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UCLA coach John Wooden Passes
Rarely, do I comment on topics other than football but the recent passing of legendary basketball coach John Wooden is an exception. Wooden died on June 4, 2010, at the age of 99 in Los Angeles, of natural causes surrounded by his friends and family. Wooden had an incredible career as both a player and coach at the collegiate level. He is the only person that has been inducted into the college Hall of Fame as both a player and coach. He was the greatest coach in American history at all levels and in all sports and did it with rare leadership and integrity, in addition to the brilliant understanding of the game. He was both an All-American player at Purdue and an exceptional head coach at UCLA, setting records at will probably last for decades.
Over 27 years at UCLA, he won 620 games, including a record 88 straight victories during one historic stretch in the early ‘70s. He won an unprecedented 10 national titles as the Bruins head coach including an incredible 7 straight NCAA championships. From the time of his first title following the 1963-64 season through the 10th UCLA in 1974-75, Wooden's Bruins were 330-19, including four perfect 30-0 seasons. His achievements earned him the title “The Wizard of Westwood” for not only his amazing accomplishments, but the manner in which he carried himself while directing the UCLA program. He coached many of the game's greatest players such as Lew Alcindor -- later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton. "It's kind of hard to talk about Coach Wooden simply, because he was a complex man. But he taught in a very simple way. He just used sports as a means to teach us how to apply ourselves to any situation," Abdul-Jabbar said in a statement released through UCLA. "He set quite an example. He was more like a parent than a coach. He really was a very selfless and giving human being, but he was a disciplinarian. We learned all about those aspects of life that most kids want to skip over. He wouldn't let us do that."
Wooden was a demanding disciplined coach who insisted that his players be in great condition so they could play his fast break up-tempo style not well-known on the West Coast at the time in his early coaching. But his 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. His statements and rules were a long list of life lessons that his former players still talk about today.
Both his “Pyramid of Success and “Seven Point Creed” speak volumes of what he believed and how to achieve your goals in all aspects of life and varied careers.
John Wooden's Seven Point Creed
John Robert Wooden (born October 14, 1910, in Martinsville, In) is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (Class of 1961) and a coach (Class of 1973). He was the first person ever enshrined in both categories.
John Wooden's Seven Point Creed, given to him by his father Joshua upon his graduation from grammar school: Wooden remembered these all his life.
Seven Point Creed is practical advice for daily life.
* Be true to yourself.
* Make each day your masterpiece.
* Help others.
* Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
* Make friendship a fine art.
* Build a shelter against a rainy day.
* Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.