John Wooden stories from the SI Vault

Wizards In The Land Of Oz By Ray Cave, March 19, 1962 With help from a magical guard, a poet and a school principal, UCLA surprised the West and became the most intriguing entry in the NCAA basketball championship.

Five Midgets And A Wink At Nell By John Underwood, February 24, 1964 Johnny Wooden has parlayed those ingredients into the only unbeaten major college team in the country.

The Two Faces Of The Rubber Man By Joe Jares, January 6, 1969 With or without Lew Alcindor, UCLA's gentle Johnny Wooden is a great coach. Which doesn't mean that everyone loves him.

Victory By Mystique By Joe Jaras, March 30, 1970 That special aura of success surrounding UCLA basketball -- the achievement of John Wooden -- surely did not hinder the Bruins at College Park, but the champions earned their glory and their title.

Oh, Johnny, Oh, Johnny Oh! By Curry Kirkpatrick, April 3, 1972 Will he ever stop winning? John Wooden and his UCLA Bruins did it again, and almost everybody was happy except the rest of the country, which might like to swing to another tune, Just once.

What A Wiz Of A Win It Was By Curry Kirkpatrick, April 7, 1975 Led by Richard Washington's 28 points, UCLA defeated Kentucky 92-85 to give John Wooden a wonderful retirement gift -- his 10th NCAA title.

The Team Of '64 By Frank Deford, March 26, 1979 UCLA was just one more school with a basketball team until seven players introduced the Bruins to the art of winning by going 30-0 and taking the NCAA title.

At The Wooden Summer Camp, The Coach Was More Than A Stick Figure By Jack McCallum, September 17, 1984 On his application form for the John Wooden Basketball Encounter, Bob McKay, a Los Angeles attorney, didn't hesitate when he came to the line marked DISEASES. "Slow, can't jump," wrote McKay.

The Coach And His Champion By Alexander Wolff, April 3, 1989 John Wooden had 53 loving years with his wife, Nell. Now she's gone and he struggles alone.

• Dynasty By Richard Hoffer, November 27, 1995 UCLA heroes from John Wooden's teams have begotten a basketball generation steeped in their mentor's methods.

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