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Ray Sanchez Books

“The Good, the Bad and the Funny of El Paso Sports History”, released on November 13, 2013


is available directly from Ray Sanchez at  (915) 584-0626 or rayf358@yahoo.com, www.raysanchezbooks.com,


Barnes and Noble Bookstores and www.Amazon.com.


Books are available at the UTEP Bookstore.

Books will also be available at PDX Printing located at I-10 Exit 18B (Porfirio Diaz Street near UTEP) in El Paso, Texas.




Basketball’s Biggest Upset (Texas Western changed the sport with a win over Kentucky in 1966).

Here you will find the true and detailed story of the Miners' march to the 1966 NCAA basketball championship.  Coach Don Haskins

has called Basketball's Biggest Upset the most accurate account of that miraculous season.  The book includes

backgrounds of all the players as well as that of the coaches plus exciting play-by-play descriptions of the most

important games of that year.

Haskins: The Bear Facts (An autobiography of legendary UTEP basketball coach Don Haskins.


E-Book Haskins: The Bear Facts by Ray Sanchez


The Miners (The history of sports at University of Texas at El Paso co-written with Bob Ingram)


El Paso’s Greatest Sports Heroes I Have Known (A historical novel).


The gods of Racing (A humorous novel about the many trials and tribulations of horse racing fans).


From Browns to Diablos (The history of professional baseball in El Paso co-written with Bob Ingram).



Headlines by Ray Sanchez


Sports In El Paso, Texas


Ray Sanchez was sports writer then sports editor at the El Paso Herald-Post from 1950 to 1990.


He covered every conceivable local sport and in addition has covered such major events as the World Series, the Super Bowl, the U.S. Open, the Kentucky Derby and other Triple Crown races and for several years covered the Dallas Cowboys’ home and away games.





Ray Sanchez also served as a consultant for the movie

Glory Road about the 1966 Texas Western College Miners team

which won the NCAA national basketball championship.



Ray Sanchez and Josh Lucas discussing the movie.

Josh Lucas portrayed Texas Western coach Don Haskins.




Ray Sanchez has earned many literary awards, including Scripps Howard honors for column writing and news reporting. UTEP presented him with its highest journalism honor, the Hicks-Middagh Award for Excellence in Journalism, in 1993.


He has been inducted into five El Paso sports halls of fame. He was inducted into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978, the El Paso High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985, the El Paso Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989, the El Paso Boxing/Karate Hall of Fame in 1993 and the El Paso Golf Hall of Fame in 1995.


In 2011, he was named winner of UTEP's Golden Nugget Award which recognizes exceptional graduates who have distinguished themselves in their professions and lives, given back to their communities and alma mater, and served as an inspiration for future generations of Miners.  




After retiring from the Herald-Post, he wrote a column for the El Paso Times for several years and now is a columnist for El Paso Inc. He has written or co-written six published books on sports and written for numerous national publications. The six books are:


The gods of Racing (A humorous novel about the many trials and tribulations of horse racing fans).


Haskins: The Bear Facts (An autobiography of legendary UTEP basketball coach Don Haskins.


Basketball’s Biggest Upset (Texas Western changed the sport with a win over Kentucky in 1966).


El Paso’s Greatest Sports Heroes I Have Known (A historical novel).


From Browns to Diablos (The history of professional baseball in El Paso co-written with Bob Ingram).


The Miners (The history of sports at University of Texas at El Paso co-written with Bob Ingram)


Ex-UTEP coach Don Haskins' life story, as told by veteran El Paso journalist Ray Sanchez, recently received four new chapters and is being re-released. 

photo courtesy of Ruben Ramirez, the El Paso Times.

                                                           Purchase a Rare Edition signed by all the players






An updated edition of "Haskins: The Bear Facts," the autobiography of legendary Texas Western College and UTEP basketball coach Don Haskins, is once again available on bookstore shelves.

