top of page


Against All Odds:
4th Down and Forever



ISBN-10: 1511841567

ISBN-13: 978-1511841566

Les Hicks encountered a life-altering experience and a date with destiny when the legendary Jack Lengyel, the head coach of Marshall University, recruited him. Lengyel told Hicks, Other schools may want you, but we need you. Hicks joined an eclectic group of athletes recruited from other sports, along with freshmen players and a host of walk-ons. This team took on the emotional task of reestablishing football at the school. Their task was not so much to win championships but simply to play competitively and position the program for future success.


During his time at Marshall and in the following years, Hicks faced his share of adversity. Hicks's date with destiny unraveled when he suffered a partially torn deltoid. His playing time and grades decreased as his frustration escalated. Hicks's twist of fate took him to the brink of suicide. Nick Diniaco, a trusted friend, unknowingly convinced Hicks that he had many reasons to live. Hicks emerged from his state of depression and learned not to complain about anything. He concluded that millions would have loved to have had the good and the bad of his life, and he started treating each day as if it were his last.


He committed the rest of his football career and life playing and living for one of the crash victims, Scottie Reese. Hicks nearly died after passing out during a weight-training session in college due to viral hepatitis. He survived a near-fatal blood clot after a knee scope in 1992. He was almost killed in a car crash in 2005, and later that year he suffered a ruptured appendix with an ensuing, unbearable fissure. Once again, complications of his ruptured appendix made him ponder suicide again, but Hicks decided against suicide; he did not want to put an additional burden on his family and his faith in God. If you root for the underdog, this book will reveal how the Marshall football program and Hicks's life rose from ashes to glory, both achieving levels of success neither had imagined possible.

Available in


Purchase Book at the Following Retailers:  Reviews




A must read for anyone who ever wanted to give up.


By Andre' on August 7, 2014


I have personally known Lester HIcks for the past four plus years now and his story continues to provide necessary inspiration, although he may never realize it. He is always willing to candidly share his experiences, and you can always see the sincerity and passion in his eyes as he recounts the stories. Reading this book only adds to the first-hand accounts Les supplies around the Lockheed Martin facility. I'm sure there are far too many memories in his head and far too little time for him to share everything. I am thankful for his decision to record the truths of those trying years in his life, and the lives of any affected by the tragic events. When I need motivation or a reason to push through adversity, this book provides that necessry lift and reminds me why I can and should continue -- against all odds.


Very Inspirational!


By James W. Jones Jr. on March 25, 2014


The author Lester Brian Hicks, tells of his experiences growing up in relative poverty, becoming a success in life through hard work, good parental role models, and faith in God. Not to mention some mentoring from coaches and other responsible adults along the way. Mr. Hicks was inspired by the Marshall University tragedy, and was on the rebuilding team after the horrendously tragic plane crash took almost the entire team. Mr. Hicks doesn't seem to embellish events like some authors sometimes tend to do. He even corrects some mistakes made in the Hollywood movie about the tragedy.




By Turd Ferguson on April 21, 2014


I found this book a refreshing break from all the substandard junk that is published today- A fun to read book that is hard to put down!




By Marsha Kvocka on September 7, 2013


It is an inspirational book the show how one can over come trials and tribulation an have meaningful life regardless of the past.

bottom of page