Paige Cothren 1935
- Let None Deal Treacherously (1980)
- Sweeter Than Honey (1982)
- Seeking to Know Her (1990)
- Walk Carefully Around the Dead (1998)
- An Academy Called Pain (1999)
- Seeking to Know Her 2002
- So Great the Pretender (2001) fiction
- The Echo of Silence 2003
- The Cry of the Camel 2007
- Home Sweet Homochitto (Christian
- A Lamp Unto My Feet-A Light Unto My Path
- At What Price Law (Theological)
- At the End of the Swinging Bridge
- Upon A Distant Hill (Christian
- Out of Bear Creek (Christian fiction)
of Paige Cothren
By Angga Riyadi (SHS)
On July 12, 1935, in Natchez, Mississippi, Paige Cothren
was born to Wallace and Hilda Poole Cothren (Cothren, Interview,
21 Apr). Paige Cothren’s full name is Jennings Paige
Cothren (“Jennings Paige Cothren”). His mother
is the sister of Buster, Ray, and Barney Poole, three of the
fifteen Poole and Poole relatives who have played for the University
of Mississippi (“Paige Cothren,” Publicity biography).
The Pooles are a family rich in football tradition. They
are, as Jenny Reed puts it, Mississippi football’s “first
family.” The Pooles are to Mississippi football as the
Kennedys are to politics. Fifteen members of the
Poole family and Poole relatives have earned scholarships to
play football at the University of Mississippi. Five members,
including Paige Cothren, have played in the National Football
Paige Cothren attended Natchez High School and graduated from
Natchez High in 1952 (“Paige Cothren,” Publicity
biography). Cothren made good grades in high school and
finished third in a class of about one hundred and twenty.
It was during high school that he first developed an interest
in writing (Cothren, Interview 21 Apr). During his high
school years at Natchez, he played football, basketball, baseball,
and volleyball (Cothren, Interview 29 Apr). While playing
football in Natchez High School, he made the All Big 8, the
All State, the All South, and the All American team in football
as a fullback (“Paige Cothren,” SouthernStories.com).
After graduating from Natchez High School, he signed a football
scholarship with the University of Mississippi (“Paige
Cothren,” Publicity biography).
Paige Cothren played football at the University of Mississippi
from 1953 to 1956 (“Jennings Paige Cothren”).
During his college football career, he was able to accomplish
many things. In 1955 he was named to the All Southeastern
Conference and the All South team. During this year, he
also led the Southeastern Conference in scoring, led the nation
in field goals, and won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, an award
given annually to the Southeastern Conference’s best blocker.
Cothren is still the only player in history to lead the Southeastern
Conference in scoring and win the Jacobs Blocking Trophy (“Paige
Cothren,” SouthernStories.com). In 1956 he
made the All Southeastern Conference, the All South, and the
All American team. Like the year before, he led the nation
in field goals (“Jennings Paige Cothren”).
By the end of his college career, he held all the national collegiate
field goal records. During his years playing football
at the University of Mississippi, the University of Mississippi
Rebels won the Southeastern Championship two of the four years
Cothren played for them (“Paige Cothren,” Publicity
biography). In 1958 Cothren graduated from the University
of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
In 1988 he was inducted to the University of Mississippi Athletic
Hall of Fame (“Jennings Paige Cothren”).
After Cothren’s college football career at the University
of Mississippi, he played three seasons in the National Football
League. Cothren played for the Los Angeles Rams from 1957
to1958 (“Jennings Paige Cothren”). In 1958
he tied for a National Football League leading fourteen field
goals made (“Annual Field Goals Made Leaders”).
After his two seasons playing for the Rams, Cothren played for
the Philadelphia Eagles. Cothren played for the Eagles
in 1959, and 1959 was his last year in the National Football
League (“Jennings Paige Cothren”).
Paige Cothren married Ford Taylor of Eupora in 1957 (Cothren,
Interview, 29 Apr). They have two children: Paige
Cothren, Jr. and Fran Hubbard. They also have four grandchildren;
Brad Hubbard, Jared Hubbard, Catherine Hubbard, and Corbin Cothren
(Cothren, Interview 21 Apr). Cothren was married to Taylor
from 1957 to 1998 (Cothren, Interview 29 Apr), but they divorced
in1998, and Cothren is currently unmarried (“Jennings
Paige Cothren”). See Update Below.
