Home > Basketball, Sports > Legendary Coach John Wooden Dies, A Great Loss for all of Basketball

Legendary Coach John Wooden Dies, A Great Loss for all of Basketball

If anyone with any sort of basketball I.Q. is asked to name the best coaches in the history of basketball, John Wooden will be on that list, and 90% of the time he will be number one on that list.

You could say he was arguably the greatest coach in the history of the game and it would be hard to argue it any other way.  This man set the mark that every coach at any level of basketball strives to achieve.

Born on October 14, 1910, Wooden learned his winning ways at a young age.  He reached the state finals 3 times during his high school playing days, winning the state championship once.  He then continued on to Purdue University where he led the Boilermakers to a National Championship in 1932.

While he was great during his playing days, he really changed the game of basketball forever through his coaching.  After spending 11 years coaching high school basketball and a brief tenure at Indiana State University, Wooden was named head coach at the University of California at Los Angeles.

During his 27 years at UCLA, Wooden turned the schools basketball program from one that was considered mediocre, sub par even, into one of the most storied programs in NCAA history.  He led the team to 10 national championship games, winning every single one.  He also coached the 1971-1974 Bruins teams to a record 88 consecutive games.

Wooden coached the likes of Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, just to name a couple.

In 1972 he was awarded Sports Illustrated’s ‘Man of the Year’ award.  He was also inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame that year, making him the first person to ever be inducted as both a player and a coach.

The most amazing characteristic Wooden portrayed was the ability to obtain all of this success, touch so many lives, and do it humbly and with God number one in his life.  He only made $35,000 a year, but never asked for a pay raise, because it was not important to him.  He taught his players the game of basketball while doing an amazing job at it. More importantly, he taught his players how to be gentlemen and men of God and that’s what made him the coach he was.

A great coach and a greater human being, John Wooden dead at 99.

Categories: Basketball, Sports
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