Prep Volleyball

The Miracle Season, by Kathy Bresnahan, set for launch

Book (and upcoming movie) details life and death of Caroline Found, and Iowa City West's 2011 title run

Iowa City West Coach Kathy Bresnahan high-fives her players during a 2013 match. Bresnahan’s book, The Miracle Season, will be promoted Wednesday in Iowa City, Thursday in Cedar Rapids. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette-KCRG)
Iowa City West Coach Kathy Bresnahan high-fives her players during a 2013 match. Bresnahan’s book, The Miracle Season, will be promoted Wednesday in Iowa City, Thursday in Cedar Rapids. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette-KCRG)
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IOWA CITY — It took four years to write. It evoked countless tears.

But now, Kathy Bresnahan’s book is complete, and about to go public.

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s not a big flop,” Bresnahan said of her publication, The Miracle Season. “It’s a book to showcase what Caroline (Found) means to us, and what these girls mean to me.

“It’s a book of love.”

Bresnahan, 59, will promote the book in a book-release party scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Coach’s Corner Sports Pub in Iowa City, then will sign copies at Barnes & Noble in Cedar Rapids from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday.

Future appearances are scheduled for Dubuque, southwest Wisconsin (she’s a native of Dickeyville) and Des Moines.

“It’s going to be a big week,” said Bresnahan, former volleyball coach at Iowa City West. “It’s kind of scary. I don’t know how it’s going to be received. But it’s worth it if it makes a difference. It’s an opportunity to keep the Live Like Line Foundation funded.”

KCI Sports Publishing from Stevens Point, Wis., published the book — 254 pages in hardcover form. The motion-picture version that carries the same title is slated for release April 13.

It chronicles the death of Found, killed in a moped accident Aug. 11, 2011 at age 17, and the aftermath.

“That’s all forever seared in my brain,” Bresnahan said. “The night that I got the phone call, the next morning with the team ... There were a lot of tears shed as I wrote this.”

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Found was the setter on West’s 2010 championship team and would have been a senior the following season. After her death, teammate Kelley Fliehler (Found’s best friend) grudgingly took over at the position. The Women of Troy successfully repeated as state champions, outlasting Iowa City High in a five-set final at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.

Still a teacher of health education at West — and now, also at Iowa City Liberty — Bresnahan spent six hours a day, every day, the next three summers to turn her notes and memories into a book.

“I read through it now, and I wish maybe I had done this or that differently,” she said. “It’s like a painting, you’re always critical of your work.

“But I am happy with it. I put my heart and soul into it.”

Found’s mother, Ellyn, died of pancreatic cancer less than two weeks after Caroline’s accident. Ernie Found — Caroline’s father and Ellyn’s husband — has not read the book, according to Bresnahan, but wrote a note on the back cover:

“ ... Not a day passes by that the events and emotions surrounding the 2011 season do not provide me with perpetual comfort and solace to help make life the joy and privilege that it is.”

Bresnahan posted a 671-205 record in her 26-year career, taking seven West teams to state and winning the 2010 and 2011 titles before stepping down in 2014. She served as an eighth-grade coach at Northwest Junior High last fall.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.