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Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (30) | Personal Quotes (13)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 14 October 1910Hall, Indiana, USA
Date of Death 4 June 2010Los Angeles, California, USA  (natural causes)
Birth NameJohn Robert Wooden
Nicknames The Wizard of Westwood
The Indiana Rubber Man
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

John Wooden was born on October 14, 1910 in Hall, Indiana, USA as John Robert Wooden. He was an actor, known for The UCLA Dynasty (2007), Man in the Glass: The Dale Brown Story (2012) and On the Shoulders of Giants: The Story of the Greatest Team You Never Heard Of (2010). He was married to Nell Riley. He died on June 4, 2010 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Spouse (1)

Nell Riley (8 August 1932 - 21 March 1985) (her death) (2 children)

Trivia (30)

Enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1961 (as a player) and 1973 (as a coach). He was the first multiple inductee in the Hall.
He enjoyed an All-State career at Martinsville High School.
Wooden was a three-time Helms Athletic Foundation All-America and named College Player of the Year in 1932.
Guard for Purdue University in Indiana (1928-1932).
All-Big Ten and All-Midwestern (1930-1932).
Played for the Independent League's Indianapolis Kautskys (1932-1935), the Midwest Basketball Conference's Indianapolis Kautskys (1935-1937), and the National Basketball League's Whiting Ciesar All-Americans (1937-1938) and Hammond All-Americans (1938-1939).
Head coach for Indiana State University (1946-1948) and UCLA (1948-1975).
Considered the greatest NCAA basketball head coach of all-time.
During 40 years of coaching, he compiled a 885-203 (.813) record.
NCAA College Basketball Coach of the Year six times (1964, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973).
The Sporting News Sports Man of the Year (1970).
Sports Illustrated Sports Man of the Year (1973).
Led Indiana State to the conference title (1947) and the finals of the NAIA invitation (1948).
Led Bruins to four 30-0 seasons (1963-1964, 1966-1967, 1971-1972, 1972-1973).
In his 27 years as UCLA's coach, Wooden compiled a 620-147 record and won 10 national titles, including seven in a row from 1967-1973.
Led Bruins to 19 PAC 10 championships.
Recipient of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's John Bunn Award in 1974.
Ranked #16 on Sports Illustrated's '40 For the Ages'.
His first basketball was a black cotton sock stuffed with rags by his mother. His first hoop was a tomato basket until his father forged a rim from the rings of a barrel.
Son of Dutch-Irish farmers, Joshua Wooden and Roxie Wooden. He had three brothers. During his second year in high school, his family lost the farm in Hall, Indiana and moved to Martinsville, Indiana.
He is survived by his son, James Wooden of Orange County, California; a daughter Nancy Wooden of Los Angeles, California; seven grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
His hometown of Martinsville, Indiana has John R. Wooden Drive and John R. Wooden Gymnasium at Martinsville High School. A college basketball player-of-the-year award is named in his honor. The mid-season John R. Wooden Classic features leading college teams.
Retired in 1975 after 27 years with a 620-147 record and a career record of 885-203, succeeded by Gene Bartow. In 2003, UCLA named its basketball floor Nell and John Wooden Court.
From 1943 to 1946, he served in the United States Navy during World War II as a physical education instructor. After his service, he was hired by Indiana State University in Bloomington, Indiana as athletic director, basketball coach, and baseball until 1948.
He was an English Major at Purdue University in Purdue, Indiana where he earned a Bachelor's degree in teaching. He taught at Dayton High School in Dayton, Kentucky for two years. He returned to South Bend, Indiana to taught English and coached basketball at South Bend Central High School in South Bend, Indiana. His record was 218-42.
Inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006 (founding class).
Inducted into the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984 (inaugural class).
Inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1962 (inaugural class).
Inducted into the Indiana State University Athletics Hall of Fame in February 1984.
Inducted into the Purdue University Intercollegiate Athletics Hall Of Fame in 1994, as a player (inaugural class).

Personal Quotes (13)

The thing I may be ashamed of more than anything else is having talked to opposing players. Not calling them names, but saying something like 'Keep your hands off him' or 'Don't be a butcher.'
Goodness gracious sakes alive!
[In 1995 on this three main ideals]: One was to get his players in the best possible condition. Another was quickness. I wanted my centers to be quicker than my opposing center, the forwards quicker than their forwards, and so on. The third was teamwork. You better play together as a team or you sit. People ask me if I'd permit fancy things like dunks. Well, if they dunk, it was with no fancy flair. No behind-the-back dribbles or passes unless necessary. If it was for show, you were on the bench.
[on Bill Walton's hair]: Bill, that's not short enough. We're sure going to miss you on this team. Get on out of here.
[on Sam Gilbert in 1989]: I warned them, but I couldn't pick their friends. I honestly felt Sam meant well.
His creed: Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good books. Make friendship a fine art. Build a shelter against a rainy day.
What's the main ingredient of stardom? The rest of the team.
Young people need models, not critics.
Learn as if you'll live forever; live as if you'll die tomorrow.
Failure is never fatal. But failure to change can and might be.
Talent is God-given; be fruitful with it. Fame is man-given; be thankful for it. Conceit is self-given; be mindful of it.
[on bravery] Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts.
[on control] I never preach religion to my players, but I won't tolerate profanity. This isn't for moral reasons. Profanity to me symbolizes loss of control; self-discipline is absolutely necessary to winning basketball.

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