Texas Monthly this week threw a Proustian 12,800 words at the sad, strange story of Bev Kearney, and if you manage to read the entire thing, because perhaps you've had a flight canceled or you're pulling a double shift in the parking garage tollbooth, you'll likely follow a winding trajectory in trying to decide what you make of the protagonist. Author Mimi Swartz conducts this extended exercise in ambiguity, which I'll summarize here, crudely.
Kearney pros: Highly successful track and field coach, with six national titles and five Coach of the Year awards in indoor and outdoors. Pioneer at the University of Texas, as the first black woman head coach the university hired, in 1992. Driven, direct, ambitious. Overcame poverty, trauma and constant uprooting as a kid. Overcame nearly fatal car accident to walk again. Became a role model and mentor, especially to black athletes, whether they were in track or other Longhorns sports. Coach to champions and Olympians. Is making life hard for the University of Texas, with a discrimination suit over her forced 2012 resignation for a consensual sexual relationship 10 years earlier with an athlete then in her charge.