Haskins and veteran El Paso sports writer Ray Sanchez, who compiled Haskins' narrative for the 1987 autobiography, announced the re-release of the book at the University Bookstore.

For this edition, Sanchez has written an addendum that takes the reader to Haskins' retirement in 1999.

The story of Haskins and his history-making 1966 NCAA basketball championship team has been made into a movie, "Glory Road," which will be released to the general public by Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer on Jan. 13, 2006.

"Haskins: The Bear Facts" is available at the University Bookstore, bookstores nationwide, and online bookstores.  The university bookstore also carries a line of TWC apparel and memorabilia.

--David Peregrino
--photo by Laura Trejo

February 2, 2006   Headline: ’66 Iowa-Miners movie game was great editing
One of the complaints most often heard about the movie Glory Road concerns the way the Texas Western Miners-Iowa game was depicted ...  It showed the Miners trailing by as much as 20 points and coach Don Haskins telling Bobby Joe Hill to go ahead and play his style of game … Actually, it was a masterpiece of editing, and I’ll tell you why …
THE ABOVE incidents didn’t happen in the Iowa game – but they happened in other games. … The Miners came from 20 points behind to win and David Palacio was a key player and Hill went wild, just like in the movie, but that was against New Mexico!  … And as for Hill unleashed to play his game, that didn’t happen in the Iowa game, or even that season, as the movie showed. It happened the previous season ...
DO YOU see what Disney did? The Iowa game was important because it was the first time the Miners beat a ranked team (Iowa was No. 5 at the time). The Miners’ victory over New Mexico was the greatest comeback of the season and showed what the Miners were made of. And Hill was unstoppable after Haskins threw up his hands and let Hill loose … Filming separate games would have made the movie much longer so director James Gartner and whoever else was responsible incorporated those three extremely important facts into one scene …
OKAY, SO you would like to find out how, where and when those key things really happened? There’s only one place you can find that in detail – as well as the way other things really happened that season -- and that’s in the book “Basketball’s Biggest Upset.” … As the book’s promo says: “Here you will find the true story of the Miners’ march to the 1966 NCAA championship.” …

January, 2006

Headline: Glory Road movie makes the 1966 Miners come to life

The 1966 Texas Western College Miners have brought us fame, thrills and joy beyond our wildest dreams and will continue to do so for generations … The books written about them are fine, but there’s nothing like a movie. You can see, feel and almost touch the people in a movie. Disney out-did itself in making it all come to life with Glory Road …
AND DID you like the movie? Many, many people do. And who better to ask for opinions than those close to me ... My daughter Anita, who saw it in Las Vegas where she lives now: “I loved it. People applauded. I went to school there when it happened. What a thrill. I cried.”… My son Victor, who saw the movie in Austin where he lives now: “It was great. I hadn’t seen people applaud after a movie in a long time.” …
Another son, David, who lives in Irving: “I didn’t hear any applause but everybody in the theater was crying.” … A neighbor, Mario Erivez: “I got chills from start to finish.” … Golfing buddy Martin Smith: “One of the best movies I ever saw.” …
COACH Don Haskins got applause and laughs when he appeared in the movie in El Paso theaters and even got some out of town … Anita reports she heard a couple of chuckles when his scene showed up in Las Vegas ... Figures. He played many games there …
REVIEWS from around the country were mostly great. Here’s my favorite because it’s short and to the point: "Glory Road's greatest strength is that it's just a great story, acted well." -- Bob Strauss, LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS … There have been stories in newspapers nationwide, from the Dallas Morning News to the New York Times, plus radio and TV interviews with Haskins and some of the players …
BUT THE two things that count the most in rating the movie: Glory Road was the country’s top money making movie for the 4-day opening weekend, hitting $16.93 million … And Roger Ebert, the most respected critic of all, gives it thumbs up and three stars …
BUT I would be remiss as a newsman if I said there was no disagreement. Several folks I know believe the race angle was overdone. One who doesn’t mind speaking his mind in public is Kevin Lovell, general manager of KVIA-TV Channel 7 in El Paso. Here’s what he wrote:
 “Had the movie depicted racism just as it was for the Texas Western team in 1966 that would have been story enough. However to greatly exaggerate the racism detracts from the real story. I found the fictitious scene where Haskins tells the team he will only play the black players to be nothing short of appalling. It soured for me on what otherwise was a very enjoyable film. Haskins would never make such an overt racial statement. He was playing his best players and because they happened to be black and that shows he was entirely color blind - something Disney obviously felt was not compelling enough to sell tickets.” …
EVERYONE is entitled to his opinion. I can only speak for myself. I loved the movie … It was exciting, inspiring and historic … I think it will go down as a classic as time goes by … Would I even dare say that it’s better than Hoosiers?
Ray Sanchez is a veteran sports journalist and author. Suggestions for his
column welcome. Call him at 584-0626 or email him at rayf358@yahoo.com

