The Paper of Montgomery Co. | Crawfordsville, IN
Gridiron Guesses

Home | Subscribe | The Paper | Contact Us

home : sports : local sports September 30, 2014

6/7/2010 12:01:00 AM
The Paper

WEST LAFAYETTE - Purdue University and the college basketball world lost one of their pillars on Friday with the passing of the iconic John Wooden. The legendary player and coach passed away on Friday night in Los Angeles.

"All of us at Purdue, past and present, are immensely saddened by the death of John Wooden, and we send our deepest regrets to his loved ones and friends," Purdue president France A. Córdova said. "Coach Wooden has been a member of the Purdue family since he studied and played here eighty years ago. He lived a life of true leadership, steady and amazing excellence, and unfailing kindness to others. There was no one like Coach Wooden. He leaves a lasting imprint."

The first person to be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and coach, and one of only three to do so, Wooden took up the game that would later rename its collegiate player of the year award after him in 1918.

After his family moved from Centerton to Martinsville when Wooden was 14, he led Martinsville High School to a state title in 1927 and runner-up finishes in 1926 and 1928. He was a three-time all-state selection.

Following high school, Wooden enrolled at Purdue and continued to craft his legend under Lambert's guidance. He wasted no time in winning his first championship at the collegiate level, averaging 8.9 points per game to lead the Boilermakers to the 1930 Big Ten title and earn the first of his three-straight consensus All-America honors.

With an average of 12.2 points per game in his senior season, Wooden led Purdue to a 17-1 record , a Big Ten crown and, most importantly, the lone national championship in program history. In his final game, Wooden equaled his own single-game scoring record with 21 points in a 53-18 win over Chicago that wrapped up the national title.

Wooden was named National Player of the Year and earned his third-consecutive consensus All-America honor in 1932, becoming the first three-time consensus All-American in college basketball history. Wooden was also a three-time first-team All-Big Ten and All-Midwestern selection during his time with the Boilermakers.

After coaching high school basketball for 11 years, he enrolled in World War II.

Following his discharge in 1946, Wooden went to Indiana Teachers College (now Indiana State University), as athletic director, basketball coach and baseball coach for two years.

After the 1947-48 season, Wooden negotiated a three-year contract to take over as head coach at UCLA, where he became widely regarded as the greatest coach the game has ever seen.

During his tenure with the Bruins, Wooden became known as the "Wizard of Westwood" and gained lasting fame with UCLA by winning 620 games in 27 seasons. His last dozen seasons in Westwood saw Wooden win 10 NCAA titles, including seven in a row from 1967-73. His UCLA teams posted four perfect 30-0 seasons, had a record 88-game winning streak, won 38-straight NCAA Tournament games and produced a record 98-game home winning streak. UCLA was 149-2 at Pauley Pavilion during Wooden's tenure with the Bruins.

Wooden was named National Coach of the Year in 1964, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973. He finished his collegiate coaching career with a 664-162 (.804) record, including a 620-147 (.808) mark at UCLA.

Wooden was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1961 and a coach in 1973, becoming the first person ever to be enshrined in the hall in both capacities.

Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

About The PaperWebcastAnnouncement FormsPhoto GalleryLife
The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media

101 W. Main Street, Suite 300
P.O. Box 272
Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933
(765) 361-0100
(765) 361-8888
(765) 361-5901
(765) 361-0100
(765) 361-8888

Software © 1998-2014 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved
Advanced Search

Subscription Login

Announcement Forms
Closings and Delays
Photo Gallery
Montgomery Memories