John Wooden – leadership in action

Mike Penner from the LA Times put together a great piece on legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, who celebrated his 99th birthday on Oct. 14. You can find the full piece at,0,7609241.story?page=1&track=rss, with an excerpt below.

On his 99th birthday, 99 things about John Wooden; To commemorate the legendary coach’s birthday, here are some facts and figures about his life.

by Mike Penner, LA Times
Oct. 14, 2009

Numbers 79 – 99

79. Wooden’s “Pyramid of Success” has become an organizational and inspirational tool for coaches everywhere.

80. The foundation for Wooden’s “Pyramid of Success” is Industriousness, Friendship, Loyalty, Cooperation and Enthusiasm.

81. The peak of the Pyramid is Competitive Greatness.

82. Another quote from Wooden: “A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.”

83. Since 1977, the most prestigious postseason award in college basketball has been the John R. Wooden Award.

84. Two annual doubleheader men’s basketball events are named after Wooden — the Wooden Classic and the Wooden Tradition.

85. In 1999, ESPN elected Wooden the “Coach of the 20th Century.”

86. The recreation center for intramural sports on the UCLA campus is named after Wooden.

87. A high school in Reseda is named John R. Wooden High.

88. In 2003, UCLA named the basketball court at Pauley Pavilion after Wooden and his wife, Nell. Wooden insisted the court be named the “Nell and John Wooden Court,” keeping Nell’s name first.

89. Wooden has his own website,

90. In 2007, UCLA announced it was planning to renovate Pauley Pavilion, while setting a goal of opening the renovated facility on Wooden’s 100th birthday, Oct. 14, 2010.

91. Another quote from Wooden: “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

92. On July 23, 2003, Wooden received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

93. Wooden is a fan of women’s basketball, because he says it often features more fundamentally sound basketball than the men’s version of the game.

94. Wooden has written several books, including “They Call Me Coach” and a book for children, “Inch and Miles.”

95. He has another book scheduled for release today called, “A Game Plan for Life: The Power of Mentoring with John Wooden.” In conjunction with the book’s release, fans can visit the website to send the coach birthday wishes.

96. On Wooden’s 96th birthday in 2006, a post office in Reseda was named the John Wooden Post Office.

97. Wooden retains the title head men’s basketball coach emeritus at UCLA and attends most of the team’s home games.

98. On Nov. 17, 2006, Wooden was a member of the founding class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Others were James Naismith, Dean Smith, Oscar Robertson and Bill Russell.

99. One more quote from Wooden: “Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you.”