Best All Time College Basketball Coach

Take a look at the great college basketball coaches in history, and you will be able to identify a few names that inspire you. Names like Bobby Knight, Adolph Rupp, Dean Smith, and Mike Krzyzewski. But one name stands above the others as the best all-time college basketball coach. That name is: John Wooden. Dubbed as the “Wizard of Westwood”, the amazing John R. Wooden won 665 games, 10 NCAA Basketball Championships including 8 in 10 years and 7 straight.

Wooden's success on the court is unmatched in NCAA basketball history. In 29 years as head coach -- 2 at Indiana State, and 27 at UCLA -- Wooden's career coaching record was 664-162. He started his head coaching career at Indiana State in 1946, where his teams went 44-15, and won the Indiana Collegiate Conference both years he coached there. His 1947-1948 Indiana State team was a NAIA National Finalist. He then moved on to UCLA, where his record was 620-147.

During his 27 years at UCLA, his teams won 19 conference championships, finished as conference runner up 5 times, and never finished below third place in the conference standings. But it was in the NCAA men's basketball championship tournament where Wooden's legacy was created. He led UCLA to 16 NCAA post season tournaments, winning 10 National Championships during his last 12 seasons as head coach. This span included several all-time NCAA records that will probably never be broken, including winning 7 consecutive National Championships (1967-1973), and winning 38 straight NCAA tournament games.

John Wooden
Thanks to McCart42 at for this great picture of John Wooden.

Wooden also coached UCLA to 4 perfect 30-0 seasons, in 1963-1964, 1966-1967, 1971-1972 and 1972-1973. His UCLA teams also achieved a record stretch of 88 consecutive victories. He was voted the NCAA College Basketball Coach of the Year 6 times (1964, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1972, and 1973). He won The Sporting News Sportsman of the Year award in 1970, and Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award in 1973. He was enshrined into the Basketball Hall Of Fame in 1973.

Jim Harrick, head coach of Georgia Bulldongs, and John R. Wooden.
Jim Harrick, head coach of Georgia Bulldongs, and John R. Wooden.
Thanks to for the picture. Source: iccsports

Incredibly, John Wooden never made more than $35,000 a year in salary and never asked for a raise. In fact, he turned Jack Kent Cooke down when Cooke (then owner of the LA Lakers) offered to pay him ten times as much to coach the NBA's Lakers.

So, we are happy to try to give the humble John Wooden some of the recognition he so richly deserves as the Top College Basketball Coach in NCAA history.

The amazing John Wooden passed away on June 4, 2010, at the age of 99; just four months shy of his 100th Birthday. We'll never forget you Coach !!

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