• January 19, 2022

The “Wizard of Westwood,” Coach John Wooden, 1910–2010


From the UCLA.edu obituary:

UCLA’s legendary former basketball coach John Wooden, who in 27 years led his teams to stunning triumphs and was just as well known for mentoring his players off the court and for his motivational "Pyramid of Success," died at 6:45 p.m. of natural causes. He was 99. His 100th birthday would have been Oct. 14.

At UCLA, Wooden’s teams won a remarkable seven consecutive National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships between 1967 and 1973, and 10 titles (1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1975) in his final 12 seasons as head coach. At one point in the early 1970s, the Bruins won an NCAA-record 88 games in a row, a run that included undefeated 30-0 seasons in 1971–72 and 1972–73. UCLA also won 38 consecutive NCAA Tournament games between the 1963–64 and 1973–74 seasons, another record.

Wooden retired from coaching following the 1975 season with a UCLA record of 620 wins and 147 losses. Only twice during his tenure did the Bruins lose home games at Pauley Pavilion, where he coached from the 1965–66 through 1974–75 seasons.

"This is a sad day at UCLA," said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. "Coach Wooden’s legacy transcends athletics; what he did was produce leaders. But his influence has reached far beyond our campus and even our community. Through his work and his life, he imparted his phenomenal understanding of leadership and his unwavering sense of integrity to so many people. His ‘Pyramid of Success’ hangs in my office to remind me every day of what it takes to be an effective leader. He was truly a legend in his own time, and he will be a legend for generations to come."

  • UCLA Newsroom Obituary
  • UCLA Tribute Page
  • John Wooden dies at 99; coach won 10 national basketball titles at UCLA (Los Angeles Times)
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