Former Culverite once again on NY Times bestseller list

Culver native and author Mark Schlabach has become even more of a household name after the release of two high-profile books -- one on the New York Times bestsellers list -- this fall.

Schlabach, who spent much of his childhood in Culver and attended Culver Elementary School, today lives near Atlanta with his wife and children. Besides his growing name as an author, he's "one of the most respected and popular college football columnists in the country," according to a web-page devoted to his work at publisher Simon & Schuster. Schlabach has long been an on-air commentator for the ESPN sports cable network as well.

His book, "The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty," co-authored with Willie and Korie Robertson, delves behind the scenes of the immensely popular A&E reality show about a Louisiana Bayou family's "Duck Commander" business. The book hit the top 20 on the Times' list in December.

This isn't Schlabach's first appearance on the list, however. His 2010 book, "Called to Coach: Reflections on Life, Faith, and Football," co-authored with legendary retired Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden, climbed near the top of the list that fall as well.

And while the "Duck Dynasty" book is a bit of a departure from Schlabach's sports work, he's still laboring hard in the football vineyard. Released in October was "Heisman: The Man Behind the Trophy," which he co-authored with John M. Heisman, great nephew of John W. Heisman, for whom the celebrated collegiate football trophy (since the award's launch in 1935) was named. The book has been met with a torrent of positive response.

Mark Schlabach, whose passion for sports was fed and nurtured in Little League and pickup games in Culver, among other experiences, told The Culver Citizen his travels occasionally bring him back to his old stomping grounds, where he may stop in to visit his mother in Argos or family members in Culver.

"(It's) still the same wonderful place where I grew up," he said. "The lake is still as gorgeous as I remember it being.”