Tuesday, July 13, 2010


My dear friend John Wooden 
is truly an American treasure.  He was kind, caring, highly intelligent, vibrant, strong-willed, principled, humble, and one of the most fascinating men of this or any generation.

Why was the greatest coach that ever lived like this and not egotistical, selfish, arrogant, and greedy like so many that reach the pinnacle of what the world often defines as success?

It is because he firmly believed in what the first Webster’s dictionary ever printed in 1806 describing success as, fortunate, happy, kind and prosperous.  And not how dictionaries define success today, which is, attainment of wealth, fame and rank.

Coach Wooden'
s definition of success parallels’ that of 1806, he said, “Fame, fortune and power are not success.  Success is peace of mind, which is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

I have also heard him mention on several occasions that the four things mankind craves the most are freedom, happiness, peace, and love.   And none of these can be obtained without first giving them to someone else, and oh how he gave for so many years.

The best way I can describe Coach is that every time I left him I felt better about mankind and had a quest to strive to be a better human being.  Perhaps, a better way to define Coach is what Einstein said about Gandhi:  “Generations to come, will scarce believe that such one as this, ever in flesh and blood walked upon the earth.”

He is indeed a legend in basketball but more importantly he was a legend in serving mankind as a master teacher.

Now that Coach has left this earth, I ask myself how can I ever thank him for being my friend for 40 years.  And, as usual, my answer comes from the words of Coach himself.  In the last letter I received from him he said, “Although thanks is a rather simple one-syllable word that too often is used without true feeling, when used with sincerity no collection of words can be more meaningful or expressive.”

Thanks Coach!

1 comment:

  1. Well put Coach. Both you and Coach Wooden are class acts!!!!!

    Dr. Michael J. Fraser
    Sports Psychology Consultant