Few coaches in history have come close to the success of John Wooden, the late men’s basketball coach at UCLA. Nicknamed the “Wizard of Westwood” he produced 27 straight winning campaigns for the Bruins, compiling an incredible record of 620-147 (.808 winning percentage). As UCLA’s head coach he won 10 NCAA national championships in a 12-year period, including an unprecedented seven in a row from 1967 to ‘73. Within that time-frame, his teams won a record 88 straight games, which remains an NCAA basketball record. Not surprisingly, he was named national coach of the year six different times. SCP Auctions is proud to present Wooden’s circa 1970s UCLA Basketball Coach’s Jacket in its upcoming Spring Premier. Worn by Wooden during his later years at the helm, it’s a treasured piece of college basketball memorabilia from one of the greatest coaches in history. The auction begins April 8 and runs through April 25.
Many people may not be aware, but Wooden was quite an accomplished player himself long before assuming the coaching reigns. Born in Hall, Indiana in 1910, he became a play-making guard at nearby Martinsville High School and led the Artesians to three straight state championship games, losing as a sophomore and a senior but winning it all as a junior in 1927. After graduating in 1928, he attended Purdue University and became the first consensus three-time All-American in the history of college basketball. He helped the Boilermakers win a Helms Athletic Foundation National Championship in 1932, seven years before the birth of the NCAA Tournament. Wooden would eventually be named a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (inducted in 1961) and as a coach (in 1973), the first person ever to be enshrined in both categories.