Out of the Comfort Zone

"It is out of the comfort zone where winning begins."

Out of the Comfort Zone is a novel that tells the tale of three senior football players at tiny Beloit College as they try to balance school, academics and romance while trying to achieve a winning season. Released October 2007.

Praise for Out of the Comfort Zone:

The world of the college athletics is not one with which I am intimately familiar, but I did not feel left out of this book despite my lack of background knowledge. So, to others like me who might not have picked up this book for fear of getting lost by the subject matter, fear not. An engaging, quick read, this book will capture your interest, and if you are like me, you just might find yourself laughing or crying right along with the characters. They are an engaging, lively bunch, each and every one of them as noble as they are fallibly human. This book took me back to a time when I was younger, the world was bigger, and anything was possible. If anyone else out there is interested in taking a journey back to those times in your life, I only have one bit of advice for you. Pick it up. Read it. And don't be surprised if you find yourself remembering times you may have thought long forgotten.— Jennifer Eller

I just wanted you to know that someone other than within your Beloit circle has enjoyed reading your story, Out of the Comfort Zone.  I recognize characters from my brief playing career at Cal Poly in the late '70s as well as from later rugby playing college days in Arizona.  I'm fairly certain there is a Simba in most settings, and to a lesser degree perhaps, a Foster.

Anyway, just know that you reached someone else out there.  I even felt my eyes welling up a bit as Foster dealt with the pain and anger accompanying the struggle he had with the end of his playing career.  Best of luck with your recent project!
— David Hess

First let me say THANK YOU for moving forward with the publishing of your book after twenty years.  I just finnished your "Out of the comfort Zone" in just three days.  I most likely could have completed it in two days but reminisced and recalled so much of my playing days and friends on just about every chapter, that it slowed me down.  I played four years at a small division III College in West Virgina, Bethany College and graduated in 1981.  I could relate to just about every character and situation to brought to life in your writing.  Great job by the way.  I could vision many of the characters and the settings by your descriptive approach. Also I think every college team had/has a Simba. Your writing has touched me Frank, as I think you can sense this.  Thank you again for investing your time to bring back the special time for all of us in the DIII football fraternity.— Dale Grosso

I wanted to send you a note and thank you for publishing Out of the Comfort Zone.   I am a Monmouth College graduate, and the book resonated true to me on so many levels and had me mentally revisiting many moments from my Monmouth days.  I played football there from 1984 to 1987, so we just missed each other. One of my great friends from Monmouth sent me and another teammate the book for Christmas, and I read it.  I especially enjoyed the comeback win against Lake Forest you described. Playing in the Midwest Conference and meeting so many life long friends is something I will always cherish.— Dan Cotter

I did finally get your book.  Well.....once I started I was not able to put it down....and to be honest with you I just finished reading it here at work while at lunch.  I think this should be read by anyone who has ever played football for a small college or anyone who has been associated with a football player from a small college.  The emotions, relationships, situations and just overall feelings that you brought to life in your book are beyond words.  I honestly felt like I was back on campus in Galesburg and getting ready for my last year of football.  It was so easy to relate to the entire story.  I went through surgery just like Foster and I also was in a fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, that was mainly football players.  My wife and I met in college so the relationships that the players had with their girlfriends was similar to what my wife and I had.  I have read many books over the past few years but I have to tell you nothing has hit so close to home as yours did.  It was thrilling to read it and it left me wanting more.  Outstanding book and I will recommend it everyone I know..........I will contact my former coach, Coach Oberembt, and tell him to get it right away.— Joey Finke

Just wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed your book, Out of the Comfort Zone. It really brings home the hard work, dedication, sacrifice and rewards of playing college football, especially at the D3 level. It may be a cliche' but I truly believe that the D3 athelete is the epitome of the "student athlete". Thanks again for sharing your experiences with us!— Chris Tichacek

I just finished reading Out Of The Comfort Zone on this beautiful afternoon while catching some sun outside.  I am a 2005 graduate of St Norbert College.  Although St. Norbert was relatively new to the Midwest Conference when you played, I am familiar with Beloit College, Coach DeGeorge, and the new Strong Stadium from my playing days on the Green Knight football team.  I wanted to express how much I enjoyed your novel.  For a guy that hardly ever finishes a book before moving onto the next one, I finished yours cover to cover in just over three weeks.  Your account of your football and college experiences were so similar to mine.  The similarities are what made this book impossible to put down.  I am so glad I found this book advertised on d3football.com.  I too was a defensive tackle who loved and still loves football more than anything.  I can appreciate and respect the sacrifices that you, Stubby, and Doc had to make to play football at a level that rarely gets the respect it deserves.  I could go on for days about the parts of the book that seemed identical to my college experience.  I really enjoyed it.  The final chapters on the last game against Lake Forest College could not have been written better in a movie script.  Congratulations and I hope to see more work from you in the future.— Ryan Napralla

Started reading your book last night. I couldn't put it down. It brought back so many memories of playing D3 football. Last night was the first time in years I realized how much I miss those days and cherish those memories . It was so much more than just playing the game. The countless dinners together as a team, the parties, the brutal workouts and the endless laughs we had making fun of each other. If I had to do it all over again I wouldn't do  it any other way. Thank you for writing such an awesome story. I know it is your story but it is so similar to mine that I feel like a part of it. All the best.— Jeremy Frisch

This is a wonderful book about college life involving athletics and fraternity life. It is a must read for any current or former college athlete. I could not stop reading this book once I started and it brought a smile to my face reminding me of all the great times I experienced in college.— Lee Rankinen

Anyone who ever had the opportunity to experience playing college ball or participate in a fraternity will love it. It's been over 20 years since I graduated; yet this book brought back memories like they were yesterday and allowed me to reminisce about the type of camaraderie I have never experienced since. A must read for anyone who remembers the college experience as some of the best years of there life.— Todd Wingrove