If anyone knows tough, it’s Jay Bilas. A four-year starter at Duke, he learned a strong work ethic under Coach Mike Krzyzewski, battling against some of the greatest college players in the game. After playing professionally overseas, he returned to Duke, where he served as Krzyzewski’s assistant coach for three seasons, helping to guide the Blue Devils to two national championships. A graduate of Duke Law School, he has since become one of basketball’s most recognizable faces through his insightful analysis on ESPN’s SportsCenter and College GameDay.

Through ups and downs, on and off the court, Bilas learned the true meaning of toughness from coaches, teammates, and colleagues. Now, in Toughness, he examines this misunderstood—yet vital—attribute and how it contributes to winning in sports and in life. True toughness is crucial in every arena—professional, personal, and sports—and is made up of skills that can be learned.

To Bilas, toughness is not about intimidation. Players who go nose to nose in an effort to scare an opponent or incite a fight are not necessarily tough. Toughness is learned over a lifetime of preparation. It comes from discipline, a team-oriented mind-set, and belief in yourself.

Featuring never-before-heard stories and personal philosophies on toughness from top players and coaches, including Coach K, Bob Knight, Grant Hill, Mia Hamm, Jon Gruden, Tom Izzo, Roy Williams, Bill Self, Curtis Strange, and many others, Toughness redefines what it takes to succeed.

"Toughness" can be found on bookshelves March 5, 2013.

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  • "Honest and inspiring, Jay Bilas explores the many tenants of toughness and shares personal stories and interviews with some of the best athletes and coaches. Toughness is critical to gaining an edge in sports and life, and this book provides lessons to help you succeed from a well-respected expert."

    - Jim Nantz

    "If you want the true definition of toughness as it relates to sports and life, this is a must read. Jay Bilas has acquired a wealth of knowledge from his basketball career as a player, coach and analyst. Jay's descriptions and illustrations are Awesome Baby with a capital A!"

    - Dick Vitale, ESPN

    "Jay Bilas gives meaning to one of the most overused words in sports. Bilas explains the complexity of acquiring and utilizing all aspects of toughness, be it mental or physical, both on and off the playing field. It is a great description of a concept and value we all need in our lives."

    - Coach Jim Calhoun, UConn

    "Tough it out. Be tough. Stay tough. How often do we hear that in sports and life? It's the go-to answer for any problem. We all want toughness. Jay Bilas take this intangible concept and gives it concrete meaning. The inspiring and humbling stories of truly tough people are written artfully, and show that being tough isn't just a catchall cliché, it's a transforming personal value.  Jay does a brilliant job illustrating why toughness is a quality I want to cultivate in my life every day."

    - Rece Davis, ESPN

    "Make sure you are holding a yellow highlighter when you read this book. There is an incredible amount of wit and wisdom in these pages, thanks to the dedication, hard work and -- yes -- toughness Jay Bilas demonstrated by talking to all of these people. Reading this book won't make you tough, but it will teach you how to get there."

    - Seth Davis, Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports

    "TOUGHNESS brings a word alive and gives it meaning. We hear it all the time in every broadcast, but Bilas helps articulate it and puts it into context. And he does it with the help of a true cast of sports legends who have toughness cred. It is one thing to talk about toughness, but another thing to understand it. Bilas makes us appreciate the meaning of true toughness."

    - Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN Sr. National Columnist

    Jay's new book, "TOUGHNESS" will be available from Penguin Group USA, March 5, 2013 Toughness by Jay Bilas
    Check out the video from the 2011 Jay Bilas Skills Academy at Charlotte Latin School. This summer Jay's camp will be held June 12-15, 2014.

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    IMG Speakers
    To book Jay Bilas for an event or corporate gathering, contact IMG Speakers.

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    ESPN College Gameday
    Join Jay Bilas on television's hottest roadshow where he provides expert commentary from courtside on college basketball games with ESPN's popular studio show, "College GameDay."

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