"Coach Z" Rich Zvosec


Drink, swear, steal and lie your way to success

About Coach Z:

Coach Z has received awards in the coaching field as well as the television community. In 2005 he became one of only 35 active college basketball coaches to be selected Coach of the Year in two different Division I conferences at two separate schools. That year he was selected the Mid-Continent Conference, College Insider and CBSSportlsine Coach of the Year for his team’s performance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC).

He has built a strong reputation for turning programs around, has built or rebuilt programs at each of his stops on his coaching journey. At two of his four head coaching assignments he departed as the all-time Winningest coach.

At 27, he was the youngest Division I head coach in the country at St. Francis College in New York. In his third season the Terriers recorded their most Division I wins in two decades and was named the Northeast Conference Coach of the Year.

He then built the University of North Florida program from scratch. In only their fourth season of existence he led them to the championship game of the Sunshine State Conference. Along the way his team knocked off three nationally ranked teams.

His tenure at UMKC produced historic wins and results. Not only is he the all-time winningest coach, but has the most tournament wins as well as the longest winning streak in school history (11, top ten in the country in 2005). He led the Kangaroos to their first win over Kansas State, a 41 point win that was the fifth largest margin of victory in school history. Coach Z also had the second highest winning percentage in the Mid-Continent Conference during his six seasons.

Coach Z preaches the benefits of living a well-rounded life. The proof is in the actions as he has authored numerous magazine articles and has a new book titled, “Birds, Dogs and Kangaroos (Life on the Back Roads of College Basketball).

He has appeared in six films, including Along Came a Spider, along with an episode of Friday Night Lights. He has become a mainstay in the commercial industry. And in 2002 he received a Telly and for his UMKC season ticket commercial.


Drink, swear, steal and lie your way to success

Coach Z details the four key areas to building a successful team. Listen as he challenges his audience to

a) Believe in yourself and your team,
b) Never stop learning,
c) Fill the void and
d) Eat the heart of a watermelon.

Loading your backpack for a lifetime journey

Make sure you have all the right ingredients to lead a successful life. Learn the importance of developing you three major bones. Coach Z will explain how your wishbone, backbone and funny bone will play a vital role in a successful future.

Picturize life---- the passion within

See yourself not only winning, but being successful as well. Coach Z will give you the tools to see your life the way you want it to be. He will help you unlock the passion inside each and every one.

Turning adversity into advantage

Life is about what happens to you, but success is determined by how you react to what life throws at you. In 2005, I walked into the locker room after my team had just lost for the 7th time in a row, which kept us winless on the year. Instead of dwelling on the negative I set the stage for a monstrous comeback by taking them to see Flight of the Phoenix. Following the movie we ripped off a school record 11 wins in a row, which included and undefeated month of January. Learn the secrets of looking at a rock as not an obstacle, but rather a stepping-stone.


Written with great humor, candor and resolve by former UMKC Coach Rich Zvosec, Birds, Dogs & Kangaroos: Life on the Back Roads of College Basketball will fascinate all sports fans.

Coach Z, as he is nicknamed, was the head coach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City for six years. He takes readers into a world of coaching that will have you asking, “Why do they do it?” And you will learn that for Coach Z, the answer is, “because he loves it.” Experience what life was like for a
coach whose team’s travel budget was less than the cost of UCLA’s media guide. Zvosec is a Big Mac in the fillet mignon world of coaching – but don’t be offended by that comment,
Coach Z certainly wouldn’t be. After all, he’s conducted home press conferences in a stall used to clean up cattle after the American Royal livestock show, lost his home-field advantage to Wal-Mart and Larry “The Cable” Guy and missed his 18th anniversary while recruiting for a new athletic director who fired him on his birthday.

Birds, Dogs & Kangaroos: Life on the Back Roads of College Basketball illuminates the grueling and demanding role of a coach in the low-majors. It’s a world that is less about the art of coaching, and more about the art of fundraising, commuting and figuring out how to replace uniforms after they are stolen off the team’s bus.

Birds, Dogs & Kangaroos: takes the reader on a journey that ends with remarkable life lessons.



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