John Wooden, 1932
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Photos: John Wooden | 1910-2010

John Wooden was captain at Purdue and led the Boilermakers to the 1932 national title.
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John Wooden, right, newly announced head basketball coach at UCLA, is shown with his wife, Nell, left, and their children, Nancy, 14, and James, 11, at their home in Terre Haute, Ind.
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UCLA Coach John Wooden is flanked by forward Sidney Wicks, right, and center Lew Alcindor (later to become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) after UCLA beat Purdue, 92-72, to win the NCAA basketball title in Louisville, Ky., in March 1969. It was UCLA’s fifth championship under Wooden and third in a string of seven in a row for the Bruins, who won 10 NCAA titles in a 12-year stretch.
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Wooden gives instructions to star center Lew Alcindor, now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, during a workout in preparation for the 1969 NCAA championship.
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In 1970, Wooden held the NCAA championship trophy again as the Bruins, led by guard John Vallely, who became known as “Money Man” for his play in big games, defeated Jacksonville, 80-69, in College Park, Md.
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Wooden and his wife, Nell, shown in 1970, were married for 53 years. Nell died in 1985, and for a time, Wooden became what he described as “bordering on” a recluse.
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Wooden holds the championship trophy and Sidney Wicks wears the net around his neck after the Bruins won the title for the fifth consecutive year, defeating Villanova, 68-62, in the final of the 1971 NCAA tournament in Houston.
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The 1972 team had no shortage of height: Wooden is dwarfed by centers Swen Nater, left, and Bill Walton. Players didn’t always see eye to eye with Wooden, but they knew that breaking the rules would result in punishment no matter how valuable they were to the team’s success.
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Wooden delivers instructions during a timeout in the 1972 NCAA championship game at the L.A. Sports Arena. UCLA defeated Florida State, 81-76; Bill Walton, seated at left, was named the tournament’s most outstanding player. (Rich Clarkson / Sports Illustrated)
John and Nell Wooden are greeted at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in 1973 by one of the coach’s former UCLA players, Mike Connors, who at the time starred in the TV detective series “Mannix.”
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Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, who won 10 national titles in 27 years as head coach, walks with his wife, Nell, as they pass between former UCLA players in a birthday salute to the retiring coach at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles Oct. 14, 1975.
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Jim Nielsen, a reserve on the UCLA powerhouse teams of 1967 and ’68, found inspiration in the example of Coach Wooden and later became principal of Channel Islands High School in Oxnard. This photo was taken in the 1970s.
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Wooden won his 10th -- and final -- NCAA basketball championship in 1975 when the Bruins defeated Kentucky, 92-85, in the final. A few days earlier, he had announced his retirement effective at the end of the season.
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Wooden wears the net after the Bruins defeated Kentucky for their 10th national championship in the legendary coach’s final game.
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Wooden with sophomore forward Marques Johnson and the spoils of the 1975 championship.
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The retired coach catches the action in December 1994 during the inaugural John R. Wooden Classic, a college basketball doubleheader played at the Anaheim arena then known as the Pond.
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Wooden, a longtime resident of the San Fernando Valley, was honored at a ‘Valley of the Stars’ gala at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank in 1998.
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Long after he retired, Wooden continued to offer his services to the UCLA basketball program. Here he confers with guard Earl Watson after the Bruins defeated Oklahoma State in the Wooden Classic in 1998.
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John Wooden congratulates Cincinnati’s Kenyon Martin after Martin was presented with the 24th John R. Wooden Award in Los Angeles in 2000. The award annually recognizes the top collegiate basketball player.
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In an interview with The Times, Wooden recalled: ‘My father would always tell me: ‘Don’t look back, don’t whine, don’t complain.’ ”
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President George W. Bush congratulates Wooden after presenting him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the White House. The medal is the highest civilian award bestowed by the U.S. government.
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Students in Pauley Pavilion -- most of whom were not even born when Wooden coached his last game -- show their appreciation for the coach on the day the basketball floor was dedicated as Nell and John Wooden Court.
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Wooden waves to the crowd during the ceremony honoring the Bruins’ 1964 championship at Pauley Pavilion.
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar assists Wooden off the court at Pauley Pavilion after a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Bruins’ first NCAA tournament championship.
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Among Wooden’s maxims: “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”; “Flexibility is the key to stability”; “Be quick, but don’t hurry.”
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John Wooden holds court at a ceremony to rename Aliso High School in Reseda as John R. Wooden High School. Wooden is sitting in front of a mural that outlines his Pyramid of Success motivational program.
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Wooden, two days before turning 95, prepares to blow out the candles on his birthday cake at Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center.
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A referee once said of Wooden: “He never swore, but there was not a coach in the United States who could use the English language any better than he could. He was always technically and grammatically correct when he was chewing you out.”
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Wooden with one of his former players, John Vallely, at a Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation fundraiser.
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Wooden, at his Encino home, reads from an assembled book of poems sent to him by one of his former players, Swen Nater.
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The inaugural class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Mo., had five honorees: Wooden, James Naismith, Oscar Robertson, Dean Smith and Bill Russell.
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The retired coach wins a round of applause from UCLA players after their 65-62 win over Texas A&M in the Wooden Classic in 2006.
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Wooden takes questions from Special Olympics Southern California athletes at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
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Wooden with a group of Special Olympics athletes in 2006.
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Wooden joins Bill Walton for the banquet at the McDonald’s All-American High School Basketball Game in Louisville, Ky.
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Former players join Wooden at a party for his 97th birthday. Among them were, from left, Mike Warren, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton.
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Wooden congratulates Russell Westbrook after the Bruins defeated Davidson in the John Wooden Classic at the Honda Center in Anaheim. “We get behind, but we don’t give up,” he told the crowd. “I’m very proud of them.”
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Wooden and Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully made a joint appearance for charity, conversing on stage at the Nokia Theatre about sports and life. The event also was televised.
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John Wooden waves from the stands as he is introduced at ceremonies honoring the 1970 UCLA championship team.
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