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Heinz brings ‘Untouchables’ book signing to Proctorville

Staff Report


A starting player for the 1960-61 “Untouchables” basketball team that mesmerized the tri-state area more than a half- century ago has launched a book about its indomitable coach Carl York, and it’s set to hit area bookshelves just in time for the coming holiday season.

Joe Heinz, now living in Michigan, spent the better part of three years researching the life and times of York. His book, entitled “Carl York — The Untouchable Coach,” is a tribute of some 300 pages to a beloved mentor who guided Fairland High School’s varsity basketball team to a season that captivated thousands, and established York as a living legend.

“For decades, I waited for someone—anyone—to surface with a historical account of one of the greatest men I’ve ever know,” says Heinz, who was largely inspired by York to himself become an educator and basketball coach.

“But I grew tired of waiting, and set out to do it myself. In the process, I came to know Coach York in ways that transcend even those years when I was privileged to be a part of his team.”

Heinz interviewed dozens of individuals for his biographical memoir— former players, students, administrators, educators, and York’s surviving family members. He even tracked down and quoted the now-80-year-old sportswriter who chronicled Fairland’s dramatic bid for the state championship in 1961.

“In every instance, people who remembered Coach York were eager to share their memories of him,” says Heinz.

“And those memories helped paint a picture of a man who used his gifts to advance the cause of others.”

Heinz’s book is available for $19.99 by cash, check or money order. He’ll debut his book on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at Fairland High School during a basketball tournament there.

Anyone purchasing a book that evening can have it signed not only by Heinz, but York’s surviving family members, as well as some of the Untouchables who plan to be on hand.

Heinz will also offer signed copies for sale at the following places and times:

• Saturday, Dec. 12 at Fairland High School from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

• Sunday, Dec. 13 at First Baptist Church of Proctorville from 12:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.

• Monday, Dec. 14 at Marshall University Bookstore from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

• Monday, Dec. 14 at Empire Books & News in Huntington from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.

• Tuesday, Dec. 15 at Mullens Area Public Library from noon until 2 p.m.

To order copies by mail, or to interview or arrange a book signing and presentation by the author, contact Joe Heinz directly at: heinzsight@comcast.net, or phone him at: (616) 363-2219.