University News

Statement from UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero on John Wooden

The following statement was issued by UCLA Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero on the passing of legendary UCLA icon John Wooden:
There will never be another John Wooden. While this is a huge loss for the Bruin family, Coach Wooden's influence reaches far beyond Westwood. Coach was a tremendously significant figure, and this loss will be felt by individuals from all parts of society.
He was not only the greatest coach in the history of any sport, but he was an exceptional individual that transcended the sporting world, and his enduring legacy as a role model is one we should all strive to emulate.

I can still recall my first interactions with Coach Wooden when I was a member of the UCLA baseball team and he was in the midst of his incredible run of championships. While attending those basketball games was certainly a highlight for me, what stands out even more was Coach making the effort to come to our baseball games to cheer for us, and what a special feeling that was for our team. Since then, I have had the unique opportunity to develop a close personal relationship with Coach Wooden over the years, and that's something I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Not only did Coach Wooden impact the lives of his own players, he impacted the lives of generations of UCLA student-athletes. To watch him come to one of our functions and interact with current student-athletes who were born well after his retirement as a coach was a thrill to behold. He had the knack of bridging the generation gap and was the most humble person you could ever hope to meet. He is, without a doubt, one of the most historic figures of the last century and has left an indelible mark on our world. He is, as Bill Walton once said, a national treasure, and he will be remembered as such forever.
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