About Rex Kern

Photo by Tania Sussman

Rex Kern was an All-Ohio athlete in three sports at four positions: basketball, baseball, and both quarterback and safety in football. His dream was to play varsity basketball and football at Ohio State. He did become Ohio State’s starting quarterback his sophomore year, but due to surgeries was unable to continue his OSU basketball career. After graduation, he played for the Baltimore Colts and the Buffalo Bills, starting at cornerback, a new position, and safety during his four NFL seasons. In 2007, Rex was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

When injuries ended his football career, his goal was to work toward becoming the Athletic Director at Ohio State. Despite his Ph.D. in athletic administration, athletic accomplishments, and off-season experience, that door was closed. Fortunately, lifelong mentor and friend Jack Havens led Rex to success in a start-up company, acquisitions, banking, and investments.

Rex wanted a memoir to recognize and honor dozens of his past mentors, as well as guide and inform future generations of the Kern family. He was convinced to open that book to friends, Buckeye fans, and anyone who might enjoy an All-American story. — Lee Caryer

Rex Recommends

“Jerry Lucas starred in and won a championship for one of the great teams in college basketball history at Ohio State in 1960; then for the 1960 gold medal U.S. Olympic team, then the 1973 New York Knicks, considered one of the smartest teams in history. Jerry was inducted into the Naismith HOF in 1980; the 1960 U.S. Olympic team was inducted into the HOF in 2010. Now we learn that his first championship team, the 1956 Middletown Middies, had more than their share of talent and stories as well. Plus, this book presents an innovative approach to improved memory. And, we get a new ‘Woody Story.’ This is quite a value!” —REX KERN

“Remember the commercial from decades ago: ‘CERTS is two, two, two mints in one’? Middie Magic and Mind Magic by Jerry Lucas is two books in one. The first is about a group of fascinating characters who dominated Ohio high school basketball in 1956. The second is an enjoyable approach to learning and memorization. Who doesn’t like a two-for-one?” —LEE CARYER 

“There is much to like about Kirk Herbstreit’s book, Out of the Pocket, from the theme of father and son issues, the Gameday insights, the criticisms he takes for stating his opinion, and more. Among my favorites were the Woody story, the story about Robert Smith rejoining the team, and what Rex said to Kirk’s mother after a Michigan loss. The best chapter was 21, ‘Perspective,’ including the best sentence, ‘College football faces all sorts of issues: transfer portals, Name/Image/Likeness policy, the direction of the CFP, the future of bowls, the role of the NCAA and the rewriting of its antiquated rules, etc.’ College football needs the voice of the fans—Kirk Herbstreit—in the room with coaches, athletic directors, and presidents when discussing these issues.” —LEE CARYER

“For those who enjoyed the chapter titled ‘Race—A Simple Approach to a Complex Issue,’ well-known author John Feinstein has explored the matter more thoroughly in his book Raise a Fist, Take a Knee: Race and the Illusion of Progress in Modern Sports. Based on interviews with dozens of Black people working in sports—mostly men—the book concentrates on a history of Black quarterbacks, coaches, and general managers in the NFL; pitchers, managers, and general managers in MLB; and players and coaches in the NBA.

There are two recurring themes. First, Black people have two full time jobs: the job they are paid to do and the job of living in a white society. Second, DWB. The letters stand for ‘Driving While Black,’ and being stopped by police for no other reason. This book will make you uncomfortable, and informed.”

“There are two aspects to mentoring: Being mentored and mentoring others. In The Road to the Horseshoe and Beyond, I focused on those who mentored me and my appreciation for their interest. In this book, written in 2009, Coach Wooden begins with his mentors, but concentrates the book on having others explain how they were mentored by him. You will note memorable players Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton, as well as basketball coaches Roy Williams and Dale Brown, and also meet people whose stories will be completely new.

For those who wish to share their good fortune by helping guide younger friends and relatives, I strongly recommend this book.”


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