December, 2005   Headline:  Bear, players and their share of  'Glory Road' money 

By Ray Sanchez


   Some people think Don Haskins is a rich man today because of the movie Glory Road, which is about Texas Western College’s march to the NCAA national basketball championship in 1966.
   “I have been asked if I’m a millionaire now,” the former UTEP basketball coach says with a frown.
   Not so, although he would have been a lot better off financially if it weren’t for an extraordinary act of generosity on his part.
   Disney Studios paid him $300,000 for the rights to his part in the movie. Each of the seven black players who played in the championship game against University of Kentucky was paid $7,500. The five white players on the team were not included in any up-front money.
   When Haskins learned how much his players received he wasn’t satisfied. He told Disney officials to split his share with the players and his assistant coach and trainer. Not only that, he told Disney he wanted some money to go to members of the athletic department who were at Texas Western College at the time.
   And he insisted that Disney do the bookkeeping.
   “I must have driven the accounting department crazy,” Haskins says. “They kept telling me how difficult it was doing all that figuring and writing all those different checks but I kept insisting on it. After all, this was a team victory, not just my victory.”
   There was some other earlier front money and Bobby Joe Hill and David Lattin had signed a contract with ESPN which had been planning another movie. So when all was done and figured, each of the principal members involved wound up with, roughly, $32,000 – as did Haskins.
   Haskins can’t remember exactly how much each of the then-members of the athletic department (which included the athletic director, sports information office, secretaries and others) got but, Haskins says, “it was $4000 here, $4500 there and so on.”
   There may be more money to come, depending on how the movie does financially.
   All that was before it was announced that a Disney subsidiary, Hyperion Press, wanted Haskins to collaborate with author Dan Wetzel on a book which would carry the same name as the movie. Haskins could make more out of that than he did with the movie.
   Hyperion Press paid him a fee up front (Haskins can only say it was a “good sum”) and he will get a share of every book sold since he is listed as the co-author with Wetzel.
The book has the full backing of Disney and its promotion department and is expected to do very well financially. The book, in paperback, retails for $14.95 and is already in book stores and on internet web sites around the country. Haskins has been asked to attend book signings.
      The seven black players on the team were Hill, Lattin, Harry Flournoy, Orsten Artis, Nevil Shed, Willie Worsley and Willie Cager. The white players were Jerry Armstrong, David Palacio, Dick Myers, Louie Baudoin and Togo Railey.
   Shed, an outspoken member of the team, said from his home in San Antonio that he can’t remember the exact amount he received and added that money was not a big thing with him. “It’s a great story and I’m glad it’s being told,” he said.
   The players were in town this week for a Sunday book signing of the book Glory Road and were to attend a special showing of the movie on Monday at Cinemark Theater on the West Side.
   The Miners finished their memorable 1966 season with a record of 28-1 and a 72-65 victory over Kentucky in the finals of the NCAA tournament. It was the first time five black players had started in the finals of the meet.


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