Duke Reacts to Wooden's Passing

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Legendary coach John Wooden, who won a record 10 national championships at UCLA, passed away last night at the age of 99. Wooden left an unimaginable impact on the college basketball world, influencing every coach that came after him—including Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who had this to say today:

"Today, we've lost a giant in all of sport with the passing of Coach Wooden. Quite likely, his accomplishments as a college basketball coach will never be matched. Neither will the impact he had on his players or the greater basketball community. Many have called Coach Wooden the 'gold standard' of coaches. I believe he was the 'gold standard' of people and carried himself with uncommon grace, dignity and humility. Coach Wooden's name is synonymous with excellence, and deservedly so. He was one of the great leaders - in any profession - of his generation. We are blessed that the sport of basketball benefitted from his talents for so long. Coach Wooden and his wisdom will be sorely missed."

Former Blue Devil and CBS broadcaster Jay Bilas talked about growing up in Los Angeles, and what Wooden meant to him:

"I grew up in Los Angeles and UCLA was everything to me growing up. And Coach Wooden - if there were a Mount Rushmore of American sport, John Wooden would be on it, not only for what he represented on the court, but what he represented off it. So my very best wishes go to the Wooden family. There has not been a finer gentleman in sports than John Wooden."

Even those not connected to the basketball world talked about the influence Wooden had on the coaching profession. Here's head coach David Cutcliffe:

"Today we mourn the loss of one of the greatest figures in the history of athletics.  John Wooden's impact on the coaching profession - regardless of sport - is unrivaled.  He set the bar not only with his coaching accomplishments, but also his leadership traits, humility and willingness to help others.  The core values he lived by and shared are invaluable.  Using his books as primary resources, I have studied with great passion these values as well as his outlooks on both coaching principles and life itself.  Without question, Coach Wooden touched the lives of countless people.  While we lost a great person today, Coach Wooden's unparalleled legacy will live forever."


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