UCLA to honor Wooden with statue
When Pauley Pavilion re-opens next fall, it will include an exhibit called “Wooden Way,” – an exhibit designed to honor the iconic UCLA men’s basketball coach.
The school will also honor John Wooden with an eight-foot tall bronze statue outside the arena.
“I wanted this to be a destination point for people all over the world to come to when they visit UCLA,” athletic director Dan Guerrero said. “When visitors come, they all go to Ackerman Plaza and take pictures next to the Bruin bear. People are going to come and they are going to say let’s go take a picture next to Coach Wooden.”
Wooden died of natural causes at the age of 99 on June 4.
Known as The Wizard of Westwood, Wooden presided over one of the greatest dynasties in American sports and certainly the most dominant college program in history.
Wooden is generally regarded as the greatest coach in college basketball history, winning 10 championships in 12 years – including seven in a row from 1967-73 – with UCLA.
During that spectacular 12-year run from 1963-75, Wooden’s teams went 335-22, had four undefeated seasons and set an NCAA record with an 88-game winning streak.
Named the coach at UCLA in 1948, Wooden’s career record at the school was 620-147. He never had a losing season in 29 seasons as a head coach.
He capped his career, appropriately, by winning his 10th and final championship in 1975 before retiring from coaching.
Wooden was the first person to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (with Purdue) and a coach.