Friday, June 4, 2010
Legendary Coach John Wooden passed away tonight. The Hall of Famer had unprecedented success as a coach, but he will be remembered, as well, for his words of wisdom that served as an inspiration to many.
Earlier today, Governor Palin wished him well in her Facebook note called, "Coach Wooden’s Parquet Success – a Blueprint for Life." Tonight, upon his passing, she tweeted:
Coach John Wooden, irreplaceable in American life. God bless your soul. You shall be missed dearly, and we shall remember your lessons.
As a basketball enthusiast, coach, teacher, and a woman who respects those who spend their lives modeling true character, I also honor the life of Coach Wooden. His impact lives on.
John Wooden, college basketball's gentlemanly Wizard of Westwood who built one of the greatest dynasties in all of sports at UCLA and became one of the most revered coaches ever, died Friday night. He was 99.
The university said Wooden died Friday night of natural causes at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he had been hospitalized since May 26.
With his signature rolled-up game program in hand, Wooden led the Bruins to 10 NCAA championships, including an unmatched streak of seven in a row from 1967 to 1973.
Over 27 years, he won 620 games, including 88 straight during one historic stretch, and coached many of the game's greatest players — including Bill Walton and Lew Alcindor.
As a coach, he was groundbreaking trendsetter who demanded his players be in great condition so they could play an up-tempo style not well-known on the West Coast at the time.
But the Wizard's legacy extended well beyond that.
He was the master of the simple one- or two-sentence homily, instructive little messages best presented in his famous "Pyramid of Success," which remains must-read material, not only for fellow coaches but for anyone in a leadership position in American business.
Read it here.