Wooden’s Legacy Spreads Online

By Staff

Coaching Management, 13.3, March 2005, http://www.momentummedia.com/articles/cm/cm1303/bbwooden.htm

It has been nearly 30 years since John Wooden last blew a whistle as the coach of the UCLA Bruins, but as most people know, he has never stopped coaching or teaching. And now, a new online resource will ensure that Wooden’s lessons continue to extend beyond the hardwood.

The John & Nell Wooden Legacy Center (WLC), named for Wooden and his late wife, is a new Web-based educational and interactive tool, providing outreach programs and recognition for outstanding teacher-coaches. Founded by a group of some of Wooden’s closest friends, including former players Jamaal Wilkes and Bill Walton, it is designed around five aspects, all of which are consistent with Wooden’s teachings.

The first is the John Wooden Teacher-Coach Award, which beginning in October will present $10,000 to an outstanding teacher-coach as voted on by the board of directors. Initially, the WLC plans to focus this award on coaches from youth sports, and thus far the American Baseball Coaches Association, the American Football Coaches Association, and the National Association of Basketball Coaches have endorsed the award.

The site’s educational component includes downloadable print and audio-visual materials for coaches, parents, and athletes. These materials are offered in collaboration with "CHARACTER COUNTS! Sports," and are designed to teach the ethical, character-building, and sportsmanship philosophies fundamental to Wooden’s teaching, coaching, and personal life.

The site also offers the Wooden Virtual Library, an online collection of writings on and by Wooden. The library will include unpublished writings by Wooden, a bibliography of his published works, and selected poems, interviews, and articles about him.

The WLC will also feature a "Wisdom Center" that solicits questions from coaches and athletes, to be answered by prominent coaches such as Wooden, Dean Smith, Joe Paterno, and Tom Osborne. The coaches’ responses will be videotaped and posted on the site.

The fifth aspect of the WLC is the "Coaches Hall of Honor," which encourages anyone who has benefited from a relationship with a coach to express his or her gratitude by submitting stories and photos chronicling their experiences. The WLC encourages people of all ages to share their experiences, and will provide samples and a template to assist in this process.

For more information about the WLC, go to: www.charactercounts.org/wlc/.