Happy Birthday, John Wooden
Arguably the best coach in sports history, former UCLA men's basketball head coach John Wooden turns the big 99 today. Born on October 14, 1910 in the tiny town of Hall, Indiana, his family would move to Martinsville, IN where he would play in the state high school championships for the Martinsville High School basketball team 1926-1928 winning only once in 1927 against Muncie Central 26-23.
Wooden would go to Purdue University where he led the Boilermakers to the 1932 National Championship and the Big Ten Championship in 1930 and 1932. He was the first all-consensus three-time All American and received a Big Ten medal for excellence in scholarship.
After graduating, Wooden would coach and teach at a couple of Indiana high schools, serve in World War II and coach at Indiana State University before taking the job at UCLA. Of course at UCLA he would win 10 National Championships including seven in a row from 1967-1973.
His new book A Game Plan for Life: The Power of Mentoring co-authored by Don Yaeger is also out in stores today. They set up a website HappyBirthdayJohnWooden.com for people to leave their birthday wishes for the coach in hopes of reaching a goal of 9,999 wishes.