John Wooden: Winner, Leader, Inspirer

  • 10 NCAA Championships, won 7 in a row from 1967-1973
  • Orchestrated an 88-game winning streak at UCLA
  • Won 664 games over a span of 29 years in NCAA play; never had a losing season
  • Coached 4 undefeated seasons (all with UCLA)
  • 7-time Coach of the Year recipient
  • 1st person to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame as a player and a coach

I never saw one game coached live by John Wooden at all; I wasn’t even born when Wooden was coaching.  However, I have realized the groundwork that he has laid over time as college basketball coaches have tried to walk the same path.  What John Wooden has done for basketball (college & pros) is nothing less of remarkable.  Wooden got the opportunity to coach legendary players such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, and Walt Hazzard.

While many people are mourning the death of this basketball legend, many will also recognize the long list of accomplishments that John Wooden has gained on and off the basketball court.  Wooden was so important to the NCAA and college basketball that he has an award named after him recognizing the most outstanding college player within a given year.  Wooden’s body of work was just that:  outstanding.

I will use three words to sum up John Wooden:  Winner, Leader, Inspirer.

John Wooden:  1910-2010