The Great Outdoors has always been an outlet for Jeff Lund.
His passion for fishing, hiking and hunting were reflective of that in the countless columns published in newspapers – including the Bulletin – and magazines from over the years. Lund, a former East Union High teacher and basketball coach, now has a book based on his experiences upon returning to Alaska.
A shipment of “Going Home – If you Chase Fish Long Enough, Sometimes They Lead You Home” powered by AuthorsInternet.com in cooperation with PublicationConsultants.com arrived last week.
Lund was thrilled to see his work published in book form.
“I just smiled and shook my head – it was surreal,” he said, adding book author to his many credits.
Lund, who faced his share of rejections and nerve-wracking moments during the seven years of working on the book, was in Manteca over the Fourth of July weekend to attend the wedding of friend and former EU basketball coach Brett Lewis, now at Manteca High.
The timing couldn’t have been better.
He brought along 100 copies of “Going Home” for a last-minute sales / book-signing event, getting the OK to do so from CrossFit Excel gym.
All told, 72 went to mostly friends, students and former basketball players including the starting five from the Valley Oak League champion EU team of several years ago featuring the likes of Teejay Gordon, Wayne Cheung and Brock Swift.
“(Jeff Lund is) one of my favorite coaches, teachers, and best role models I’ve ever looked up to,” said Swift on his social media post.
“Going Home” is Lund’s memoir about fishing, without being just about fishing.
He describes this experience in his book as “a man contemplating direction and his sense of home after he is jerked from his linear journey of a life chasing fish.”
For Lund, fishing wasn’t about the catch but rather therapy for relaxation after a tough day. He grew up in the southeast Alaskan town of Klawock, where the outdoors was his backyard.
He’s a 2003 graduate of the University of Arizona, where he majored in Journalism.
Basketball is his other passion.
He was on the Tucson campus when the Wildcats under legendary coach Lute Olsen were the rave. The school won the NCAA title a few years earlier.
Lund recalled working for the campus newspaper and being the first to interview freshman Andre Iguodala. That squad also featured Jason Gardner and Luke Walton.
This year, Iguodala and Walton were part of the Golden State Warriors’ run to their first NBA championship in 40 years. Walton is an assistant coach under Wildcat alum Steve Kerr while Iguodala was named MVP in the title series against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
From there, Lund came to East Union, where he taught Journalism and coached basketball at the lower levels for better part of 10 years. During that time, he picked up fly fishing.
He was named head basketball coach for the Lancers after Lewis’ departure in 2013. But before he could coach his first game, Lund was called to move back to his home in Alaska to tend to his mother’s health issues. His father had died years earlier.
“Going Home” is a copulation of some of his newspaper columns. He lives in Ketchikan, where he also teaches high school English and Journalism.
“This is not a self-help book but a bunch of nice stories – people can extract from it what they want,” he said.
A freelance writer, Lund is a contributing columnist for Sitnews and the Capital City Weekly.
He’s also a regular writer for the Alaska Sporting Journal and California Sportsman and had his work published in the Fish Alaska Magazine and The Drake.
To learn more about the book, log on to www.jefflundbooks.com.