John Wooden, affectionately known as Coach, led UCLA to record wins that are still unmatched in the world of basketball. Throughout his long life, he shared the values and life lessons he passed to his players, emphasizing success that’s about much more than winning.
Born in 1910, Coach John Wooden was the first person to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame both as a player and coach, while ESPN ranks him as the greatest coach of all time, across all sports. In his 40 years at UCLA, he mentored legends such as Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He has created a model, the Pyramid of Success, and authored several books to impart his insight on achievement to others.
Coach wanted his players to be victors in life and not just on the court, so he treated them as an extended family and emphasized that winning was more than scoring. Indeed, most of his inspiring theories were born from conversations with his father, as a boy on their farm in Indiana. One that sums up his ideology quite well is his often-quoted definition of success: "Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best that you are capable of becoming."
"Coach Wooden is a humble, private man who has selflessly given up his life to make other people’s lives better ... John Wooden gave us the necessary tools to overcome the adversity and obstacles that he knew from the beginning would always be in our way. He taught us to find a source of motivation to inspire us to ever higher levels of preparation and work."Bill Walton