Driesell: Wooden Won Sitting Down

June 07, 2010 | Ryan Chell

Former Maryland basketball coach Lefty Driesell’s son is going to be the new coach at the Citadel next season, and one of the things he wanted to pass on to his son was a practice done by former UCLA coach John Wooden, who passed away over the weekend at the age of 99.

Lefty Driesell

The elder Driesell said that today, a lot of coaches are running up and down their team’s benches, screaming and hollering at their players to get up and down the court. But Driesell said that Wooden was the exact opposite, and he turned out to be a pretty good coach, don’t you think?

“John Wooden never got up, and he won ten national championships,” Driesell said. “Maybe all these coaches will look at him and say ‘That’s how I should do it’.”

John Wooden winning games-in comfort.

Driesell also had practices that he adopted from Wooden. It was Wooden who had his players pick up the trash and orange slices in the visiting locker room after the team had used it. He wanted to make sure the locker room was as clean or cleaner than when they used it. Driesell picked up that practice and used it for his Maryland team, a team that actually almost broke up Wooden’s 88 game-winning streak, 64-63 at UCLA.

“It was the little things that he worked at,” Driesell noted.

Driesell said that even if Wooden was not a basketball coach, success not was not that far behind.

“He was very brilliant,” Driesell said. “He would have been good at anything he was doing.”

It was that about Wooden that not only kept the legendary coach in the minds and hearts of sports fans, but any person wanting to be successful and have a winning attitude will always draw from Wooden’s vast knowledge and advice.

“Anyone can win championships,” Driesell said. “Most people who live to be 99 years old, you forget about them.”

No one will forget John Wooden.

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