A former Kilgore News Herald sports editor has published her debut novel based on the true story of a woman who coached football in Brownwood, Texas during World War II.

Marjorie Herrera Lewis was sports editor at the Kilgore News Herald in 1983-84. In her career as a sports journalist, she has also worked at the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.   

Lewis’ novel, “When The Men Were Gone” (Morrow/HarperCollins), centers on the story of Tylene Wilson, a teacher and administrator in Brownwood who became the school’s head football coach in 1944 when many local men were called up for service in the war.

After beginning a career in sports journalism in the 1980s, Lewis worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram covering college sports and professional tennis. After five years, she started work for the Dallas Morning News, covering the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, the Super Bowl, the Wimbledon tennis tournament, the U.S. Open tennis tournament and the Davis Cup tennis tournament.

In addition to her writing and journalism career, Lewis is also a coach.

She became a coach for Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth in 2017 when the university reintroduced football for the first time since 1941. Lewis coached linebackers and defensive backs.

During that time, Lewis also taught Media Ethics and Digital Media Writing classes at the University of North Texas. She has also taught classes at the University of Tulsa, the University of Texas-Arlington and in the Dallas County Community College District.

Lewis is co-editor of SportsDay Bound (second edition, Abilene Christian University Press, 2018), a collection of sports stories published by The Dallas Morning News.

“When The Men Were Gone” is available from Harper Collins Publishers and Amazon.com. Sports Illustrated has placed the book on its Best Books List and Newsweek named it one of its Best Books of 2019 so far.


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