Today, America lost one of its greatest minds, one of its greatest teachers, and one of its greatest heroes. I have always had an obsession with those who lived wisdom, who were truly exceptional in an understanding outside of themselves. Benjamin Franklin, Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, and Albert Einstein would be part of this very small list. Maybe above all of them was a man named John Wooden. A truly remarkable individual who became the undisputed symbol of excellence in his field of coaching as the UCLA head basketball coach. He became known as the Wizard of Westwood. He won 620 games in 27 seasons and ten NCAA championships during his last twelve seasons including seven in a row. He had four perfect season and a record winning 88 games in a row. He was the first person to be added to the basketball hall of fame as a coach and a player and was named the Greatest Coach of All time in 2009 by The Sporting News.
But he never defined success as winning. He never discussed winning with his players. He took teaching his players about life as more important than teaching them about basketball. He was as quickly to quote Plato or Sacrotes as he was to discuss basketball strategy. He put the highest emphasis on love, faith, and family.
Rest in Peace John Wooden. You were truly an amazing individual.
To hear John Wooden speak is to get lost in another realm of wisdom, of understanding. There are many videos out there about John Wooden. Below are just a few. Here is John Wooden's official website which has many other videos of him.
John Wooden Introduction
John Wooden on Success and Life
John Wooden Love Letter
John Wooden (1910 - 2010) The Final Tribute