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About The Book

Heart of a Spartan is an oversize coffee table book (10.75" x 10.75") that captures the winningest back-to-back seasons in MSU football history. Relive the glory of the great victories and greatest moments of 2010-12. See how – and why – a team transformed from tribulations to trophies. Meet the players and coaches who've taken the program to a new level, and see vignettes of 33 of the most important Spartans that have led the program since the 40's.

The Author

Jack Ebling has covered sports and more as a writer and broadcaster in Mid-Michigan since 1978. A three-time Michigan Sportswriter of the Year, he was a 2006 inductee into the Greater Lansing Area Sports Hall of Fame. Heart of a Spartan is his seventh book, following Spartan Champions, JUD: A Magical Journey, Magic Moments, Green Glory and Tales from the Detroit Tigers Dugout, volumes I and II. A two-time graduate of MSU, he has contributed more than 125 pieces for national publications and is the editor/columnist for Greater Lansing sport magazine. He is also the columnist for 247Sports' Spartan Tailgate website. The former English teacher and coach spent nearly a quarter-century as a beat writer and columnist for the Lansing State Journal and has won 21 major writing awards.

The Photographer

Matthew Mitchell has been a full-time freelance photographer for eight years, shooting all types of events. He has been the MSU Athletic Communications photographer since 2008, handling 25 varsity sports - the perfect blend of two passions, athletics and photography. The Grand Rapids native is a frequent contributor to Greater Lansing sport magazine. He and his wife, Jill, live in East Lansing with their three children.

Inside The Book

  • 288-page coffee table style
  • Full-color photography from every game
  • Week-by-week columns and commentary
  • Profiles of the leaders on and off the field
  • A look at what makes the program unique
  • Rich memories from past spartan standouts

Book Signings

Upcoming

  • Nov 29 10:00-11:30 am w/ author Jack Ebling
    Barnes & Noble - Lansing Mall
    5132 West Saginaw Highway Lansing, MI (map)
  • Past

    • Aug 9 w/ author Jack Ebling
      Reno's East
      1310 Abbot Road, East Lansing, MI (map)
    • Aug 14 5:30-7:00 pm w/ author Jack Ebling
      Meet the Spartans - Downtown East Lansing
      Corner of Albert and M.A.C., East Lansing, MI (map)
    • Aug 19 11:00-1:00 pm w/ author Jack Ebling
      Weather Mark Tavern
      1503 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL (map)
    • Aug 19 3:00-5:00 pm w/ author Jack Ebling
      Dave and Busters
      1030 N Clark St, Chicago, IL (map)
    • Aug 23 w/ author Jack Ebling
      Walnut Hills
      2874 Lake Lansing Rd, East Lansing, MI (map)
    • Aug 31 3:00-5:00 pm w/ author Jack Ebling
      Student Book Store
      421 E Grand River Ave, East Lansing, MI (map)
    • Sep 13 5:00-7:00 pm w/ author Jack Ebling
      Meijer - Okemos
      2055 West Grand River Ave, Okemos, MI (map)
    • Sep 15 10:00 am w/ author Jack Ebling
      Schuler Books - Eastwood Towne Center
      2820 Towne Center Blvd, Lansing, MI (map)
    • Sep 22 Noon-2:00 pm w/ author Jack Ebling
      Spartan Bookstore - International Center MSU
      1 International Ctr, East Lansing, MI (map)
    • Oct 7 Noon-2:00 pm w/ Keith Nichol and author Jack Ebling
      Meijer - Lowell
      11901 Fulton Street East, Lowell, MI (map)
    • Oct 14 1:00-3:00 pm w/ author Jack Ebling
      Barnes & Noble - Lansing Mall
      5132 West Saginaw Highway Lansing, MI (map)
    • Oct 15 6:30-8:30 pm w/ author Jack Ebling
      East Lansing Public Library
      950 Abbot Road, East Lansing, MI (map)
    • Oct 27 12:30-2:30 pm w/ speaker & author Jack Ebling
      MSUAA Tailgate - Memorial Union Madison WI
      800 Langdon Street, Madison, WI (map)
    • Nov 1 6:00-9:00 pm w/ speaker & author Jack Ebling
      Ann Arbor Spartans - Cottage Inn
      512 E. William, Ann Arbor, MI (map)
    • Nov 2 11:45 am w/ author Jack Ebling
      Downtown Coaches Club Luncheon - Eagle Eye
      15500 Chandler Road, Bath Township, MI (map)
    • Nov 3 12-2:00 pm w/ author Jack Ebling
      Student Book Store
      421 E Grand River Ave, East Lansing, MI (map)
    • Nov 23 11:00 am - 1:00 pm w/ author Jack Ebling
      Barnes & Noble - Lansing Mall
      5132 West Saginaw Highway, Lansing, MI (map)
    • Nov 23 2:00-4:00pm w/ author Jack Ebling
      Everybody Reads
      2019 East Michigan Avenue, Lansing Charter Township, MI (map)
    • Nov 29 6:00-8:30 pm w/ speaker & author Jack Ebling
      MSU Alumni Club of South Florida
      Dave and Buster's
      3000 Oakwood Blvd, Hollywood, FL (map)
    • Nov 30 5:00-8:00 pm w/ speaker & author Jack Ebling
      MSU Alumni Club of Fort Meyers
      Cross Creek Estates Clubhouse
      12501 Cross Creek Boulevard, Fort Myers, FL (map)
    • Dec 1 11:30 - 2:30 pm w/ speaker & author Jack Ebling
      MSU Alumni Club of Tampa
      Lee Roy Selmon's American Grill
      4302 West Boy Scout Boulevard, Tampa, FL (map)
    • Dec 9 Noon - 2:00 pm w/ author Jack Ebling
      Schuler Books - Meridian Mall
      1982 West Grand River Avenue, Okemos, MI (map)
    • Dec 10 7:00-8:00 pm w/ author Jack Ebling
      Tom Izzo Radio Show
      Reno's East
      1310 Abbot Road, East Lansing, MI (map)
    • Dec 12 6:30-8:30 pm w/ speaker & author Jack Ebling
      MSU Alumni of Metro Detroit
      MSU Detroit Center
      3408 Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI (map)

