Landed Gentry Blog   Home   |

The Coach – A Tribute to John Wooden

Brian Gentry ~ Landed Gentry Homes & Communities

I’m sure this is one of the thousands of blog posts honoring the great John Wooden, who passed away at the ripe age of 99 this past Friday, June 4th.  Coach Wooden was a man who left a legacy that has spanned generations, I think it could be safe to say that his life impacted millions of people in the US and around the world.

I wasn’t even alive when Coach Wooden led some of the great UCLA championship basketball teams in 1960’s and early ‘70’s, in fact he coached his last game a few months before I was born.  That said, his influence is peppered throughout dozens of books and articles I have read over the past decade, and most of these readings had nothing to do with sports.  The business, management, leadership and faith world found John Wooden because he taught timeless principals. 

He was a teacher at heart, a man who got his professional start educating high school boys in the 1930’s and  continued teaching and influencing others through the first decade of the 21st century.  He was a part of writing several books, even in his late 90’s!  A true teacher is a lifelong learner and he was no exception, as he put it: “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts”.  Building value in himself and others was instilled in him from a young age.  When he graduated from grammar school his father, Joshua Wooden, gave young John what has become known as:  

John Wooden’s Seven Point Creed

  • Be true to yourself.
  • Make each day your masterpiece.
  • Help others.
  • Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
  • Make friendship a fine art.
  • Build a shelter against a rainy day.
  • Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.

Legend is that he carried the Creed on a slip of paper in his pocket and referenced it daily.   Imagine building your life on values such as these, in a focused, on purpose way?  If he was 13 when his father shared these nuggets of wisdom with him, Coach Wooden would have based his life on these principals for approximately 86 years, much longer than the average person in the US will even live. It is no wonder success followed John Wooden wherever he went.

There is so much more to say, but what strikes me the most is how he lived.   He lived a simple, humble life, focused on relationships, faith and contributing to others.   A man who poured out wisdom and encouraged character in the people he came in contact with whether in person or through his writings.   I aspire to live a meaningful life, an impactful life with my family, my relationship and in our daily activities as Landed Gentry.  As a people and as a nation we have been blessed to have had a leader such as John Wooden as part of our national fabric.

Coach you have made a difference, far greater than you may have ever known.  John Wooden has not left us, his impact will always be with us, he simply got called up to the pro’s.

John Robert Wooden   (October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010)

Link to New York Times Obituary:

One Response to “The Coach – A Tribute to John Wooden”

  1. Marc Marion says:

    Hey Brian,
    Nicely said. Actually, better then many others I read this week. He was an impacting man for sure. What will be said of us when we go to the “pros” at 99 or so? Have another great day.