Family, Friends and Faith Are the Most Important Things, According to Coach Johnny Wooden


Yesterday I heard an interview recorded three years ago with the late Coach Johnny Wooden, who many say is the greatest college basketball coach of all time. The interview was so full of wonderful reminders that I listened to it twice. Listen to the interview.

Coach Wooden is loved by millions of people around the world. Arguably the greatest college basketball coach of all time, he was also a great teacher and perfect gentlemen.

I recall when I was a young man I watched John Wooden's UCLA basketball team win its 10th NCAA Championship. The final buzzer sounded. People rushed onto the court. A television reporter put the microphone up to Coach Wooden and asked him a question. Coach was looking in the distance trying to locate someone. Without pause, he politely said something to the effect of I'll talk to you later, I want to be with my family right now.

I will never forget that scene. I was just a young guy but it made a big impression on me.
He made family more important than the excitement of the moment.

I also remember going into a bookstore in San Francisco one day when I was in my twenty's. There was a book laying a sale counter and for some reason I picked it up. I thumbed through it and bought it.

I looked at it many times over the years. When times were tough and I doubted myself, this book comforted me and gave me hope. It was: They Call Me Coach by Johnny Wooden.
You see, we need to know that there is someone out there who is good, who has honor and who has love. Especially when we are young we need someone to validate on the outside what we know in our heart is right. We don't need to get close to them or even know them. We just need to know that they exist.
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Coach John Wooden's 7 Point Creed
Be true to yourself.
Make each day your masterpiece.
Help others.
Drink deeply from good books.
Make friendship a fine art.
Build a shelter against a rainy day.
Pray for guidance, and give thanks for your blessings every day.


Given to him by his father when he graduated from elementary school