      Facebook event
    • Dec 16 2:00-4:00 pm w/ author Jack Ebling
      Barnes & Noble - Lansing Mall
      5132 West Saginaw Highway, Lansing, MI (map)

Spartan Excerpts

Javon Ringer on finally beating Michigan

"To finally beat them at their place made us all so happy. It all taught me how to deal with adversity and negative people. I just wish I could go there again now."

Mark Dantonio didn't jump for joy

"Instead, he recalled a leap of faith. It was an August day when he told his Michigan State football players, "We WILL BE Big Ten Champions." Three months later, after Saturday's school-record 11th win, he can change "will be" to "are". It said as much – and much, much more – on the sweet-looking hats that Dantonio, a devoted staff and 69 devout believers in uniform wore after a 28- 22 win at Penn State. Nothing can ever take that away – not the cynics who searched for lingering traces of "Same Old Spartans" DNA and not the BCS or its independent selection committees. The only similarity was the scary way Game 12 ended. But this time, MSU made the plays. It ran the ball when it wanted to run. It even recovered an onside kick. And it finished the job at Beaver Stadium, a house of horrors for MSU that went from awful to half-full in three-and-a-half quarters. The Spartans hadn't won in Sad Valley since Duffy Daugherty got the best of rip Engle, 23-0 in 1965 – 10 helmet changes ago. They'd lost eight straight times in State College, starting in 1994 and continuing in every year with a Congressional election. It had been longer than that – 20 years, to be exact – since MSU had won a Big Ten football title. Only Indiana and Minnesota had seen longer droughts. But they don't elect or anoint the league's best. They add up the victories. And the Spartans will match resumes with Wisconsin, Ohio State or any other one-loss team."

A Nice Ring To It

"It was cute at first, then downright comical – three young kids doing pigskin pirouettes on the playground. Finally, one helmet-less player added his own play-by-play: "Le'Veon Bell . . . spins . . . and he's in!" the boy broadcast to an audience of two. "Touchdown, Michigan State!" So what if the youngster weighed barely a third of his hero's 238 pounds? Bell wasn't always the biggest, baddest running back in the Big Ten, either. But heading into his junior year, there's a good chance he will be. Bell can pick a hole like a locksmith, splat defenders like bugs on a windshield and deliver a stiff-arm like a George Foreman jab. He can block. He can catch. And if you catch him smiling, it's never a shock – unless he's carrying the football. From two-star recruit to too strong, Bell has been one of the best surprises of Mark Dantonio's first five seasons as head coach of the Spartans. If he does what he can, it won't be a shock if more baby boys in the Midwest are named Le'Veon than ever before."

Kirk Cousins Has Seen It All, Given His All

"He could have been an Iowa Hawkeye. Growing up outside Chicago with black-and-gold bloodlines, cheering for his do-it-all hero, that was Kirk Cousins' dream. Or he could have played in Spartan Stadium and quarterbacked a Mid-American Conference visitor. After being slow-played by the former Michigan State coaching staff, that seemed like a logical plan. But he who hesitates is . . . still available. Better late than never, Kirk Cousins finally got a scholarship offer from new head coach Mark Dantonio in January 2007. And it's tough to say who got the better of that deal, a perfect blend of fate and faith. This much we can say: MSU has never had a better leader under center or a better representative for the school, the conference and college football."