- Category : 1910-births
- Type : PM
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX The Clarion 2
American basketball player and head coach at the University of California at Los Angeles. Nicknamed the "Wizard of Westwood," he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period as head coach at UCLA, including a record seven in a row. No other team has won more than four in a row in Division 1 college men's or women's basketball. Connecticut's women's D1 team comes in second to UCLA men's with four in a row. Within this period, his teams won an NCAA men's basketball record 88 consecutive games. Wooden was named national coach of the year six times. He also won a Helms national championship (which was decided by a poll) at Purdue as a player 1931–1932 for a total of 11 national titles, a feat matched only by Geno Auriemma of NCAA women's basketball.
As a 5'10" guard, Wooden was the first player to be named basketball All-American three times, and the 1932 Purdue team on which he played as a senior was retroactively recognized as the pre-NCAA Tournament national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation and the Premo-Porretta Power Poll. Wooden was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player (1960) and as a coach (1973), the first person ever enshrined in both categories. Lenny Wilkens, Bill Sharman and Tommy Heinsohn are the only other basketball players who have since achieved the same honors.
One of the most revered coaches in the history of sports, Wooden was beloved by his former players, among them Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Bill Walton. Wooden was renowned for his short, simple inspirational messages to his players, including his "Pyramid of Success." These often were directed at how to be a success in life as well as in basketball. Wooden's 29-year coaching career and overwhelmingly positive critical acclaim have created a legacy of great interest in not only sports, but in business, personal success, and organizational leadership as well.
He died 4 June 2010 aged 99.