TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Bill Courtney overcame a humble upbringing to become a successful coach, businessman and author.
Courtney, who spoke at the Tupelo Rotary Club on Monday, began his career as a high school teacher and football coach.
He was the subject of a documentary film called "Undefeated," which chronicled the 2009 season at Manassas High School in Memphis. The film won an Academy Award in 2012.
In 2016, Courtney wrote the book "Against The Grain," and he talked with WTVA's Andy Lee about what the title of his book means.
"Go against the grain of societal pre-conceived notions about race and creed and color," Courtney said. "Throw political correctness in the trash where it ought to be, and start having real conversations about all the things that matter. Just do it in a non-threatening and civil way so we can grow to understand one another and work together again."
Courtney, a Memphis native and an Ole Miss alum, is also the founder and CEO of Classic American Hardwoods.