63 Facts About John Wooden


John Robert Wooden was an American basketball coach and player.

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John Wooden played professionally in the National Basketball League.

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John Wooden was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and as a coach, the first person ever enshrined in both categories.

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One of the most revered coaches in the history of sports, John Wooden was beloved by his former players, among them Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton.

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John Wooden was renowned for his short, simple inspirational messages to his players many of which were directed at how to be a success in life as well as in basketball.

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John Wooden's 29-year coaching career and overwhelming critical acclaim for his leadership have created a legacy not only in sports but extending to business, personal success, and organizational leadership.

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John Robert Wooden was born on October 14,1910, in Hall, Indiana, the son of Roxie and Joshua Wooden, and moved with his family to a small farm in Centerton in 1918.

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John Wooden had three brothers: Maurice, Daniel, and William, and two sisters, one who died in infancy, and another, Harriet Cordelia, who died from diphtheria at the age of two.

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John Wooden was named All-Big Ten and All-Midwestern while at Purdue, and he was the first player ever to be named a three-time consensus All-American.

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John Wooden was selected for membership in the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

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John Wooden is an honorary member of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity.

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John Wooden was nicknamed "The Indiana Rubber Man" for his suicidal dives on the hardcourt.

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John Wooden graduated from Purdue in 1932 with a degree in English.

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John Wooden served until 1946 and left the service as a lieutenant.

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John Wooden coached two years at Dayton High School in Dayton, Kentucky.

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John Wooden spent two years at Dayton and nine years at Central.

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John Wooden refused the invitation, citing the NAIB's policy banning black players.

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One of John Wooden's players, Clarence Walker, was a black man from East Chicago, Indiana.

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The NAIB had reversed its policy banning African-American players that year, and John Wooden coached his team to the NAIB National Tournament final, losing to Louisville.

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John Wooden succeeded Fred Cozens, Caddy Works, and Wilbur Johns; Johns became the school's athletic director.

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John Wooden signed a three-year contract for $6,000 in the first year.

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John Wooden had immediate success, fashioning the mark of the rarest of coaches, an "instant turnaround" for an undistinguished, faltering program.

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In spite of these achievements, John Wooden reportedly did not initially enjoy his position, and his wife did not favor living in Los Angeles.

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When Mel Taube left Purdue in 1950, John Wooden's inclination was to return to West Lafayette and finally accept the head coaching job there.

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John Wooden was ultimately dissuaded when UCLA officials reminded him that it was he who had insisted upon a three-year commitment during negotiations in 1948.

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John Wooden felt that leaving UCLA prior to the expiration of his contract would be tantamount to breaking his word, even though Purdue offered more money, a car and housing.

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Also hampering the fortunes of John Wooden's team during that time period was a probation that was imposed on all UCLA sports teams in the aftermath of a scandal that involved illegal payments made to players on the school's football team.

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John Wooden credited Norman for devising the diamond-and-one defense that contained Hayes.

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Alcindor and John Wooden would continue their communication even after he left UCLA.

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Walton and John Wooden were everybody's Player and Coach of the Year again.

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The success of John Wooden's last team was particularly impressive because it had no marquee stars such as Alcindor, Walton, Hazzard, and Goodrich; the team was a group of rugged opportunists.

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The bestseller details how Hill applied his experience as a player under John Wooden to achieve success in his career as a television executive.

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John Wooden's goal was to demonstrate the relevance of Wooden's coaching style to the business world.

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In 2004, a 93-year-old John Wooden stated that he would not mind coming back as an assistant who could help players with practices and other light duties.

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John Wooden gained lasting fame with UCLA by winning 620 games in 27 seasons and 10 NCAA titles during his last 12 seasons, including seven in a row from 1967 to 1973.

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John Wooden was given a Bruin powder blue Mercedes that season as a retirement gift.

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John Wooden left it as a national powerhouse with 10 national championships— the most successful rebuilding project in college basketball history.

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In 2009, John Wooden was named The Sporting News "Greatest Coach of All Time".

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John Wooden was named NCAA College Basketball's Coach of the Year in 1964,1967,1969,1970,1971,1972 and 1973.

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On November 17,2006, John Wooden was recognised for his impact on college basketball as a member of the founding class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

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John Wooden was one of five people—along with Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Dean Smith and Dr James Naismith—who were selected to represent the inaugural class.

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Coach John Wooden was the ninth honouree in the Missouri Valley Conference's Lifetime Achievement category.

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On February 3,1984, John Wooden was inducted into the Indiana State University Athletic Hall of Fame.

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In 2000, John Wooden was honoured with the "Lombardi Award of Excellence" from the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation.

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Also in 2008, John Wooden was honoured with a commemorative bronze plaque in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Memorial Court of Honour because his UCLA basketball teams played six seasons in the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.

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On July 23,2003, John Wooden received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honour.

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In 1986, John Wooden was honoured as an Outstanding Alumnus of the School of Liberal Arts at Purdue University – the first year the award was given.

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In 1976, John Wooden received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.

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John Wooden met his future wife, Nellie "Nell" Riley, when he was a freshman in high school They were both 21 years of age when they married in a small ceremony in Indianapolis in August 1932 and afterward attended a Mills Brothers concert at the Circle Theatre to celebrate.

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John Wooden remained devoted to Nellie's memory until his own death 25 years after her passing.

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John Wooden kept to a monthly ritual—health permitting—on the 21st of every month, when he would visit her crypt in the mausoleum, then write a love letter to her.

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John Wooden stopped writing the letters because of failing eyesight in the last months of his life.

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John Wooden read the Bible daily and attended the First Christian Church.

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John Wooden was in good physical health until the later years of his life.

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John Wooden was hospitalized again in 2007 for bleeding in the colon, with his daughter quoted as saying her father was "doing well" upon his subsequent release.

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John Wooden was hospitalized on March 1,2008, after a fall in his home.

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John Wooden broke his left wrist and his collarbone in the fall, but remained in good condition according to his daughter and was given around-the-clock supervision.

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On May 26,2010, John Wooden was admitted to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after suffering from dehydration.

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John Wooden remained hospitalized there and died of natural causes at age 99 on June 4,2010.

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John Wooden was survived by his son, daughter, three grandsons, four granddaughters, and 13 great-grandchildren.

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John Wooden lectured and authored a book about the Pyramid of Success.

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John Wooden proudly claimed that these late in life windfalls allowed him to set up education accounts for all of his grandchildren.

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John Wooden was the author of several other books about basketball and life.

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