About the Book
“ … I worked in the Leonard mine which was the turning point of my life. I was put in a tunnel and was scared to death. I thought for certain I would not get out alive. I came home and told Patty that if I had to work in the mine we were going to starve. … “ How did this young man, a hard rock miner from Butte Montana, rise from the depths of a mine tunnel to one day stand beside two Presidents and among two National Championship college football teams? From a dirty and dangerous mine to stand beside Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testeverde and coaches of the caliber of Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson? How did this young man rise from that dark, cold mine shaft to become Chief executive Officer of the New England patriots? How did this man expand a football stadium in Pullman Washington from 24,000 to 39,000 seats – with no cost to the tax payer? Sam Jankovich came to the surface of the Leonard mine and rose to the top of his chosen profession of athletics. From state championship teams in Butte -- to assistant coaching at universities in Montana and Washington -- to Athletic Director at Washington State and the University of Miami – to CEO of the Patriots. All along the way earning induction into the Halls of Fame of these institutions. As the editor of Sam’s memoirs I learned the answers to these questions. Sentence by sentence – paragraph by paragraph – page by page – place to place. I found the answers in words like ‘character’, ‘loyalty’, ‘quality’ and ‘consistency’ bubbling up from the pages. I began to see the character of the man as golden threads woven through the fabric of his life and career. Part of the fabric and yet distinctly visible. The story of Sam Jankovich is in these pages, but it is not a story of “I”. Rather, it seems subsumed and surrounded by the many stories of the “others” of Sam’s life. You will run across constantly recurring phrases as “… a wonderful man” “ … a wonderful person” “… a dear friend”, “a wonderful woman”
Don Johnson was raised in Butte, Montana and joined the Navy in 1964 at 20 years of age. Following his years of active duty, including a tour to the Vietnam war zone in 1966, he finished college with a degree in mathematics from San Diego State University and entered the field of software development. Don's connection with the Navy did not end at the completion of his enlistment. For many years after his destroyer assignments he was a software developer at Cubic Defense Systems, slinging code for the US Navy & Air Force Tactical Aircrew Combat Training System (TACTS/ACMI), the premier online training system for US and allied combat aircrews. Don has an active blog at "http://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/" writing about politics, faith, culture and science ... things that should never be talked about in polite company. Don has also written a short story "The Old in Apartment 620" also available here.