Coach John Wooden
Chancellor Block shares a message with the campus community about the passing of Coach John Wooden.
With the passing of John Wooden, we have lost a true giant and a gentleman, an individual who was perhaps more closely identified with UCLA than any other person in our university’s history. Coach Wooden was an unparalleled motivator and an inspiration to people throughout the world. Those of us who were fortunate enough to meet him will forever be touched by his unfailing wisdom and generous spirit.
Coach Wooden’s record of hundreds of victories and 10 national titles established a gold standard of achievement in college athletics. Both on the court and off, he was a teacher, role model and mentor who guided his players and generations of UCLA coaches and student-athletes to become champions in life. His lasting influence has extended far beyond the campus to include leaders in academia, business and government.
The renowned Wooden Pyramid of Success — a copy of which hangs in my office — encourages us all to value cooperation, loyalty and team spirit. The Pyramid remains one of the most recognized blueprints for competitive excellence, in any pursuit.
Coach Wooden and his beloved wife, Nell, were treasured members of the UCLA family, and the Nell and John Wooden Court at Pauley Pavilion is a lasting testament to their place in our hearts.
John Wooden’s remarkable legacy will stand forever at UCLA. Today, as we mourn his loss, we also extend our deepest sympathy to his daughter, Nan, his son, James, and his entire family.
The university flag in front of Pauley Pavilion will be lowered to half-staff, and a public memorial is being planned. Please visit the UCLA homepage for further information, as well as links to news articles and remembrances of Coach Wooden.