UCLA Spotlight


Happy Birthday, Coach Wooden

  • Published Oct 9, 2006 8:00 AM

Happy Birthday, Coach!

On Saturday, Oct. 14, 2006 John Wooden will celebrate his 96th birthday. What kind of birthday present do you give a legend?

John Wooden has 10 NCAA basketball championships. ESPN named him the Greatest Coach of the 20th Century. President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

On the UCLA campus, Wooden’s name graces the Wooden Recreation Center, the John and Nell Wooden Center Court in Pauley Pavilion, and the Wooden Athletic Fund.

Wooden is rich in memories and friends, as well. His players still seek him out, his children and grandchildren surround him with love. His fans line up to get his autograph: “Wooden on Leadership,” “They Call Me Coach,” and “Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success” are only a few of his many books.

This year Representative Brad Sherman (D-Woodland Hills), himself a UCLA student during the Wooden era, thought of something special to give the Coach on his birthday: a post office named in his honor.

“Coach Wooden is a man who has meant so much to basketball players, fans, to sports in general, and especially to those of us who have been his neighbors in the San Fernando Valley for these three decades,” said Sherman. “Coach Wooden’s leadership was not just on the court. He inspired so many by his testament to leadership, to success, to dedication, and to sportsmanship.”

So at 10 a.m. on Oct. 14, the U.S. post office at 7320 Reseda Boulevard will be dedicated to Coach John Wooden.

Happy Birthday, Coach!