The world lost one of its greatest teachers ever this past Friday — legendary UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden. He was four months short of his 100th birthday. And whether you care about sports or not, if you care about education, you might just want to read the remainder of this post.
For the past decade I marveled at his longevity, and yet today I almost can’t believe that he is dead. His passing diminishes educators everywhere, and because he was so instrumental and inspirational to players and fans of my generation, I admit to writing this entire post with tears in my eyes.
If ever there was teacher who deserved to be admired and revered, it was Coach Wooden. To my mind, he represented the last vestige of an era where class, character and sportsmanship truly mattered – which is why his death has evoked a widespread sadness that transcends his phenomenal record as a coach.