From Reuters. Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, one of the most revered figures in U.S. sport, died Friday of natural causes at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. He was 99. His 100th birthday would have been October 14.
Wooden’s children, Nan and Jim Wooden, issued a statement asking that donations be made in his name to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or another charity of choice.
Widely regarded as one of the best team builders in U.S. sport, Wooden guided UCLA to an unprecedented 10 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship titles, including seven in a row from 1967-1973.
Under his charge, Bruins teams registered a record 88-game winning streak from 1971-1974, four perfect 30-0 seasons and strung together 38 consecutive NCAA Tournament games from 1964 to 1974.
Affectionately dubbed the “Wizard of Westwood”, he ended his career with a win-loss record of 667-161 after 29 years of college coaching.
Wooden became the first person to enter the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player (1961) and as a coach (1973).
“He established a goal that is unreachable in college sports, obviously,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said before Thursday’s Game One.
“And held it to such a standard that we all appreciated his teaching and his mentoring of his college students. His coaching has been an inspiration to all of us coaches.”
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