Cothren served time in the military. From 1958 to 1968,
he was a captain in the army reserves. In 1959, he attended
the Artillery-Missile School in Fort Still, Oklahoma, where
he was put on active duty (“Jennings Paige Cothren”).
In 1962 Cothren began his business career. From 1962
to 1971, he owned and managed three Piggly Wiggly stores.
The three stores were located in Eupora, Mississippi, Calhoun
City, Mississippi, and Fulton, Mississippi.
From 1966 to1971, he served as a member of the Board of Directors
of the Piggly Wiggly Warehouse in Birmingham, Alabama (“Jennings
Then, from 1972 to 1977, Cothren enrolled in three different
theological schools. From 1972 to 1974, he enrolled in
the Mid-South Bible College. Next, he enrolled in the
America Baptist Theological Seminary from 1974 to 1975.
His final school was the Dallas Theological Seminary, where
he was enrolled there from 1975 to 1977 and received a Master’s
Degree in Bible (“Jennings Paige Cothren”).
In addition to the many work experiences already mentioned,
Cothren also has teaching experience. He taught at the
Mid-South Bible College from 1974 to 1976. During the
same time period, he was also a teacher and the Dean of Students
at Whitworth College from 1974 to 1977. He was also a
football coach. In 1979 he coached the Southern Baptist
Education Center football team (“Jennings Paige Cothren”).
After finishing his education in Bible, Cothren established
two counseling centers. In 1978 Cothren established the
Directive Counseling Center in Memphis, Tennessee, and later
established another office in Southaven, Mississippi (“Jennings
Paige Cothren”). The counseling centers counseled
an average of 1,500 people per year. The counseling center
counseled various problems, including marital, alcohol, and
drug problems (“Paige Cothren,” Publicity biography).
Cothren considers establishing the counseling centers his greatest
achievement (Cothren, Interview). From 1978 to 1992, he
served as the Senior Counselor in the counseling centers until
leaving the position in 1992. During his tenure at the
counseling centers, he wrote several booklets on counseling.
He also taught counseling courses from 1976 to 1993 in the counseling
center. In addition, Cothren has also been a minister,
serving as pastor at the French Camp Baptist Church in French
Camp, Mississippi, for two years starting in 1984 (“Jennings
In 1992 Cothren left the counseling centers to take the position
of marketing and managing director at the Grand Oaks Resort
in Oxford, Mississippi (“Jennings Paige Cothren”).
He was responsible for managing and developing the resort and
golf club (“Paige Cothren,” SouthernStories.com).
He was also in charge of public relations there (“Jennings
Paige Cothren”). He held these positions at the
resort until he retired in1997 (“Paige Cothren,”
In 1980, Cothren began writing books. The first five
books he published were nonfiction. His first book, Let
None Deal Treacherously, was published in 1980 (“Jennings
Paige Cothren”). The book pertains
to counseling and primarily focuses on husband and wife relationship
(Cothren, Interview 29 Apr). In 1982 he published Sweeter
Than Honey (“Jennings Paige Cothren”).
The book talks about the Bible. In 1990 he published his
third book, Seeking to Know Her. The topic
of the book is an explanation to man why his wife is the way
she is (Cothren, Interview 29 Apr). He did not write another
book until he retired from the Grand Oaks Resort in 1997.
Then in 1998 he published Walk Carefully Around the Dead.
A year later An Academy Called Pain, the sequel
to Walk Carefully Around the Dead, was published
(“Jennings Paige Cothren”). The two books
are nonfiction books that chronicle Cothren’s later teenage
years to his days playing football at the University of Mississippi.
The two books contain many humorous stories from his time playing
football at the University of Mississippi (“Paige Cothren,”
SouthernStories.com). In 2001 he published his
first fictional work, So Great the Pretender in
2001 (“Jennings Paige Cothren”). The novel
is about a former professional football player named Patie Corbin,
who falls in love and uncovers the secret dealings of Chinese
spies (Cothren, So Great the Pretender).
