They Call Me Coach
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They Call Me Coach

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  778 ratings  ·  50 reviews
The legendary coach talks about his life, his players, and his winning philosophies in this bestselling autobiography

John Wooden's dedication and inspiration made him America's "winningest" coach. His beliefs in hard work and preparedness brought the UCLA Bruins an unparalleled 10 NCAA basketball championships. Now in this bestselling autobiography--with a Foreword by Hall...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 17th 2003 by McGraw-Hill (first published January 1st 1973)
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Jack Wangsness
"They Call Me Coach" by John Wooden is about a hall of fame coach and player that talks about his life and the teams he coached. In this book John explains why he wanted to create a special bond with his players and how he saw them as his sons. John also explains how he taught the game of basketball and how his ideas were the first of its kind. He takes you through some of his most important games and what he was thinking at that time.
I thought that this book was a great piece of writing that...more
Michael Scott
[I finished this book two days before [author:John Wooden] departed, and I just couldn't bring myself then to write this review until now, almost two months later.]

They Call Me Coach is a book about life and basketball, written by the Hall of Fame player and coach John Wooden. The book covers his playing years and (mostly) the coaching career, especially with the UCLA Bruins. The strict yet kind life philosophy of John Wooden is impressed in almost every line, and served him well in completing t...more
Paulo Glez Ogando
John Wooden is a hall of famer basketball player and a hall of famer basketball coach. The only person who has achieved both recognitions. That alone is worth the read of his autobiography.

He reads: “ my objective in writing it [this book] was not so much to recite a history of my coaching career but to emphasize to readers the teaching role all coaches play in working with young people”.

So it's more than a book about basketball, it's a book about life, philosophy of work and team management. Al...more
There is only one word to describe this book - inspirational. They Call Me Coach is the story of John Wooden, the best NCAA Basketball coach of all time, winning 10 national championship with UCLA, including 7 in a row. The book tells most of his life, from his first coaching job to his last national championship. It also emphasizes John Wooden's principles of hard work and practice over winning, and not only focusing on getting to the top but staying at the top. They Call Me Coach also shows a...more
[Author:John Wooden] has written a lot of books in his years after coaching. This one was written in 1972, while he was toward the end of his decades-long career at UCLA and during his run of coaching 10 NCAA champs in 11 years.

It's a fairly quick read, covering a lot of ground with language that feels a little bit dated at times. It is probably a tribute to Mr. Wooden that he considered his duties counting high school ticket receipts equal to his coaching UCLA at the pinnacle of their success....more
John Wooden is the winningest coach in NCAA history, and a legend in the world of basketball. I spotted his autobiography on a friend's bookshelf and asked to borrow it. She also insisted that I take The Zookeeper's Wife . Suffice it to say that I thought this book was the better of the two.

There were three big things that I was left with at the end of the book:

One of the things that really struck me about this book was the way in which he described his former players. He speaks of them with gen...more
John Mark
John Wooden is known as the best college basketball coach who has ever coached in history. He won 10 NCAA national championships while coaching at UCLA. No college basketball coach has ever come close to winning that many championships. He coached from 1948 to 1975 at UCLA winning a total of 665 games during that time. Before he came to UCLA, they had a terrible basketball program, but Wooden's coaching turned them into a national powerhouse. In They Call Me Coach by John Wooden, coach Wooden t...more
Imagine playing sports in college. Your team is considered the best in the country. After 10 years, you have won 10 national championships. That would be considered one of the greatest accomplishments to you right? This is the exact thing that UCLA coach did coaching basketball. He is considered to be the greatest basketball coach that ever lived. He coached multiple high school teams as well and led them to multiple championships. He was so successful, yet his style was so simple.
Coach Wooden's...more
I've had this book on my shelf for over a year, and with the passing of the Wizard I thought it was a good time to finally read it. A great step back in time. We have gotten so accustomed to the mega-million dollar world of college sports that it's hard to imagine a different time. I have to admit, some of Coach Wooden's principles seem archaic and outdated. But that makes me guilty of what CS Lewis calls "chronological snobbery." Just because modern values have changed, it doesn't make them bet...more
David Cooke
John Wooden is a legend for many reasons. Even though didn't coached a basketball game since 1975 until his death in 2010, his stature and presence as a leader never diminished. While he was most famous for his success as a coach at UCLA, his perspectives and teachings on discipline, teamwork, humility, and life grew beyond his coaching career.

