OT: John Wooden passes at 99

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by pats1, Jun 4, 2010.

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  1. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

    Greatest coach ever.

    He never scouted any other team. He believed only in perfecting his own team.

    For the past 25 years he has visited his wife's grave every 21st of the month and then written a love letter to her, which he left on her pillow.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010
  2. efin98

    efin98 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Greatest coach in College Basketball, but not the greatest coach period.

    A truly great man was lost today, and basketball will never be the same without him.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  3. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  4. efin98

    efin98 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    It's way to hard and complex to compare different sports and different levels of sports to one another because of the different needs and necessities year in and year out among the different sports...

    I'd give greatest pro football coach to Lombardi, greatest NBA coach to Auerbach, greatest baseball manager to John McGraw...and Mr. Wooden gets the greatest college basketball coach if not the greatest college coach.

    But to compare greatness against each other? I can't do that...he is among the pantheon of greatest of all time without a doubt and not putting him at the top of the heap isn't an insult to him in the slightest, I don't believe he would mind either since he was humble about how great he was despite his records.
  5. GroganCountry

    GroganCountry Practice Squad Player

    Nobody ever talks about it, but he ran a very DIRTY program. Kids went to Westwood because of Sam Gilbert just as much as they went there for Wooden. His "holier than thou" act came off a little flimsy to many. Just because he didn't pay the players directly, he was well aware of what was going on.
  6. Patjew

    Patjew PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    No Jersey Selected

    Do me a favor and don't write my eulogy.
  7. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #32 Jersey

    LOL, yeah I was thinking the exact same thing. Don't worry PJ, we've got you covered--at least around these parts. ;)

    On a more serious note, thanks for the thread pats1. I had no idea that he never scouted any other team, very interesting approach which obviously paid good dividends.

    Very sad but at the same time touching, regarding the bit about his wife. At any rate, nice to see him live a long life, and he will go down as one of the top coaches ever, in any sport.
  8. Patjew

    Patjew PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    No Jersey Selected

    The LA Times had a great article on Wooden today that anyone interested should definitely check out. It was illuminating.


    #12 Jersey

    Sucks to not see this legend of a coach not make and fall short of the century mark, but he had the kind of long career and long happy life that most, if not all of us in here could not even dream of living out and being as much of a success as John was

  10. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    He seemed very unique in coaching circles, focused on his own and did an excellent job.. not sure if can remember any controversy.

    John Wooden dies at 99; UCLA basketball coach won 10 national titles - latimes.com

    He is very hard to compare to anyone else.. different times, different venues and different motivation for players... his quotes seem very Belichickian...
  11. robertweathers

    robertweathers Pro Bowl Player

    Nice list for pros, efin...Red and Vince I would agree with 100%. Paul Brown would be a close second to VL IMO.

    I'd prefer to swap in a modern-day era manager for McGraw. Joe McCarthy perhaps.

    Gotta go with Scotty Bowman in hockey.

    But for college sports, Wooden does not have a peer. Maybe Geno.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010
  12. robertweathers

    robertweathers Pro Bowl Player

    Wooden was a great man and the greatest college coaches of all-time. However, this fact is unavoidable to ignore.

    W/O Papa Sam- 0 Nat'l titles
    W/ Papa Sam- 10 Nat'l titles.

    The problem is that there are 1000s of Papa Sams out there helping the kids in big-time programs back then and today.

    Wooden kept a measured distance from him but operated no differently than other college coaches now and then. Coach K, Dean Smith, etc....They all look the other way and keep their distance from the boosters. They knew who helped them land the kids.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010
  13. efin98

    efin98 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Wooden won two titles without him- '64 and '65. The titles after that had Papa Sam's fingerprints all over them.
  14. GroganCountry

    GroganCountry Practice Squad Player

    No problem. I won't write his eulogy either. I just pointed out a fact, sorry if some want to ignore it.

    Great post. Wooden by all accounts was a great coach and a great guy. But to discount the effects that Gilbert had on that program is ignorant. He literally PAID players to go there. Just because Wooden was a sweet old man who loved his wife doesn't mean he should be held to a different standard. That stuff was common back then, but don't tell me that UCLA didn't have a huge advantage with Gilbert writing the checks.
  15. scout

    scout Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    #15 Jersey

    OT: John Wooden passes at 99.
    A great person, who was also one of the greatest if not best coach in the history of college basketball died. At this time we like to remember the dead for their accomplishments and life. While it is likely that a booster played a role in his championship run, its not really the place or the time to post it.
    If BB was hospitalized and everyone was posting get well soon messages, you'd bring up spygate. Why not put your knowledge to a test, and write something nice about the guy.
  16. GroganCountry

    GroganCountry Practice Squad Player

    Why, do you think he's gonna read this and be offended? If you don't like that I pointed out something about his legacy - then sorry - I was simply stating a fact about the man. I never broke any rules and I never posted anything personally offensive that hasn't been written countless times. I'm sure he was a nice man and I respect people's opinions of the guy, but why is it so wrong for me to post something "knowledgable" about his program? Relax, it's just the internet.

    And fwiw, I actually met Wooden (along with Chick Hearn) years ago here in L.A. (that's where I live now). He was very nice to me in the two or three minutes I spoke with him. But that doesn't take away the whole Sam Gilbert issue.

    As for writing "something nice about the guy", why? Nobody did that here when Hank Iba died...or Pete Newell...or many other basketball coaching legends. And I'm sure 99% of what will be written will be complimentary - and deservedly so. But again, it's a Patriot messageboard that I'm sure won't be read by him or anyone else in his family. God forbid I post a fact about his program that won't be shown on SportsCenter.

    I respect your opinion and that's okay if you don't like mine. But I still have a right to type it here.
  17. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    My guess is that you could probably create a hologram of Wooden, program it with selected quotes from him over the years, install it in dozens of college locker rooms and end up with better coaching than what is produced by the guy who is doing the job now.

  18. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    I don't think the posters who have challenged you, based on their records here, are the kind of people who would purge the truth from an evaluation of anyone's life. I just think they're suggesting that the days immediately after someone's death might not be the time to focus on the negatives.

    If he did you wrong personally, well then I could probably understand it. But the man just died and people simply want to pay their respects.

    Start a thread in another forum a few weeks from now if you want to remind people of the "whole picture." The issue will still be around and I know I, for one, would be open minded enough to listen to you. But, it just "ain't classy" today...
  19. dhamz

    dhamz In the Starting Line-Up

    I think when BB passes on that you won't read 2 paragraphs without reading about spygate. When John Calipari passes you'll read in every single article about his 2 vacated Final 4s. Eddie Sutton and cash in overnight envelopes, Bob Knight and his off the court stuff that cost him his job at Indiana, etc.

    Wooden was a great coach and by all accounts a pretty good guy who was nice to people and whose players loved him. He also cheated to achieve what he did. He ran a dirty program in what everyone knows is a dirty business. I don't think that this is necessarily the time for the media to bring it up but they wouldn't give most others the same courtesy and the over the top sainthood stuff is just a bit much for my taste.
  20. robertweathers

    robertweathers Pro Bowl Player

    My bad. Thanks for the clarification...
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