In 2001 Paige Cothren resided in both Houston, Mississippi,
and Banner Elk, North Carolina (“Paige Cothren,”
Publicity biography). In his spare time, Cothren likes
to play golf (Cothren, Interview). He still does some
public speaking. Since 1960, he has averaged 240 to 260
speaking engagements every year. He speaks to civic clubs,
banquets, schools, churches, and various other community organizations
(“Jennings Paige Cothren”). He is currently
working on a sequel to So Great the Pretender.
Like So Great the Pretender, Patie Corbin is the
main character. He does not have a title for the book
yet, however (Cothren, Interview 29 Apr). (See Update
2009 Update: In 2003 Paige Cothren published
The Echo of Silence: A Patie Corbin Mystery About Camp
Van Dorn. He is now married to Daisy Yarbrough,
and together they live in Woodland, Mississippi. He now owns
a small publishing company called Swing Bridge Publications.
He has written and published numerous non-fiction theological
or memoir books and three new fiction books in the category
of Christian fiction: At the End of the Swinging
Bridge, Upon A Distant Hill, and
Out of Bear Creek. The three books are about the
life of Patie Corbin, the preacher, as he preaches, teaches
and counsels the work of God in rural Mississippi. Corbin is
a former professional football player who is now pastor of Tishrock
Review of So Great the Pretender
by Angga Riyadi (SHS)
So Great the Pretender by Paige Cothren is about
a former all-pro halfback for the New York Giants who falls
in love with a married English professor. The main characters
in the novel are Patie Corbin, the former football player from
Ole Miss, and Marti Claiborne, the married English professor
from Mississippi State. Patie is a womanizing, fifty-six
year old man who cannot seem to get a marriage to go right.
He has been married four times, and three of the marriages have
been to the same women. Marti Claiborne is a forty-five
year old woman who seeks a male companion. Her husband
Mac, a scientist for NASA, has lost interest in her and is having
affairs with his secretary.
The story opens with Patie going through another divorce with
his first, second, and fourth wife Marti. After leaving
Marti, he moves to the Bay of St. Louis to concentrate on finishing
his book. While he is there, he meets and falls in love
with Marti. The love affair is a complete mismatch since
Patie is an Ole Miss Republican, and Marti is a Mississippi
State Democrat. Nevertheless, they truly love each other.
However, they run into trouble because Marti’s husband
Mac is involved in secret dealings with Chinese spies.
The spies keep a close watch on Marti, but Patie soon discovers
them. Patie calls two of his friends from his football
days at Ole Miss. The two friends, Jack and Buddy, work
for the CIA, and they ask Patie to get close to Marti, so he
can find information on Mac’s dealings. To accomplish
his goals, he must not tell Marti about anything he knows and
has to pretend that he loves her even though he really does
love her. Thus, we get the name of the title of the book,
So Great the Pretender. As Patie puts the
pieces together, he runs into trouble with the spies.
The spies attempt to get rid of the threat Patie poses to them.
The spies knock him out, frame him of cocaine possession, and
even try to kill him. With the help of his friends in
the CIA, Patie triumphs over the spies in the end. What
happens in the end? You’ll just have to read the
I think So Great the Pretender is a good book,
and I enjoyed reading it. The novel was a mixture of a
little bit of romance andaction.
There are a lot of things I liked about the novel. For
example, I liked how Cothren accurately describes the lingering
injuries that an ex-football player suffers during a playing
career. The injuries they suffer linger and affect them
even after their career is over. I also I liked the action
that takes place within the novel. There is plenty of
action in the novel. The book is not boring and puts you
into the action. The book put me into a reading zone in
which I felt like I am in the story. I enjoyed reading
along as Patie puts all the pieces together. Overall,
the novel is a good one. However, it has its drawbacks.
I do not particularly like the romance parts of the novel.
Furthermore, some of these scenes are only suitable for mature
readers. I do not particularly like the way the novel
ends. The mission does succeed, but Marti leaves Patie,
and Mac is dead. The ending is not like one of those stories
in which the hero rides off into the sunset. Instead,
he experiences triumph and tragedy. Also, there is no
theme or moral learned in this story. I do not think Cothren
intended the novel to have a theme.It is just a fictional story
that tells a story and does not teach anything. I liked
the story because Cothren keeps the story interesting throughout
the novel. I recommend this book for people who like action
with Paige Cothren
by Angga Riyadi (SHS) Interview
Part I--April 21, 2001
When were you born?
