Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football
(Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2011)
Three and Out tells the story of how college football’s most influential coach took over the nation’s most successful program, only to produce three of the worst seasons in the histories of both Rich Rodriguez and the University of Michigan.
“John U. Bacon’s report from the front lines of the weird world of college football is eye-opening, and occasionally jaw-dropping.”
-George F. Will
>Buy on Amazon.com (Released October 25, 2011)
Bo’s Lasting Lessons: The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership
Written with the University of Michigan’s Hall of Fame coach Bo Schembechler, who passed away in November, 2006, Bo’s last book spells out in colorful detail exactly what every leader must know from the beginning of his career to the end.
A New York Times and Wall Street Journal’s Business Best Seller lists, and received strong reviews from Newsweek, The Washington Post, business best seller Tom Peters, and Warren Buffett, who described it as, “A great book about a great man.”
Cirque du Soleil, The Spark: Igniting the Creative Fire that Lives Within Us All (Doubleday, 2006)
Spark explores how Cirque du Soleil manages creativity in the workplace, generating eye-popping innovations without losing the discipline every organization needs to be successful. Coauthored with Cirque du Soleil president Lyn Heward, Bacon was granted unprecedented access to Cirque’s creators, performers and employees, and was even thrust into trying everything from the trapeze at 50-feet to the German Wheel to, yes, make up, all to gain a deeper understanding of how Cirque works. Bacon frequently gives speeches on his experience with Cirque du Soleil, and the lessons learned.
“An inspiring tale about the power of creativity and the imagination, from Cirque du Soleil, the amazing troupe of performers that “makes nearly every other form of entertainment seem timid, sullen, earthbound.” –Time
America’s Corner Store: Walgreen’s Prescription for Success (John Wiley & Sons, 2004)
Wiley 2004 Since Charles Walgreen, the son of Swedish immigrants, opened his first store in 1901 on Chicago’s South Side, the pharmacy that still bears his name has grown to more than 4,000 outlets in 44 states, employing 150,000…it’s still and growing. A truly family endeavor, Walgreen’s pursued success with an “almost religious devotion to substance over style.” In an era rife with corporate scandal and mismanagement, the company continues to please its investors and employees alike, and reportedly raked in $33 billion in 2002.
“Who would have thought the story of a drugstore chain could encompass so much vital and fascinating American history? With superb storytelling skills, John Bacon gives us a vivid and insightful chronicle of matters both large and small, from the birth of the milkshake to the rise of America’s consumer culture. America’s Corner Store is a genuine treat.”
-James Tobin, the National Book Critics’ Circle–Award winner, and author of To Conquer the Air: The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight
“Run the business with your head. Lead the family with your heart. Walgreens’ history is filled with good values, strong principles, and immense courage. A family business classic.” -Howard “Howdy” S. Holmes, President and CEO, “Jiffy” Mixes
Blue Ice: The Story of Michigan Hockey (
University of Michigan Press, 2001)
Blue Ice tells the story of the unlikely success and longevity of the University of Michigan’s hockey program – from its fight to become a varsity sport in the 1920s right up to its 1996 and 1998 NCAA national championships. The book focuses more on the remarkable characters who developed the program than It has been selected to as the subject for an upcoming Michigan Public Television documentary.
“Bacon has captured the essence of University of Michigan hockey. You can even smell Yost Ice Arena on some of the pages. This great, big barn of a book certainly lights the lamp.” -Rich Eisen
“This is more than a history of Michigan hockey. It’s a history of college hockey, and really of hockey itself. I learned a lot about how the game developed – and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Any hockey fan will too.”
-Ted Lindsay, NHL Hall of Famer
A Legacy of Champions: The Story of the Men Who Built University of Michigan Football
Coauthored with his former colleagues at The Detroit News, Bacon researched and wrote the first third of the book on legendary coach and athletic director Fielding Yost’s contributions on and off the field. This section, excerpted in the Detroit News, provided the inspiration for Michigan Television’s award-winning documentary, Michigan Football Memories, available on DVD.