Monday, February 10, 2014

Book Review - Wooden: A Coach's Life by Seth Davis

Wooden: A Coach's Life by Seth Davis
Hardcover: 608 pages
Publisher: Times Books (January 14, 2014)

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first of UCLA coach John Wooden's many NCAA men's college basketball championships.  Seth Davis presents a biography that can only be described as unflinching and definitive.

With prose that is both artful and entertaining, there's no doubting the exhaustive research that Davis underwent in the writing of this book--a quintessentially American story, nevertheless.  Davis writes his account year by year as readers are invited to measure the man that became a legend.

Wooden was a person that was not just a gifted player but a BRILLIANT coach, and a master teacher.  He should be appreciated for what he is.  Davis celebrates the mystique that Wooden built but also digs further.  Wooden dealt with issues during his coaching era--be it race, protests, mercurial athletes, overeager boosters, and the heavy expectations.

Born in Indiana, Wooden never forgot his roots when he played at Purdue or coached for UCLA.

I'm no fan of UCLA but that doesn't take away from the person that John Wooden was.  Back when I was a college freshman, I wrote off for his autograph and asked him to inscribe his best stat (when I should have asked him to inscribe his HOF year!) but he sent back a short note saying his best stat was the number of players who graduated!

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