conroy, author of The Death of the Great Santini and My Losing Season

"Love, longing, and basketball. You couldn't ask for a more irresistible premise, and Torgerson stirs it up with a backdrop including O.J. Simpson, Kurt Cobain, and Lady Di. A treacherous and hilarious journey through the human heart that beats with hope on every page."
—Caroline Leavitt, author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You

Meet Zuke, basketball coach, romantic, and narrator of his haunting, fast-paced novel, a tale of love and loss and acceptance, and all that we must learn when the party of college is over.

Love and basketball in Indiana.

A man without a her is a man without hope. So believes Coach Zuke who has returned to his hometown of Horseshoe, Indiana to be the head basketball coach. Zuke wants to meet a woman. It's not long before possibilities emerge: his girlfriend from high school teaches in the classroom next to him, there is the older sister of one of his players, a girl he knew from college, and a botched matchmaking attempt by his best friend Cheese.

On the coaching front, troubles mount in the form of angry parents and an assistant coach and his father who hatch plans to get Zuke fired.

Set in 1994 to the backdrop of the O.J. Simpson murder trial, Kurt Cobain's death, and Prince Charles' confession on television to having cheated on Lady Di, The Coach's Wife is a novel about the trials of coaching in basketball-obsessed state and what happens to one young man too desperate to find a wife.

William Torgerson teaches in the Institute for Writing Studies at St. John's University in New York. Before teaching in New York, Torgerson taught English in Indiana and North Carolina where he also coached basketball. Torgerson was an assistant coach for the state championship winning team in North Carolina during the 2002 season. Also a filmmaker, Torgerson has directed three documentaries and a narrative short. He serves as the Director of Creative Writing for the Rhode Island International Film Festival and works to curate educational programming for writers and filmmakers. Torgerson lives with his family in Asheville, North Carolina, and commutes to New York for his teaching position. He can be reached on Twitter @BillTorg or at his website,

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