U.S. House Of Representatives Honor The Life Of Coach John Robert Wooden

Just a little while ago today Congressman Henry Waxman (CA-30) introduced H.Res. 1427 entitled "Honoring the life of John Robert Wooden." Here is Congressman Waxman - a double Bruin (UCLA Undergraduate and Law School graduate) - honoring Coach on the House Floor:

Representative Waxman said (emphasis mine):

The full list of records broken and accolades earned is far too long to cover here.  His accomplishments have made his name synonymous with success and it is unlikely that anyone will ever be able to accomplish what he did. 

Incredibly, his coaching success was never the most remarkable thing about him.  What was most remarkable was how he inspired people, and motivated them to excel on the court and off.

As soon as a game started, it was clear that he wasn't your typical coach.  Absent were the  outbursts and cursing so typical from other coaches.  Instead, Coach Wooden led with the calmness and poise of someone who knew he had prepared his players for anything they could face. 

Basketball was just a means for Coach Wooden to influence his players by instilling life lessons and the value of character.   He relished the practice and the preparation far more than the games that brought him glory because they provided him the opportunity to teach.  Hundreds of UCLA players attribute so much of the success in their lives to the years they spent with John Wooden.  And he was most proud about that.

While Coach Wooden could never be replaced, he will be remembered and celebrated for all time because of his love of the game, his love for his players, and his love for his family.

John Wooden often said, "you can't live a perfect day until you do something for someone who will never be able to repay you."

Madame Speaker, Coach Wooden lived a lot of perfect days.

Beautiful stuff.

The bipartisan resolution was also cosponsored by Representatives Jame Harman (CA-36), Laura Richardson (CA-37),  Adam Schiff (CA-29), Howard Berman (CA-28), Lois Capps (CA-23), Diane Watson (CA-33), Doris Matsui (CA-5), Brad Sherman (CA-27),  Grace Napolitano (CA-38), Chris Murphy (CT-5), Jim Matheson (UT-2), Mike Honda,  Linda T. Sánchez (CA-39), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34),  Brad Ellsworth (IN-8), Peter Visclosky (IN-1), Joe Donnelly (IN-2), John Campbell (CA-48), Loretta Sanchez (CA-47),  Zoe Lofgren (CA-16),  Tom McClintock (CA-4), Steve Buyer (IN-4), Heath Shuler (NC-11), Baron Hill (IN-09),  Judy Chu (CA-32), and David  Dreier (CA-26).

Full text of Rep. Waxman's remarks and resolution is posted after the flip.

Full statement:

Rep. Henry A. Waxman

Statement Honoring John Robert Wooden

June 10, 2010

Madame Speaker- It is with a heavy heart that I rise to honor the remarkable life and tremendous contributions of John Wooden, who passed away in Los Angeles last Friday.  I want to begin by expressing my condolences on his passing to his family and the countless people whose lives he touched.

John Wooden coached at UCLA when I was there earning my undergraduate and law school degrees.  I was in my last year of law school when the Bruins had their first perfect season under Coach Wooden, a season that culminated in a championship win over Duke.  Everybody on campus was thrilled.  No one could have possibly imagined that this was only the beginning of a historic run that will probably never be matched.

John Wooden would go on to coach the Bruins to an unprecedented 10 NCAA championships, including an incredible 7 in a row, and a record four perfect seasons which includes an 88 game win streak from 1971 to 1974.

The full list of records broken and accolades earned is far too long to cover here.  His accomplishments have made his name synonymous with success and it is unlikely that anyone will ever be able to accomplish what he did. 

Incredibly, his coaching success was never the most remarkable thing about him.  What was most remarkable was how he inspired people, and motivated them to excel on the court and off.

As soon as a game started, it was clear that he wasn't your typical coach.  Absent were the  outbursts and cursing so typical from other coaches.  Instead, Coach Wooden led with the calmness and poise of someone who knew he had prepared his players for anything they could face. 

