David Kingsley Snell wrote his first story at age eight (“I am a policeman. Policeman David”) and has been writing ever since. As an adult, his early writing was as a correspondent for ABC News where his assignments included Apollo lunar landings, the Vietnam War and the presidential campaigns of Nixon, Wallace, Carter and Reagan. He covered sports stories from the Kentucky Derby to Henry Aaron Beats The Babe to Willie B’s Super Bowl Sunday (which he did in rhyme).
After thirteen years in network television, David wrote freelance magazine articles while establishing himself as a communications consultant for Fortune 500 companies. Drawing on his network background, he conducted media training for spokespersons from such diverse organizations as Exxon-Moble, Southern Company, the Environmental Protection Agency and the FAA. An outgrowth of that training was his book: Mike Fright: How To Succeed In Media Interviews When Mike Wallace Comes Calling. Mike's comment: “Read your book. Damn good!”
A basketball junkie since his first exposure to the game at Griswold Elementary School in Jackson, Michigan, David’s playing days ended after a year at a small Indiana college where, he says, “I made up for my lack of height by being very slow.” His interviews with the players, Assistant Coach Joe B. Hall and others involved with the Kentucky team gave him an insider’s view of the Rupp’s Runts season. They also served to humanize Adolph Rupp, their larger than life coach who had achieved an iconic status as The Man in the Brown Suit and The Baron of the Bluegrass.
An interview with David “Big Daddy” Lattin, the center on Texas Western’s championship team who wrote Slam Dunk to Glory opened the door to the rest of that team and to stories about their equally colorful coach Don Haskins (players called him The Bear). When Steve Tredennick, a lawyer who played for TWC and graduated the year before the championship season, turned out to be a consummate story-teller about his former teammates and all things Haskins, the game was on. A Kentucky-centric story became multi-dimensional with alternating chapters following both teams through the season to their history-bending meeting at the University of Maryland’s Cole Field House in College Park.
The Baron and the Bear is dedicated to Snell's wife Mary Lou who has listened with a discerning ear as I read each chapter aloud. Her input has been most valuable, her love and support, essential.
David Kingsley Snell with his grandchildren who call him "Bop".