Coach John Wooden Passes Away At Age 99

I was saddened to hear tonight that John Wooden, known as the “Wizard of Westwood” and one of the best basketball coaches of all time, passed away at 99  years of age today.

I just read a great obituary and tribute to Coach Wooden in the USA Today tonight and want to share my favorite parts of the piece by David Leon Moore:

“He was a better person than a basketball coach” – Current UCLA Coach Ben Howland

“He didn’t teach basketball, he taught life” – Bill Walton

“The greatest accomplishment in my life is the fact that almost all of my players graduated and almost all of them have done well in their professions’ – John Wooden

Thank you Coach Wooden for all that you did and for the many lives you shaped and influenced in your nearly 100 years on this Earth.  May God Bless You.

June 5 Update – here are some links from the LA Times this morning too.

Finally, I want to re-post something I wrote last October to celebrate Coach Wooden’s 99th birthday:

John Wooden on his 96th Birthday - from Wikipedia

Happy Birthday John Wooden

Today is Coach John Wooden’s 99th birthday.

John Wooden is well-known as the UCLA basketball coach from 1948 to 1975, and for the basketball dynasty he created by winning 10 NCAA titles during a 12-year stretch from 1963 to 1975.  He has written several books, and his latest one – “A Game Plan for Life: The Power of Mentoring with John Wooden” – is being released today.

In the LA Times today, writer Mike Penner wrote 99 things you may or may not know about John Wooden.  This article is like a mini-biography and provides highlights of his life.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Mike’s article:

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

“Talent is God given; be humble. Fame is man given; be thankful. Conceit is self given; be careful.”

“Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you.”

John Wooden is also famous for his Pyramid of Success which lists John’s 15 qualities of personal success.  It took Coach Wooden over 15 years to fill in the boxes on his pyramid, and he views it as a ‘personal roadmap to pursuing, and at times, achieving Competitive Greatness.’  Wooden freely shares his pyramid, his wisdom and his approach to success.  You can learn more about the Pyramid of Success and download a printable copy along with other resources from

John Wooden Pyramid of Success from

Coach Wooden shared his philosophy on the difference between winning and success in this TED video in 2001.

You can send birthday wishes to Coach Wooden through this website.  The goal is to have 9,999 people wish him happy birthday and they are just shy of 3,000 currently. Take minute today to reflect on Coach Wooden’s Pyramid and to learn just a little more about this great man.


One thought on “Coach John Wooden Passes Away At Age 99

  1. Pingback: Happy Birthday John Wooden « Social Media Musings by Tom Humbarger

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