This book is an autobiography of Coach Wooden's life. His life is an interesting story. I love reading stories about successful people and the path they...more
Good autobiography of a man really ahead of his time as a basketball coach, but what I enjoyed most was reading about him as a person - I wish there were more of that in the book. But who he was as a person, he was as a coach and vice-versa. I have a soft spot in my heart for teachers, which is truly what he was. One of the great ones - really changed lives, not just made championship basketball teams. The only other thing I would say is that maybe I would like to read a biography about him inst...more
A quick read.

Wooden won 10 national championships in 12 years while coaching UCLA's basketball team. And he did it at a time when the establishment was fond of denouncing "the youth of America" and suspicion of authority ran rampant among the young. Quite an accomplishment. The man is simply an American Icon. When Wooden speaks, a smart man listens.

They Call Me Coach is a brisk tour through Wooden's formative years and the long list of successes he enjoyed as a basketball coach. More details ab...more
Bio with a few good quotes at the top of each chapter. Didn't understand the pyramid thing.

Success is other peace of mind which is a direct result of the self psatisfaction in k owing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming

Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way that things turn out

Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is who you really are your reputation is who others think that you are

Do not let what...more
Scott Worden
Coach Wooden was one of my heroes before reading this book. He became a bigger hero after reading this book. Being a UCLA fan and a sports fan, I was drooling from page to page reading everything about the history of UCLA basketball. But more importantly I loved his Biblical no-nonsense philosophy of his life. The man had integrity and was loved by many for a reason. I totally recommend this book!
Brian K.
John Wooden, the winning-est coach in NCAA history gives the secrets to his success and gives the glory to his Creator in the process.

A great non-fiction read about leading in today's socio-economic times of upheaval. If more leaders today would be, "out front with a banner than behind with a whip" then we wouldn't be in the financial mess this country finds itself today.
Kevin Mason
An excellent auto-biography of the late John Wooden. The legendary UCLA basketball coach provides interesting stories laced with wisdom that is relevant to fans, players, and coaches. Memorable quotes abound throughout the text, and many parallels can be drawn to issues faced by teams today.
RB Love
Jul 07, 2009 RB Love rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: basketball
Great book wish it would have kept going. I need to buy a copy of this to have. Pyramid of Success. Sydney Wicks. Gail Goodrich. Keith Erickson. Sven Nater. Not to mention Henry Bibby, Lewis Alcindor and just the barest mention of Bill Walton. I’m on to the next Wooden book.
Lot of good coaching philosophies in the book and also a lot of good historical information on his teams. Book format seemed impersonal and lacked emotion - I doubt Coach Wooden is that way.
Tom Fowler
I read the original version of this book back in 1972, and shortly afterwards was able to meet him in a small classroom setting and get a autographed copy of his Pyramid of Success.
Awesome window into the life and philosophies of John Wooden who coached UCLA to a ton of championships in the '70s. He's a legend and it's worth the time to get to know his story.
Aug 01, 2008 Tricia rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Tricia by: Kelly
I liked how it started, hearing about his youth, and where he grew up. When I got to his career, I wasn't nearly as interested. Maybe if I was more of a college basketball fan...
Carlos Kemeny
There are few people in sports who can impact so many, in such a positive way. This book is an incredible read and reminds us of the importance of values and integrity.
Feb 20, 2008 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: sports
John Wooden is recognized as one of the greatest basketball coaches in the history of the game. He won an amazing 10 NCAA National Championships. A truly great leader.
Richard Shulmistra
A good book to read to learn how one of the best coaches of all time (in any sport) ran his teams. A must read for any coach that has high moral standards.
An excellent reminder of what is wrong and right in the realm of college athletics. He is a man of principle who was conscious of how to treat people
One of coach Wooden's many outstanding books. You can tell that he was a very Christian man who saw himself as a teacher, rather than a coach.
Art Sathoff
First Wooden book I read years ago
Many of the later books were at least partially a re-hash of this one.
He is awesome!
One of the few books I was required to read in college that I not only remember reading but have read multiple times.
Andrew Kubasek
Excellent! A few moments of basketball strategy that flew a little over my head, but overall a fantastic book!
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John Robert Wooden is a retired American basketball coach. He is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (class of 1961) and as a coach (class of 1973). He was the first person ever enshrined in both categories; only Lenny Wilkens and Bill Sharman have since been so honored. His 10 NCAA National Championships in a 12 year period while at UCLA are unmatched by any other college bas...more
More about John Wooden...
Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organizaion My Personal Best: Life Lessons from an All-American Journey Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success: Building Blocks for a Better Life The Essential Wooden: A Lifetime of Lessons on Leaders and Leadership

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