Basketball was just a means for Coach Wooden to influence his players by instilling life lessons and the value of character.   He relished the practice and the preparation far more than the games that brought him glory because they provided him the opportunity to teach.  Hundreds of UCLA players attribute so much of the success in their lives to the years they spent with John Wooden.  And he was most proud about that.

While Coach Wooden could never be replaced, he will be remembered and celebrated for all time because of his love of the game, his love for his players, and his love for his family.

John Wooden often said, "you can't live a perfect day until you do something for someone who will never be able to repay you."

Madame Speaker, Coach Wooden lived a lot of perfect days.

Here is the text of the resolution:

H. RES. 1427


Honoring the life of John Robert Wooden.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 8, 2010

Mr. Waxman (for himself, Ms. Harman, Ms. Richardson, Mr. Schiff, Mr. Berman, Mrs. Capps, Ms. Watson, Ms. Matsui, Mr. Sherman, Mrs. Napolitano, Mr. Murphy of Connecticut, Mr. Matheson, Mr. Honda, Ms. Linda T. Sánchez of California, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Mr. Ellsworth, Mr. Visclosky, Mr. Donnelly of Indiana, Mr. Campbell, Ms. Loretta Sanchez of California, Ms. Zoe Lofgren of California, Mr. McClintock, Mr. Buyer, Mr. Shuler, Mr. Hill, Ms. Chu, and Mr. Dreier) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor


RESOLUTION

Honoring the life of John Robert Wooden.

Whereas John Robert Wooden was born on October 14, 1910, in Hall, Indiana;

Whereas John Wooden began his basketball career at Martinsville High School and helped his team win the Indiana State high school basketball title in 1927;

Whereas John Wooden later became a three-time all-American star guard at Purdue University, helped lead Purdue to the National Championship in 1932, was named the 1932 national collegiate player of the year, and received the Big Ten medal for excellence in scholarship;

Whereas John Wooden served honorably as a lieutenant in the United States Navy during World War II;

Whereas John Wooden began his collegiate coaching career in 1946 at Indiana State Teachers College (now Indiana State University), where he fought racial inequality by refusing an invitation to the 1947 National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball because an African-American player on his team would not be allowed to participate;

Whereas John Wooden became head coach at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1948 and quickly established a record of success with his student-athletes both on and off the court that is legendary and unmatched;

Whereas John Wooden led the UCLA Bruins to 10 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships (including 7 in a row), 19 conference championships, 12 final four appearances, four perfect seasons, and a record 88-game winning streak from 1971 to 1974;

Whereas John Wooden was the first person elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and as a coach;

Whereas John Wooden was foremost an educator who always stressed the importance of team play while inspiring the development of individual talent and academic excellence;

Whereas John Wooden was the personification of teamwork and good sportsmanship, and his name is synonymous with integrity;

Whereas an annual award in John Wooden’s name is given to the Nation’s top college men’s and women’s basketball player;

Whereas John Wooden won the lifelong respect of his colleagues, players, and fans for the values he lived and espoused;

Whereas John Wooden’s renowned Wooden Pyramid of Success, which stresses industriousness, friendship, loyalty, cooperation, enthusiasm, self-control, alertness, initiative, intentness, condition, skill, team spirit, poise, and confidence as the building blocks for competitive greatness, is one of the most widely recognized blueprints for excellence in any pursuit;

Whereas, on July 23, 2003, John Wooden received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation's highest civilian honor recognizing exceptional meritorious service;

Whereas, on December 20, 2003, the basketball floor at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion was dedicated as "Nell and John Wooden Court"; and

Whereas John Wooden, whose death was preceded by his beloved wife Nell, is survived by his 2 children, Nancy and James, 7 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) honors John Wooden for his exceptional career as a coach, player, educator, and mentor, including his unrivaled achievements during his tenure at UCLA;

(2) pays tribute to his iconic legacy of leadership, and recognizes the respect and admiration he earned through his dedication to the betterment of others; and

(3) expresses condolences on his passing to his children, Nancy and James, his grandchildren, his great-grandchildren, and the countless players, fans, and admirers who mourn his passing.

 

GO BRUINS.

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