NCAA BK

Reaction to John Wooden's death

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Reaction to John Wooden's death Friday:

  • "It's kind of hard to talk about Coach Wooden simply, because he was a complex man. But he taught in a very simple way. He just used sports as a means to teach us how to apply ourselves to any situation. He set quite an example. He was more like a parent than a coach. He really was a very selfless and giving human being, but he was a disciplinarian. We learned all about those aspects of life that most kids want to skip over. He wouldn't let us do that.'' — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • "Coach Wooden was more than a Hall of Fame basketball player and coach; he was an incredible man whose dedication and leadership on the court inspired generations of Californians. He meant so much to Los Angeles, California and the entire basketball community around the world. Maria and I extend our thoughts and prayers to his loved ones as they remember the extraordinary life of this coaching legend.'' — Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • "My reaction is sadness, yet at this point we have to celebrate maybe the most important guy in the history of the game. There has been no greater influence on college basketball, not just about the game but the team. He's the greatest coach in college basketball if not all basketball, from the standpoint of all of us trying to emulate what he's done. He gave so much to basketball and education. In my opinion if he's not as important as Dr. Naismith, he's right next to him.'' — Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun
  • "Quite likely, his accomplishments as a college basketball coach will never be matched. Neither will the impact he had on his players or the greater basketball community. Many have called Coach Wooden the 'gold standard' of coaches. I believe he was the 'gold standard' of people and carried himself with uncommon grace, dignity and humility. Coach Wooden's name is synonymous with excellence, and deservedly so. He was one of the great leaders -- in any profession -- of his generation." — Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski
  • "I have met Coach Wooden, about four years ago at the Final Four when it was here, and it was a tremendous honor. He gave me one of his pyramid of success cards that I still have today and got a picture with him, and it was a tremendous honor.'' — Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning
  • "When I think of a basketball coach, the only one I ever thought of was Coach Wooden. He had a great life and helped so many coaches until well in his 90s. Every time I talked to him he would give me some words of advice. He's the best of all time. There will never be another like him and you can't say that about too many people. It's a sad day but he had such an unbelievable run. I can't tell you what he's done for game of basketball and it's not just the wins. It's the attitude and the way he carried himself. I just can't say enough about him.'' — Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim
  • "This loss will be felt by individuals from all parts of society. He was not only the greatest coach in the history of any sport, but he was an exceptional individual that transcended the sporting world. His enduring legacy as a role model is one we should all strive to emulate.'' — UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero
  • "This is a sad day at UCLA. Coach Wooden's legacy transcends athletics; what he did was produce leaders. But his influence has reached far beyond our campus and even our community. Through his work and his life he imparted his phenomenal understanding of leadership and his unwavering sense of integrity to so many people. His 'Pyramid of Success' hangs in my office to remind me every day of what it takes to be an effective leader. He was truly a legend in his own time and he will be a legend for generations to come.'' — UCLA chancellor Gene Block
  • "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. Coach Wooden has been a member of the Purdue family since he studied and played here 80 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.'' — Purdue president France A. Cordova
  • "John Wooden was a great coach and a great man. He was a man of humility who embodied the best in character and values and exemplified what coaching is all about. I was fortunate enough to be honored with the Wooden Award in April, an award that now takes on added significance to me personally. I found out that I was being honored on his 99th birthday. To have the opportunity to go out to Los Angeles and see firsthand how great an impact he still has is something I will always be honored and humbled to be a part of. His legacy will endure forever.'' — Florida coach Billy Donovan
  • "There isn't a more respected, influential and genuine figure in the history of the game than Coach Wooden. This is a tremendous loss, but his legacy will live on through the countless people whom he touched over the years.'' — Purdue coach Matt Painter
  • "We take a great deal of pride in his words, his experience and his ability to do what he did. A lot of people at UCLA know that his `Pyramid of Success' is the foundation for a lot of the programs.'' — UCLA softball coach Kelly Inouye-Perez

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