They Call me Coach | Buzz Blog
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They Call me Coach

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"Don't whine. Don't complain. Don't make excuses"... ---

That’s what John Wooden’s father taught him. Wooden, who is without a doubt the most revered coach in all sports had 3 rules of his own for his players. • Be on time for everything. • Not one word of profanity • Never criticize a teammate… that’s the coach’s job.

Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden turned 99 years old today. More worthy of a book instead of a blog post, there have been several books written by him and about him. My favorite and the 1st “sports” book I ever read was “They Call me Coach.”

His records are too many to recount, but maybe the most impressive is this…

Wooden won 664 games in 27 seasons and 10 NCAA titles in his last 12 seasons, including 7 in a row from 1967 to 1973. His UCLA teams also had an NCAA record winning streak of 88 games and four perfect 30–0 seasons… and he never made more than $35,000 a year, nor did he ever ask for a raise.

One of my favorite Wooden stories is when Bill Walton came to practice sporting a beard, knowing that Wooden had a “no facial hair” rule. Walton was the NCAA College Player of the Year three times in a row. He explained to Coach Wooden that it was an expression of his personal freedom. Coach Wooden told Bill that he was very proud of him and his achievements. “… and we’ll all miss you Bill, go clean out your locker.”

Walton shaved immediately, and came back to practice where Wooden made him run laps for being late.