A Tell-All Book on the LSU Athletic Department from 1981 to 2003
In the South, Southerners don’t think, they feel; and there’s nothing they feel more passionately about than sports—especially college football. In recent years America’s media-driven, sports-crazed culture has whetted the fan’s appetite and thereby catapulted Division I college athletics into a multibillion-dollar entertainment business that rivals the professional ranks.
Today, no place is this trend more evident than at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, home of the LSU Fighting Tiger football team. Louisiana State University is part of the nation’s toughest athletic subdivision—the mighty Southeastern Conference, and as a large public institution, it is a microcosm of major competitive college football and sports across the Deep South, a region where overall athletic success is not only encouraged, but expected. Since 2005, LSU has won nearly 80 percent of its football games, three conference championships, a BCS National Championship (2007) and a College Football Playoff Naional Championship (2019).
But LSU has not always been atop the college football world. Why did LSU have six straight losing seasons in football? How did LSU AthletSynopsisics survive the losing years? Who is responsible? How did LSU rise from the fall? What is it that LSU and other competitive schools have done that has made them so successful in sports so fast? What sets LSU and some of the larger SEC schools apart from other football-playing schools in terms of competitiveness?
Answers to these important questions can be found inside the pages of this must-read book. Written for the serious observer, alumni or fan struggling to realize how the system works, or often fails to work, Inside the Eye of the Tiger is an introspective snapshot of what it’s like to coach in a big-time athletic department where campus politics and winning are regularly at odds.
Often what you see from the outside looking in to the athletic department is not always a true picture of what actually happens. Inside the Eye of the Tiger is the story of what really went on behind the scenes of the LSU Athletic Department over two tumultuous decades in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Hall of Fame LSU Tennis Coach Jerry Simmons’ memoirs of 26 years of coaching is an engaging and sometimes startling read that will once and for all set the record straight on how business was conducted inside the LSU Athletic Department during its roller coaster ride from 1981 to 1998, and beyond. As told to author Chris Warner by Jerry Simmons in a straightforward, provocative style characteristic of his maverick personality, this is a must-read for anyone hoping to enter the big business of college athletics, whether coaching or administratively; as it is the tell-all sports book that will for the better forever alter the stereotype of the modern, big-time Southern athletic department.
This is a politically-correct book.
Jerry Simmons A native of West Texas, and a former LSU tennis player, Simmons coached LSU Men’s Tennis for 15 years. A 1964 Palo Duro High School graduate from Amarillo, he was the 1965 Globe News Male Tennis Player of the Year. Simmons played college tennis at LSU for a year and at West Texas State (Now West Texas A&M) University in Canyon, Texas from 1967-69, where he maintained the No. 1 singles position and was the Buffaloes' team captain. A self-proclaimed blend of the lives and philosophies of U.S. Army General George S. Patton, UCLA Coach John Wooden and 6th-century B.C. Chinese General Sun Tzu, before coaching LSU Tennis, he was the Men’s Head Tennis Coach at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette for 11 years. At LSU, six years after his hiring, he was named National Tennis Coach of the Year, in 1988. Having won over 70 percent of his college matches (492–197 .714), he remains the youngest coach inducted into the United States Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame (1998) at 52. He is a member of the West Texas State (West Texas A&M) Hall of Fame (2017) and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame (2018). At LSU he had 13 NCAA Tournament appearances, going 278-105 in that span. Simmons reached the prestigious Elite Eight in the NCAA Tourney five times and won the SEC in 1985, while earning SEC Coach of the Year honors in 1988 and 1997. Simmons coached 37 All-SEC honorees, 24 All-Americans, 19 Academic All-Americans, one NCAA singles champion (1989) and notched a 128-42 record in NCAA play.
Chris Warner is the author of over 20 books, including “A Tailgater’s Guide to SEC Football Vol. V,” the Bible of SEC Football, “The Wagon to Disaster,” with HealthSouth CFO Aaron Beam, “The Ulysses Long Story,” about Dale Brown getting four-term Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards to pardon a black man from Angola State Penitentiary, “Bushwhacked at the Flora-Bama,” the history of the iconic beachside haunt, with patriarch Joe Gilchrist, as well as six novels, “The Tiger Among Us,” a fictional story on international terrorism with Recon Marine/Air Force Pararescue Daniel Waghelstein, set at LSU in 1990, “Professional Bone,” a novel based on the HealthSouth scandal, a campy series: “Saved at the Alabama-Florida Line”(Nominated, Best Piece of Fiction by an Alabama author, Alabama Library Association 2017), “They Met at the Alabama-Florida Line,” “Trouble at the Alabama-Florida Line,” and a novella, “Santa & Sam,“ among other titles. He has completed but not published, “The Principal of Influence,” the story of Richard Scott Rogers, a British con man and vicious pedophile hiding in plain sight as a Baton Rouge scion and talk show host for over a dozen years, whose demise in the viper pit of Louisiana politics was the Media Story of the Year in Louisiana in 2014. Chris holds a doctorate from the University of New Orleans and is a double graduate of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. A New Iberia, Louisiana native, he lives in Perdido Key, Florida.