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Thread: RIP John Wooden

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    RIP John Wooden

    Loss of the Wizard:

    UCLA legendary coach John Wooden dies at age 99 - ESPN Los Angeles

    Wooden dies at age 99
    ESPN.com news services

    LOS ANGELES -- 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, has died. 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. John Wooden, shown in 1994, was a fixture for years at UCLA games. James Wooden and Nancy Muehlhausen issued a statement on the passing of their father. "We want to thank everyone for their love and support for our father. We will miss him more than words can express," it read. "He has been, and always will be, the guiding light for our family. The love, guidance and support he has given us will never be forgotten. "Our peace of mind at this time is knowing that he has gone to be with our mother, whom he has continued to love and cherish. We wish to express our gratitude for your support and appreciate your respecting our privacy." 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 such as Bill Walton and Lew Alcindor -- later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 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. He taught the team game and had only three hard-and-fast rules -- no profanity, tardiness or criticizing fellow teammates. Layered beneath that seeming simplicity, though, were a slew of life lessons -- primers on everything from how to put on your socks correctly to how to maintain poise: "Not being thrown off stride in how you behave or what you believe because of outside events." "What you are as a person is far more important that what you are as a basketball player," was one of Wooden's key messages.

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    Rest in peace.

 

 

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