Contact: Pure Publicity Inc.
Ben Laurro/Susan Hunt
Los Angeles, Calif, June 6, 2010: Regal, the book publishing imprint of Gospel Light, announced today the advance release date of its tribute title The Greatest Coach Ever: Timeless Wisdom and Insights of John Wooden, originally slated for fall 2010 to July 2010.
The Greatest Coach Ever is created by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and features 52 tributes to Wooden from successful coaches, athletes and friends who have been influenced by Wooden and his Pyramid of Success. David Robinson, Tony Dungy, Tom Osborne, Bobby Bowden, Joe Girardi, Napoleon Kaufman, Keith Erickson, Ruth Riley, Pat Williams, Mike Singletary and Denny Crum are among the contributors.
Bill Greig III, President and CEO of Gospel Light/Regal, reflects, "It has been a privilege for Regal to partner with Coach Wooden on books that have inspired and transformed the lives of many. He is an example of a man with a simple, yet deep, faith and a testimony to the profound way God can work through one man’s life."
Regal has published three titles authored by Coach Wooden and co-author Jay Carty, including Coach Wooden One-on-One, Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success and Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success Playbook.
Wooden was named the “Best Coach Ever” by Sporting News Magazine and “Coach of the Century” by Sports Illustrated. UCLA men’s basketball teams won ten national championships, including seven in a row. In 40 years as a high school and college head coach, his teams won an astounding 80 percent of their games, and at one time UCLA won 88 consecutive games. His rosters were packed with future NBA players, including Willie Naulls, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Gail Goodrich, Bill Walton, Sidney Wicks, Sven Nater, Mike Warren and Keith Erickson.
Wooden is one of only two people to be named to the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. As a player, he was an All-American at Purdue University.
While Wooden’s basketball teams won on the court, his life became a model for millions of people off the court for decades after he retired. His Pyramid of SuccessTM has inspired both athletes and people in all walks of life to live with character that results in true success.
More than 100,000 units of Coach Wooden One-on-One are in print, including a special edition for FCA. Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success won the Evangelical Christian Publisher’s Medallion of Excellence Award for Inspirational Book of the Year in 2006, and has become one of the classic John Wooden titles.
In the introduction of The Greatest Coach Ever, FCA vice president Dan Britton writes, “For Coach, greatness never had anything to do with himself. He never looked in the mirror when it came to success or accomplishments. Greatness was reflected in focusing on others. He was consumed with the simple principle he called competitive greatness. ‘Not be the best, but be the best that you can be.’ With that message, tens of thousands of lives have been profoundly touched by this legendary coach.”
Ohio State football coach Jim Tressell writes, “From a coaching standpoint, some people might have voted for Coach Wooden as ‘The Greatest Coach Ever’ because of his record. Some might have voted for him because of the wisdom he’s passed on to so many coaches. Both reasons show why he’s the clear-cut winner. He’s the best.”
NBA great Bill Walton, one of Wooden’s Bruins, said, “Coach never asked us about our religion. But it was impossible not to know that he had an intensely strong, unshakable faith in God and that he drew upon the Bible for many of the principles by which he lived.”
In Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, Wooden wrote, “My dad encouraged me to build a shelter for a rainy day. He wasn’t hinting that I should build a home on Earth. He was talking about faith. Specifically he wanted me to trust God to prepare a home for me after this life is over. . . I’ve trusted Christ and I’ve tried to live as He would have me live. I’ve studied His Word and I have prayed a great deal. I have faith that He will do what He’s promised. I’m ready to meet Him and I’m eager to see my wife, Nellie; but all in due time.”
Nellie Wooden died in 1985, and coach Wooden continued a practice of writing notes to her on her birthday, their wedding anniversary and other special occasions, placing them on her side of the bed. Wooden is survived by a son, James, and a daughter, Nancy. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and one soon-to-be born great-great-grandchild.