John Robert Wooden (October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010) was an American basketball player and coach. Nicknamed the “Wizard of Westwood,” as head coach at UCLA he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period, including an unprecedented seven in a row. Within this period, his teams won a then-record 88 consecutive games. He was named national coach of the year six times. As a player, Wooden was the first to be named basketball All-American three times, and he won a Helms Athletic Foundation National Championship at Purdue University in 1932, seven years before the birth of the NCAA Tournament. Wooden was named a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player (inducted in 1961) and as a coach (in 1973), the first person ever enshrined in both categories. Only Lenny Wilkens, Bill Sharman and Tommy Heinsohn have since had the same honor.
“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” John Wooden
“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” John Wooden
“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.” John Wooden
“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.” John Wooden
“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” John Wooden
“Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.” John Wooden
“Failure is not fatal, but failing to change might be.” John Wooden