“Whether you love sports or not, do yourself a favor and read this book.” – Evelyn Van Pelt, Managing Editor/Publisher, The Rebel Walk magazine and website

The Chief: Carl Madison's Life in Football pays tribute to a man who defied humble beginnings to become a legendary high school football coach in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. Although Madison suffered numerous setbacks along the way, and his career was not without controversy, he soared to incredible heights. Over a span of almost fifty years, Carl Madison was tough on the young men he coached, yet he generated loyalty. Many former players credit Madison with impacting their lives beyond the field.

Written by one of Coach Madison's former receivers, The Chief consists of information drawn from newspaper archives and interviews with other former players, assistant coaches, friends, colleagues, and Madison himself.

About the author(s)

Clint Crockett is a native of Pensacola, Florida who played for Carl Madison at Tate High School from 1981–1982. He became a walk-on wide receiver at Ole Miss for a year before determining that his size and talents might be better suited for intramural fields.

After graduating from Ole Miss with a BA in English and an MBA, Clint has spent virtually his entire career in college textbook publishing and educational technology. He currently resides in Oxford, Mississippi with his wife Janna. They have three grown children, Will, Wes, and Reagan.


“This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time! As a sports writer, I am surrounded daily by the stories of young athletes and their coaches. Author Clint Crockett’s book The Chief: Carl Madison’s Life in Football immediately grabbed my interest from the first page. Crockett’s exceptional narrative offers the reader a glimpse into the lasting impact one coach can make — even decades later — on so many. But this isn’t just a story about a player and his coach; it’s an account of life’s big roller-coaster ride of highs and lows and one man’s ability to overcome obstacles and, as Crockett says, ‘not just endure but prevail.’ Whether you love sports or not, do yourself a favor and read this book.

Evelyn Van Pelt - Managing Editor/Publisher, The Rebel Walk magazine and website

"The 1980s was the Golden Age of high school football in Pensacola, Florida, when the likes of Emmitt Smith and Derrick Brooks emerged on the scene and seven state champions from four different schools steamrolled opponents from Florida's larger cities downstate.  More than anyone else, Carl Madison personified the era.  He ushered it in, coaching Tate to the 1980 state title, then guiding Pine Forest to two more state championships, and one national title, later in the decade.  His success alone would make him an icon.  But he is also a fascinating character worthy of Damon Runyan.  Together, they built a legend.  Clint Crockett knows Carl Madison, what it was like to play for him, and how to capture the character of a man who is one of a kind.  This book is a wonderful collection of memories for those who lived through that era, and of entertaining and illuminating tales for those who know only the legend of The Chief."

Dan Shugart, Sports Director, WEAR-TV, Pensacola (1982-present)

"If you have ever wondered what great leaders look like and who they evolve, you need to read this book. My lifelong friend, Clint Crockett, paints a complete picture of Carl Madison's progressive growth over six decades in high school athletics. Although tough and domineering, there is no questioning his love for football and the young men he coached. His impact on the lives he touched was profound and long-lasting."

Jay Bell, former Major League Baseball shortstop, Two-Time All-Star, Gold Glove Winner, and Member of the 2001 World Series champions Arizona Diamondbacks.

"Clint Crockett takes us deep into the soul and driving motivations of a Friday Night Lights great, the "Chief" Carl Madison. One of the most successful coaches ever in the heart of big-time high school football, Madison's well-told story reveals how resilience must match strategy for sustainable winning. Crockett's gridiron saga is a must-read for everyone who's benefitted from a coach's dedication and leadership."

David Magee, Bestselling Author Dear William