Michael Coffino

David Charnack

Online Profile
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Before becoming a full-time writer and editor, Michael Coffino had two parallel careers: one in the courtroom and the other in the gymnasium. He was a business litigation and trial attorney and legal writing instructor for four decades and concurrently devoted twenty-five years as a basketball coach, primarily at the high school level. He also has a private investigation firm.

He has written or co-authored nine books, including Truth Is in the House, his debut novel.

Michael also ghostwrites a variety of material, including fiction and non-fiction books, web content and blogs, writes articles and blogs, and freelance edits.

Michael grew up in the Bronx, in its Mott Haven and Highbridge neighborhoods. He earned a BS in Education from the City University of New York and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

Michael plays guitar, holds a black belt in karate, is a workout junkie, hikes regularly in the hills and mountains of California and Colorado, and plays pickleball. He lives in Marin County, California.

Awards, Press & Interests

Favorite word


Unexpected skill or talent

Martial Artist

Passion in life


Truth Is in the House: New York Big Book Award, Race Relations, 2021

Truth Is in the House: Pacific Book Awards, Historical Fiction, 2021


Let's Get It

This book sets out a path of success via self-empowerment. In the end, that path is something we each have to determine for ourselves. The journey that follows reflects what worked for Dr. Mudgil - it's no more or less than one person's application of the mindset this book explores. We can each achieve success in our own way and express the best of who we are. It is hoped that each reader will parts of themselves in this book and find ways to redraw or enhance their road map to personal contentment. Let's get it!
Published: Nov. 1, 2020
ISBN: 978-1783241828

My Life

MY LIFE: A Story of Resilience and Love is a memoir that celebrates the beauty of how much self-expression resides in each of us. It is an uncommon saga of unique depth that tracks eight transformative decades, beginning with circumstances that dare the imagination and that became a personal marker for Tom Delebo. From childhood, Tom put his dreams into action with fearless individualism, expressing himself in one endeavor after another, a blueprint for how to live an engaged life. He would learn, too, that fueling his relentless drive was a profound quest for personal connection and love. It has been quite the ride.
Published: Oct. 7, 2019
ISBN: 978-1684565344

Odds-On Basketball Coaching

In basketball, as in most sports, a large part of a coach’s responsibility is to prepare his or her team for games. Yet, little time in practice is typically devoted to readying the players and coaches for specific game situations. For instance, what are the various ways to use dead ball moments to maximum advantage? What adjustments should be made to launch a comeback in particular circumstances? When is it favorable to purposefully miss a foul shot? In Odds-On Basketball Coaching: Crafting High-Percentage Strategies for Game Situations, Michael J. Coffino presents an innovative system for coaches to prepare for specific game scenarios. Coffino challenges coaches to think differently about what they emphasize in practice, placing greater value on preparing for recurring game situations, crafting strategies by assessing the odds, and creating a culture that elevates how players think about the game. Each chapter begins with an actual game scenario that illustrates the chapter’s content and includes discussions of notable college and professional basketball games in order to demonstrate specific points. Odds-On Basketball Coaching provides a framework for making game decisions beyond instincts and habits. It is intended, more than anything, to stimulate coaches and players to think comprehensively and realistically about how to approach games and practices, fostering an environment where everyone can more incisively make game-time decisions. While high school and youth basketball coaches will find this book most helpful, coaches at all levels will benefit from this novel approach to the game.
Published: July 25, 2017
ISBN: 978-1538101971

Play It Forward: From Gymboree to the Yoga Mat and Beyond

Play It Forward details the remarkable journey of Joan Barnes, founder and former CEO of Gymboree, and how she learned to align her inner life with outward success. Forty years ago Joan Barnes founded a play center in a church basement with $3,000. Determined to enable women to achieve personal and entrepreneurial success, Barnes led Gymboree to become an innovative leader in a new industry: activity-based early childhood development. The company eventually became a global billion-dollar brand. But this dramatic entrepreneurial memoir is also a cautionary tale and redemption story. When Gymboree's IPO became a phenomenal success story, Barnes was nowhere near Wall Street. She had left the company because of an eating disorder that threatened to destroy her and everything she had built. Barnes overcame the disorder, charting a path that replaced demons with an enduring sense of worth and hope. She eventually resumed her business career on healthier terms, with a line of yoga studios, in an inspiring example of how women can triumph through reinvention. Published to coincide with Gymboree's 40th anniversary, Play It Forward offers listeners a deeply honest perspective of the challenges of business building and seeking a work-life balance in tune with personal values.
Published: May 10, 2016
ISBN: 978-1572841901

