If there is one thing that defines
college basketball-coaching legend John Woodens life, it is this winning.
Woodens career is unmatched in collegiate basketball history.
UCLAs basketball program gained the worldwide reputation of being rated number
one. The major reason was head basketball coach Wooden, who announced his retirement
in 1975 after his 27th season as the Bruins head coach with the
winningest record in basketball history.
concluded his 40th year as a head coach in 1975 with a record of 885 wins, 203
losses, and an unequaled winning percentage of 813. In his 27 years at UCLA, his
teams registered 620 wins against only 147 losses.
Wizard of Westwood is the only coach to compile four undefeated seasons of 30-0, and
his teams also captured 16 conference championships (one of the records Coach Wooden is
most proud of), all at UCLA.
been honored time and time again as a basketball player, coach , expert motivational
speaker, but most of all as a man of immense integrity and a true American hero.
Martinsville, Indiana on October 14, 1910, Wooden attended high school there and won
All-State prep honors in basketball for three years, leading Martinsville High to the
State title in 1927 and the runner-up spot in 1926 and 1928.
University, he won letters in basketball and baseball as a freshman, then went on to win
All-American honors as a basketball guard in 1930-31-32. He captained Purdues
great teams in 1931 and 1932, and led the team to two Big Ten titles and the 1932 National
Collegiate Championship. As an English major, his name was inscribed on
Purdues academic honor roll.
after graduating from Purdue in 1932, he began a high school teaching career at Dayton,
Kentucky High School, where he coached all sports. Two years later, he returned to
South Bend Central High School in Indiana, where he coached basketball, baseball and
tennis, and also taught English for nine years. His impressive 11-year prep coaching
record was 218 wins and only 42 losses.
War II interrupted his coaching career. From
1943 to 1946, he served in the U.S. Navy with rank of full lieutenant. Following his discharge in 1946, he went to
Indiana State University to become their athletic director and to coach their basketball
and baseball teams for two seasons prior to heeding the call from UCLA.
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