Representative Henry Waxman (30th District of California) and a UCLA alum, today introduced a House Resolution honoring the Life and Contributions of John Wooden.
Following is what he said on the House floor:
"Madame Speaker- It is with a heavy heart that I rise to honor the remarkable life and tremendous contributions of John Wooden, who passed away in Los Angeles last Friday. I want to begin by expressing my condolences on his passing to his family and the countless people whose lives he touched.
"John Wooden coached at UCLA when I was there earning my undergraduate and law school degrees. I was in my last year of law school when the Bruins had their first perfect season under Coach Wooden, a season that culminated in a championship win over Duke. Everybody on campus was thrilled. No one could have possibly imagined that this was only the beginning of a historic run that will probably never be matched.
"John Wooden would go on to coach the Bruins to an unprecedented 10 NCAA championships, including an incredible 7 in a row, and a record four perfect seasons which includes an 88 game win streak from 1971 to 1974.
"The full list of records broken and accolades earned is far too long to cover here. His accomplishments have made his name synonymous with success and it is unlikely that anyone will ever be able to accomplish what he did.
"Incredibly, his coaching success was never the most remarkable thing about him. What was most remarkable was how he inspired people, and motivated them to excel on the court and off.
"As soon as a game started, it was clear that he wasn't your typical coach. Absent were the outbursts and cursing so typical from other coaches. Instead, Coach Wooden led with the calmness and poise of someone who knew he had prepared his players for anything they could face.
"Basketball was just a means for Coach Wooden to influence his players by instilling life lessons and the value of character. He relished the practice and the preparation far more than the games that brought him glory because they provided him the opportunity to teach. Hundreds of UCLA players attribute so much of the success in their lives to the years they spent with John Wooden. And he was most proud about that.
"While Coach Wooden could never be replaced, he will be remembered and celebrated for all time because of his love of the game, his love for his players, and his love for his family.
"John Wooden often said, "you can't live a perfect day until you do something for someone who will never be able to repay you."
"Madame Speaker, Coach Wooden lived a lot of perfect days."
To read the Resolution, click here.