John Wooden Passes at Age 99

Legendary coaching great John Wooden died Friday night in a Los Angeles hospital. He was 99 years old. "The Wizard of Westwood" is best known for winning 10 NCAA Championships at UCLA including an amazing seven in a row from 1967 through 1973. Keep in mind no other coach has won more than four NCAA Titles. Wooden also led UCLA to 88 consecutive victories at one point in his career.

Wooden grew up in Indiana where he helped his team win a state championship and starred at Purdue where he earned all-American honors.

John Wooden's greatness as a coach is indisputable but he had a tremendous impact on the game in retirement. His humble approach and Midwestern values and commitment to things like unselfish play were guiding principles for decades of coaches who tried to instill those traits in their own players. Wooden had three simple rules for his players: no swearing, no tardiness and no criticizing your teammates.

Here are some familiar Wooden quotes:

"Learn as if you were to live forever; live as if you were to die tomorrow."

"Don't give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you."

"All of life is peaks and valleys. Don't let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low."


Florida basketball coach Billy Donovan released this statement following the death of coach Wooden:

"John Wooden was a great coach and a great man. He was a man of humility who embodied the best in character and values, and exemplified what coaching is all about.

"I was fortunate enough to be honored with the Wooden Award in April; an award that now takes on added significance to me personally. I found out that I was being honored on his 99th birthday. To have the opportunity to go out to Los Angeles and see firsthand how great an impact he still has is something I will always be honored and humbled to be a part of. His legacy will endure forever.

"I also didn't want to go unnoticed the sad passing of Duke Llewellyn today, the co-founder of the Wooden Award and Team. Duke was a kind and compassionate man, and I feel truly honored to have known him, even if only briefly. He was a class individual with a great sense of humor who touched many lives around him."

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