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Wooden : a coach's life
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Basketball coaches
Basketball players
Code of conduct
College sports
California - West (U.S.)
Time Period
1910-2010 -- 20th century
Large Cover Image
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  Publishers Weekly Review

Wooden, who coached the UCLA men's basketball team to 10 NCAA championships in the 1960s and '70s, is a more supple and conflicted man than his oaken reputation suggested, according to this probing biography. In this hefty but well-paced account, Sports Illustrated scribe Davis (When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball) provides entertaining play-by-play and color commentary on Wooden's dynasty-building, key games, and the grueling, authoritarian methods-players were even instructed on the correct technique for donning shoes and socks-he used to impart his innovative fast-break system. Davis also unearths the nasty competitive streak beneath Wooden's saintly image, and shows how his old-school creed of hard work, clean living, and gentlemanly deportment warped under the pressure of high-profile competition and Vietnam-era nonconformism, forcing him to bend the rules for indispensable players and tolerate the influence of a seamy booster. Woven through the narrative is the usual psychodrama that basketball seems to incubate more than any other sport-capped by a shrieking Wooden rage at a showering player-and vivid depictions of Wooden's complex relationships with superstars Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton. As Wooden's rock-ribbed principles confront chaotic times and compromising circumstances, Davis paints an unusually rich and illuminating portrait of the coaching mission. Photos. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
<p> A provocative and revelatory new biography of the legendary UCLA coach John Wooden, by one of America's top college basketball writers </p> <p>No college basketball coach has ever dominated the sport like John Wooden. His UCLA teams reached unprecedented heights in the 1960s and '70s capped by a run of ten NCAA championships in twelve seasons and an eighty-eight-game winning streak, records that stand to this day. Wooden also became a renowned motivational speaker and writer, revered for his "Pyramid of Success."</p> <p>Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports has written the definitive biography of Wooden, an unflinching portrait that draws on archival research and more than two hundred interviews with players, opponents, coaches, and even Wooden himself. Davis shows how hard Wooden strove for success, from his All-American playing days at Purdue through his early years as a high school and college coach to the glory days at UCLA, only to discover that reaching new heights brought new burdens and frustrations. Davis also reveals how at the pinnacle of his career Wooden found himself on questionable ground with alumni, referees, assistants, and even some of his players. His was a life not only of lessons taught, but also of lessons learned.</p> <p>Woven into the story as well are the players who powered Wooden's championship teams - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Walt Hazzard, and others - many of whom speak frankly about their coach. The portrait that emerges from Davis's remarkable biography is of a man in full, whose life story still resonates today.</p>
Table of Contents
Prologue: The Denp. 1
Part 1Spring
1Hughp. 7
2The Artesiansp. 15
3Nellp. 24
4Piggyp. 31
5Johnny Wooden, All-Americanp. 43
6An English Teacherp. 52
7The Kautskysp. 68
8The HurryinÆ Sycamoresp. 79
9Clarencep. 89
Part 2Summer
10Unwelcomep. 105
11The Nonconformistp. 118
12L.A. Storyp. 127
13Willie the Whalep. 135
14The Donsp. 145
15Petep. 154
16Waltp. 172
17"Don't Be a Homer&excl;"p. 188
18Gailp. 197
19Perfectp. 211
Part 3Autumn
20J.D.p. 233
21Lewisp. 242
22Stallballp. 256
23Game of the Centuryp. 275
24Kareemp. 298
25The Last Banquetp. 320
26The Redheadp. 338
27Samp. 356
28Streakingp. 380
29Intolerablep. 399
30Farewellp. 420
Part 4Winter
31Clean Genep. 445
32The Shadowp. 459
33The Hardest Lossp. 477
34Andyp. 489
35Yonderp. 505
Epilogue: The Poetp. 516
John Wooden's Coaching Record, 1946-1975p. 526
Notesp. 527
Acknowledgmentsp. 565
Indexp. 569
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