Aug. 17, 2006
WASHINGTON - President Bush on Thursday signed legislation authored by Congressman Brad Sherman that names a San Fernando Valley post office for the great UCLA basketball coach, John R. Wooden.
"Coach Wooden is a man who has meant so much to basketball players, fans, to sports in general, and especially to those of us who have been his neighbors in the San Fernando Valley for these three decades," said Sherman, who attended UCLA during the Wooden era. "Coach Wooden's leadership was not just on the court. He inspired so many by his testament to leadership, to success, to dedication, and to sportsmanship," Sherman said of the coach and author whose many books include The Pyramid of Success and Wooden on Leadership.
The president's signature was the final step in enacting into law the legislation that was introduced by Sherman on December 18, 2005. The House passed the bill on April 5, and the measure was approved by the Senate on August 2. Naming federal buildings is how Congress honors distinguished Americans whose achievements warrant lasting recognition.
Wooden, 95, lives in Encino in Sherman's congressional district. The Encino post office was named in 2002 for the late Los Angeles Lakers sportscaster Chick Hearn. Coach Wooden's daughter, Nancy Muehlhausen, lives in nearby Reseda, where the post office at 7320 Reseda Boulevard will be named the Coach John Wooden Post Office.
Wooden, who retired in 1975, coached the Bruins to 10 national titles, including seven in a row. Before he became the most successful coach in college basketball history, he was a standout player for Purdue University and led the Boilermakers to a national championship in 1932. He is one of only three people enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach.
Under Wooden's guidance, the Bruins set all-time records with four perfect 30-0 seasons, 88 consecutive victories, 38 straight NCAA tournament victories, 20 PAC 10 championships.
The post office will be dedicated to Wooden at a ceremony on his 96th birthday, October 14, 2006.