Prepping for Success: The Ultimate Handbook for the Beginning High School Basketball Coach

Many in the public arena perceive the high school basketball coach as someone who rolls out balls in practice and then paces feverishly in front of a bench in a noisy gym for 32 minutes of action, directing and exhorting athletes to the pursuit of victory. Some might even see them as a glorified physical education teacher. Both perceptions are light-years from reality. Often unappreciated are the countless hours and days coaches devote discharging an array of responsibilities beyond what occurs during the heat of competition or the quieter domain of practice. High school varsity basketball head coaches, to get the job done, must assume multiple roles: administrator, coach, teacher, manager, leader, communicator and relationship-builder, community organizer, fundraiser, role model, public relations promoter and mentor. Each has its own set of skills and learning curve and each commands keen attention and continuous diligence. Together they comprise a collection of tasks that are both fascinating and dizzying. Prepping for Success contains everything aspiring and new high school basketball head coaches need to get acquainted with what the job requires, build a thriving basketball program and become effective coaches with long-term impact. It is easy to follow, succinct and comprehensive and an invaluable source for the new or young coach.
Published: Aug. 28, 2019
ISBN: 978-1733668804

The Demon in Disguise

In the late evening of May 18, 2002, prominent local businessman Carter Elliott and a young protégé become the first double-homicide victims in the history of Conway, Arkansas. The Conway PD, Arkansas State Police, and FBI combined to launch a painstaking investigation into what seemed a meticulously planned mob-style execution. There were no eyewitnesses, recorded disturbances, fingerprints, evidence of a robbery, or DNA. After weeks of investigation, and several theories, law enforcement had made no progress. They had no viable motive and no suspects. Then, one month after the murders, the mother of Ashley Elliott, the estranged wife of Carter Elliott, went missing. After several frantic hours, Ashley and her brother determined that Dr. Richard Conte, their mother’s second and divorced husband, had kidnapped their mom. After an excruciating back and forth, Conte released her and turned himself over to law enforcement. A Nevada court later sentenced Conte to six to fifteen years. The kidnapping, however, breathed life into the stalled homicide investigation. Was there a connection? Did Conte kill Carter Elliott to eliminate perceived romantic competition? The Demon in Disguise chronicles Ashley Elliott’s years-long, rollercoaster journey with the criminal justice system in pursuit of answers and justice. Will it ever end, and what will it ultimately produce?
Published: Sept. 24, 2021
ISBN: 978-1646634309

The Other Classroom: The Essential Importance of High School Athletics

High school sports programs are not simply one-dimensional after-school recreational diversions from the rigors of academic life. In The Other Classroom: The Essential Importance of High School Athletics, Michael J. Coffino showcases how high school athletics have a positive influence on the student athletes beyond just the sports experience itself. He argues that the lessons learned, tools acquired, and values instilled have an enduring impact that prepare young athletes for the many challenges they will face in life. Coffino reveals how a well-considered, value-based athletic program effectively works alongside the standard educational curriculum to teach athletes a wide range of beneficial behaviors—including self-advocacy, goal-setting, leadership, conflict resolution, and more. Drawing on extensive research, illuminating anecdotes, heartfelt commentary from original interviews, and Coffino’s personal coaching experience, The Other Classroom issues a passionate challenge to school administrators, coaches, athletic directors, parents, and local communities to bring greater focus on how their high school programs consider the long-term well-being of student athletes. It urges schools to emphasize the importance of preparing student athletes to flourish as adults in whatever they pursue once their formal education is complete.
Published: Sept. 4, 2018
ISBN: 978-1538118672

Truth Is in the House

As a young boy in the late 1950s, Jimmy O’Farrell emigrates with his family from Ireland to Manhattan to bask in the dawn of a new life. Thousands of miles away, the family of Jaylen Jackson seeks to build a life amid Jim Crow culture in Mississippi. As teenagers, both boys struggle to come of age in a racially divisive world, suffering horrific tragedies that shape their characters and life missions. Jimmy seeks to define what it means to stand for someone when the chips are down, while Jaylen embarks on a journey to gain respect beyond the color of his skin. Fleeing the past, both families land in neighboring Bronx communities in the 1960s, where Jimmy and Jaylen’s lives first intersect, on the basketball courts and then in the Vietnam jungle. Repeatedly tested as men of different races, their friendship faces its toughest challenge outside a Bronx bar—with fatal consequences. Truth Is in the House is an epic and provocative tale that plumbs historical and modern racial themes and explores redemption, forgiveness, and the power of connecting through the human spirit.
Published: July 6, 2021
ISBN: : 978-1646633487