Reaction to John Wooden’s death

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


  • “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