Friday, June 4, 2010

Nearly 100, Wizard of Westwood dies

For those interested in the most successful coach in any sport ever, check out the Los Angeles Times piece on the passing of John Wooden, the longtime coach at UCLA, at the age of 99.

You would expect such long-form journalism from the Times, but I think the piece represents an end of another era as well - the substantive newspaper story.

The Times covers all the main elements of Wooden's life and years at UCLA, including the fact that a notorious booster helped UCLA achieve such prominence.

Still, 10 national championships, with seven in a row plus an 88-game winning streak show that it wasn't just a booster that made it all possible. No, it was Wooden, the man who made sure his players knew how to lace up their sneakers, plus players such as Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton.

Wooden was a winner. He led his high school to the state championship. He led Purdue to its only national championship.

Sad to see him go. His accomplishments will never be surpassed.

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