One recent testimonial for John Wooden resonated even more because the comments made on his behalf before news broke that the former UCLA basketball coach had passed away.
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, speaking for a June 3 piece in the Boston Globe, credited Wooden's book, "A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court," for helping to transform his career. Carroll told the Globe he read the book in 2000, after the New England Patriots had fired him and before USC had hired him.
"It hit me immediately that he had been a really successful coach before then, but once he got it all together and got it nailed, nobody could beat him," Carroll told the Globe. "It just struck me: 'I don’t have my act together like I need to.' And I knew if I had another opportunity, I wasn’t going to get another 16 years. I thought I’d already done this. I mean, I knew the importance of it. But then it hit me -- 'Nah, I really don’t know.' "
Carroll offered a few additional thoughts on the subject Monday, three days after Wooden died at age 99. More here.
Wooden, like basic coaching philosophies, transcended a specific sport. 49ers coach Mike Singletary said he will "forever be indebted" to Wooden for wisdom imparted during a meeting at a sports-related function several years ago.
"After he spoke, I just ran down and found him and had a chance to visit with him," Singletary said. "I had talked to him on the phone previously, just simply because I was intrigued by the amount of success he’d had. When you have that kind of success in any field, it’s really a phenomenal feat. He is someone that any coach would want to follow in those kinds of footsteps."
Wooden gave Singletary a card featuring his "Seven Point Creed" -- a copy of which Singletary said he carries in his wallet.