Chasing John Wooden: The Legendary UCLA Coach Will Always Be The Standard


Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden has once again made headlines. With March Madness coming to a close, two new champions have been crowned in college basketball and with it comparisons to the most successful coach in basketball. You could arguably say the best coach in sports… John R. Wooden.

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The Duke Blue Devils Men’s Basketball and Connecticut Huskies Women’s Basketball teams are your 2015 National Champions! Congratulations to both coach Mike Krzyzewski and coach Geno Auriemma. They both made history the past few days and because of that came mention of Wooden.

And why not? What Wooden did will never again be accomplished the way he did it. And can you believe in such a methodical and dominating fashion. It was beautiful.

Last weekend after the Elite 8, John Wooden was first brought up in relation to Mike Krzyzewski’s achievement that Sunday. Coach K had tied Wooden for most Final Four appearances.

With Duke’s most recent championship, Krzyzewski has moved ahead of Adolf Rupp for sole possession of second place among coaches with the most NCAA Championships.

Geno Auriemma has just tied John Wooden in most NCAA basketball champions. 10. That is an amazing feat. As the UConn coach, Auiemma has won a a third of the titles in the 30 years he has been coaching. Amazing.

Though Krzyzewski and Auriemma are making some great achievements they are still compared to the best coach of the all. John Wooden.

Coach Wooden coached UCLA for 27 years. He had been very successful in his early years, winning the conference eight times and making the Final once before his first championship. It was not until his 16th year as the Bruin coach that he won his first NCAA title.

Dec 28, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of exhibit in honor of former UCLA Bruins coach John Wooden at Pauley Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

But from that point, there was no stopping him. Four perfect seasons. Ten National Championships, seven of which were in a row (from 1967-73). A career winning percentage of 81%. What he has done, may be matched in certain categories, but will never be completely surpassed.

So no matter what happens in the future amongst successful college coaches, they will always be compared to John Wooden. That is why he is and will always be The Standard.