July 12, 1935
Where were your born?
Who are your parents?
My mother is Hilda Poole Cothren, and my father is
Do you have any children? Do you have any grandchildren?
My children are Fran Hubbard and Paige Cothren, Jr.
My grandchildren are Brad Hubbard, Jared Hubbard, Catherine
Hubbard, and Corbin Cothren.
Who is your favorite author?
When did you first have interest in writing?
In high school
What made you decide to start writing books?
Counseling, my first book was on counseling.
I ran a counseling office and my first book Let None Deal
Treacherously had something to do with counseling.
What inspired you to write fiction?
I just wanted to try it. I just had the desire
to do it. I wanted to write something about what happens
to a professional athlete psychologically after playing the
game when the roar of the crowd stops and he becomes just
another face in the crowd.
What is your favorite part about writing book?
Actual writing. I enjoy making the story make
sense and be logical.
Are you working on or planning to write any books?
Yes, I don’t have a title for it yet.
How long did it take for you to write So Great the Pretender?
The whole process (writing, editing) took about five
Did playing football help you in writing books?
It did in So Great the Pretender.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I guess play golf.
What do you think is your greatest accomplishment and why?
Running a counseling office and counseling about 1500
people every year for twenty-five years.
Who is the most influential person in your life and why?
I’d have to say my uncle, Buster Poole.
He acted as a father, grandfather, and a coach. I didn’t
have a grandfather growing up.
Interview Part II-April 29, 2001
Can you describe yourself during your childhood and high school
I made very good grades in grade school and high school.
I finished third in a class of about 120, scholastically.
I was involved in all the sports. I played football,
basketball, baseball, and volleyball. I lettered 16
letters in high school. I liked the girls in high school,
and I did exactly what my mom told me to do. I obeyed
her. When she said it’s time for you to study,
I went and studied. I did what my mom told me to do.
I was a very obedient child, as every child was back in those
You said your favorite author was Stephen Ambrose? What
is your favorite book?
I don’t know that I have a favorite book.
William Manchester is also one of my favorite authors.
I just enjoyed reading history, especially military history
since I was an officer in the army. I don’t really
have a favorite book.
What is Let None Deal Treacherously about?
That’s a book that tells primarily about husband
and wife relationship.
What is Sweeter Than Honey about?
That’s a book talking about the Bible.
What is Seeking to Know Her about?
This book explains to a man why his wife is like she
What are Walk Carefully Around the Dead and An Academy
Called Pain about?
They’re primarily about the same thing, funny
stories on the football field. Most of them are at Ole
Miss, but a few are at Mississippi State.
You said you were working on a new book?
Yes, I am.
What book are you working on right now? What is it about?
Well, right now I’m working on a sequel to So
Great the Pretender.
Is the main character in this novel Patie Corbin too?
Yes, Patie Corbin.
Do you have a title for it yet?
No, I don’t have a title yet.
How did playing football help you in writing So Great the
The main character Patie Corbin was an ex-football
player. It would be very hard for someone who never
played pro football to write realistically about someone who
What exactly is the theme for So Great the Pretender?
Well, the theme can best be summarized as an in depths
look at the psyche at the pro football player after he retires
and the crowd no longer yells.
When were you married and to whom were you married to?
From 1957-1998, and her name was
Foy Taylor. She was from Eupora.
All right, that would be it. Thanks for taking
the time to do interview.
own page lists information about him and his books.
“Annual Field Goals Made Leaders.” Football.com.
Online. Internet. 8 Apr.2001. HTTP://www.football.com/almanac/NFL/NFLannlndFGM.shtml
Cothren, Paige. So Great the Pretender.
Houston: Paige Cothren, 2000.
Cothren, Paige. Telephone interview. 21 Apr. 2001.
Cothren, Paige. Telephone interview. 29 Apr. 2001.
“Jennings Paige Cothren.” Resume. 19 Apr.
“Paige Cothren.” Publicity biography.
19 Apr. 2001.
“Paige Cothren.” SouthernStories.com.
Online. Internet. 7 Apr. 2001. HTTP://www.southernstories.com/ArtistResults.CFM?Artist_ID=PC01
Reed, Jenny.“So Great the Pretender—Paige Cothren.”
Starkville Daily News. 18 Mar. 2001: B-4