Friday, June 18, 2010

Great Words/Great Men



On Friday, June 4, 2010, the basketball coach and English teacher John Wooden died. He was ninety-nine years old. John Wooden led the UCLA Bruins to an unprecedented ten NCAA championships. He married his only girlfriend, Nell, and they raised two children. After his beloved wife died in 1985, he wrote her a letter every month and set it on her pillow.


Vin Scully, the legendary L.A. Dodgers broadcaster, quoted William Shakespeare when he spoke of the passing of his longtime friend:

His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world 'This was a man!'
Julius Caesar Act V, Scene V

Here is a partial list of John Wooden quotes. I cannot imagine a single day when at least one of these thoughts wouldn't make me a better person and a better leader of young minds.

Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.

If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes.

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.

Adversity is the state in which man mostly easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.

Ability is a poor man's wealth.


Rest in peace, sir, and thank you.

I like to believe you are now in her arms.


AP photos

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