Gen2Bruin1987 is already on the story but obviously it deserves lot more than just a fanshot in this part of the internets. To no one's surprises, the Sporting News voted Coach Wooden as the greatest ever in their list of 50 greatest coaches:
Headlining the new issue of Sporting News Magazine: our list of sports' 50 greatest coaches of all time, as selected by a panel of 118 Hall of Famers, championship coaches and other experts.
John Wooden, who at UCLA won a record 10 Division I men's basketball championships in 12 years, was a runaway winner. SN's 1970 Sportsman of the Year picked up 57 first-place votes from the panel, which includes seven World Series-winning managers, four Super Bowl champion coaches and the winningest coaches in the NBA, NHL and college basketball.
"When I think of Coach Wooden, the first word that comes to mind is execution," said Gail Goodrich, who wrote an appreciation of his former coach in SN. "We never worried about the opponent, only about how we were going to play."
Vince Lombardi was number 2. Alabama's Bear Bryant at number 3, and Laker legend Coach Jackson was at number 4. The only other coaches or managers with LA connections are Pat Riley (30), Joe Torre (32), and Tommy Lasorda (48). Guess no room for coaches who built their program with the talents of (alleged) criminals and (alleged) cheaters. You can see the full list here. More after the jump.
As for Coach this news is an excuse to post this video:
Gatorade "Wooden Poem" (via vhklholdings)
Congrats Coach but none of this is a surprise to us.
UPDATE (N): A number of former Coach's players - Bruin legends such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lucius Allen, Gary Cunningham, Mike Warren and Jamaal Wilkes - gathered yesterday to celebrate the honor. From the LA Times:
Kenny Washington attended, as did Mike Warren and former assistant -- later head coach -- Gary Cunningham. Current Coach Ben Howland and Athletic Director Dan Guerrero also spoke.
Abdul-Jabbar likened Wooden to "a national treasure," adding that "I'm sure coach is somewhat embarrassed by all this attention."
Andy Hill, a reserve in the early 1970s, said the lessons he learned from basketball helped him succeed as a television executive.
Johnson offered a different sort of memory, a moment from his freshman year when Wooden found him shooting pool at a campus hangout.
The young player, who would later star on the 1975 national championship team, figured he was in trouble as his coach walked up and asked for the cue.
"Toothpick in his mouth, blue sweater, he leans over the pool table and proceeds to run off about seven or eight balls," Johnson recalled. "Hands me the pool cue, walks out without saying a word."
It was that sort of event Wednesday, filled with old stories and some laughter.
More from Dohn in the Daily News:
Andy Hill, a self-described "scrub" on three of former UCLA coach John Wooden's national title teams, came ready. He had notes on a stack of index cards.
"Coach always taught us failing to prepare is preparing to fail," Hill said.
Next, former Bruins great Marques Johnson spoke "I'm coaching my 10-year-old son's youth basketball team, and here's my little three-by-five cards," Johnson said as he reached into his suit jacket pocket. "(Coach Wooden) had an impact on us even when you don't want him to."
Of course Coach Howland as the Caretaker of Westwood flanked Coach Wooden's right during the event:
"He's continued to teach 30-plus years after he finished his coaching career," said Bruins basketball coach Ben Howland, who flanked Wooden's right during the two-hour luncheon. "The thing that's really special to me is coach is probably the greatest person that I know outside of my mother and father in my lifetime. His integrity, his honesty, the way he lives his life, is a model for all of us."
As for the Coach as always was being humble:
"No one can truly be the very best," he said. "No one."
Sorry. But we are not buying that line Coach.