Ben Cohen

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Leading With The Heart

“Leading with the heart” was published in The Chronicle on Sept. 22, 2008. The story is about Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe, who took the charge to resuscitate a hapless program just more than three years after he underwent triple-bypass surgery for a 99-percent blocked artery that he obstinately ignored.

I wrote the story off an exclusive interview with Cutcliffe, to whom I pitched the story that no one else had written. The day of publication, I received a personal note from Cutcliffe himself, who took a break from analyzing game film to tell me he appreciated how accurate and honest the story was. He told me enjoyed the piece, too, but the fact that he acknowledged the story’s factual correctness meant more than anything.

It takes a long time to get there, but the end of this story is perhaps my favorite part.

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