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Hutton: Jerod Haase talks about writing book with former Andrean coach Mark Horvath

Jerod Haase Kansas

Jerod Haase Kansas

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Updated: July 3, 2013 7:08AM



Jerod Haase turned down Mark Horvath three times before he finally agreed to let him write “Floor Burns: Inside the Life of a Kansas Jayhawk.”

Turns out, Horvath, the former Andrean basketball coach who died last Sunday, was quietly persistent.

Haase, now the coach at UAB, said that Horvath initially wrote after he arrived at Kansas and told him he liked his hustle.

He asked if he could do a book and Haase said, “No thanks.”

He wrote back again about a year later and asked again and Haase turned him down again.

Finally, after Haase finished school and started working on his master’s degree, he agreed to do the book after Horvath asked for the third time.

Horvath’s pitch to Haase was that he wanted to write a thoughtful, in-depth first-person account of the 1996-97 season — his final one for the Jayhawks. Essentially, Horvath, who was a government and economics teacher, ghost-wrote the book.

He wrote almost all of it via email.

Haase said the process was exhausting — he never actually read the book because he was so tired out from working on it.

When asked if it was odd that Horvath, with no real connection to him, would approach him about writing the book, he said: “Maybe a little odd at the time, but it was more unique to me. No one I know had done anything like that at the time. I was interested in doing something different.”

Horvath and Haase struck out on the last part of the project: Finding a publisher.

So, Horvath, who was an entrepreneur as well as a teacher (he owned a painting business) decided to self-publish the book.

Haase said that basically meant the two of them went to Kinkos and had the book bound up and sealed.

The first printing was 30,000.

“We got in a van and went to Newton, Kan., and picked them up,” he recalled.

They did a few book signings over Thanksgiving and eventually sold the first printing.

Haase said he recalls printing about 8,000 more books, with most of them being sold.

In the book business, selling 38,000 is a solid effort for a self-published book. On Amazon.com, there are nine reviews of “Floor Burns.” Eight of them are positive.

Crown Point coach Clint Swan, who coached with Horvath at Andrean, said the book was very well received in coaching circles.

For Haase, who kept in touch with Horvath through Facebook, the book is the gift that follows him around everywhere he goes.

He was an assistant for Roy Williams for 13 seasons at North Carolina and Kansas before taking over for Mike Davis at UAB this year.

“To this day, people still come up to me and tell me they read it and they talk about how much they enjoyed it,” he said. “I just had one of my neighbors tell me she did a book report on it. It was just a neat thing Mark did with me.”

Horvath did another book on a Kansas player, Jeff Boschee, called “Longshot: Beating the Odds to Live a Jayhawk Dream.”

Gary Amateur: There is still time but not too much time to sign up for the greatest local golf tournament in Northwest Indiana.

Entries for the Gary Amateur are due by noon on Tuesday. You can fax your entry form to South Gleason Golf Course at 980-2803 or drop it off there. You can also email your entry to Southgleason@inbox.com. The cost of the tournament is $55 — cash only. It will take place on June 8 and 9 at South Gleason Golf Course. Past champions in the field include Dave Vlasic, Bill Smitka and Jim Ford and probably more. This year, a Super Senior division has been added. Thanks in advance to all those who have already signed up.

Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeHuttonPT



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