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They Call Me Coach Paperback – October 8, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

8 1-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The classic autobiography of UCLA basketball's legendary coach

"They Call Me Coach is grass-roots Americana, a story bigger than basketball. One of those rare sports books that is must reading for everyone."

--Chicago Tribune

For 27 years, John Wooden led the UCLA basketball team to unsurpassed victories and records. His dedication and inspiration made him America's "winningest" coach. In this classic bestselling autobiography--updated with a new foreword by Hall-of-Famer Bill Walton--the college basketball legend reflects on his record-breaking career, his life behind the scenes, and how his top players went on to shape and change the NBA. From the everyday basics to important life lessons ("It's not how tall you are, but how tall you play"), Wooden shares his worldly wisdom on and off the court to offer a personal history of an unforgettable time in college basketball, answering the most-asked questions about his life, his career, and the players who made his teams unbeatable.

"What Knute Rockne was to football, Connie Mack to baseball, and Wilbur and Orville Wright to flying, John Wooden is to basketball. This book captures the full flavor of the man, the philosophies that work in life, and the philosophies that work on the court. I commend it to people who want to succeed at either--or both."

--Los Angeles Times

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (October 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071424911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071424912
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
They Call Me Coach by John Wooden is not only one of the greatest sport books I have read but also one of my all time favorites too. In his book he tells you of his early struggle through the Depression and from the constant moving of his family. In the book he tells you of his father's enormous impact on his life, from his inspiration talks with him or just the poems he quoted. One of Wooden's own thoughts has stuck in my head also. It reads,"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."(pg 56) This great book deserves five stars because of how John Wooden can take a topic of teaching basketball, and stretch it to other sports and even educational goals. If you do not even play basketball you will like this book because whatever the sport you play, this book has something that you can apply to it. His Pyramid of Success is great and I feel it should be in every locker room of every sport. The diagram states how success can be acheived through making your team an actual team, by making them come together and be in the same mind set. These are few of the major reasons why anyone should read this book.
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Format: Paperback
John Wooden thoroughly puts forth the principles that he practices in his life as a coach, former coach, and citizen. His trips through nostalgia are insightful and incisive. More than a book on how to play better basketball, it is more in line with how to be a better person. A must read for individuals who are working with children and adults and feel that high standards and accountability are important for them and their charges.
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Format: Paperback
When you have lost all of your faith in sports, buy and read this book. Coach Wooden takes us through the wonderful journey of his life, from a young boy growing up in a small Indiana town to the multiple national championships at UCLA. Its too bad there aren't more coaches like John Wooden, a truly inspiring individual
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What many of us never quite realized is that Wooden was also a great player in his day; only one elected to Hall of Fame as both.

One can surmise that much of what carried him to fame at UCLA was already picked up in his early days in life, as student, son, player and then coach in high school.

His faith in the Lord and reading Bible daily was inspirational as well.

Lessons taught by him to his players were not just about b-ball, but about life. The foreward by Bill Walton exudes this, and one can see how easy it was for his players to play for him.

Great read to be re-read. Youngsters should read this.
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Format: Paperback
I recently heard an interview with John Wooden and was amazed at the sharp mind and dizzying intellect of the now 93-year-old former coach. Thirsty for more of the Wizard of Westwood, I picked up "They Call Me Coach" on my next trip to the library. Although an interesting read, I think more recent books by Mr. Wooden may have been better choices for my first selection.
In memoir style, Wooden recounts the lessons of his youth and how they shaped his moral fiber and were essential foundations for his coaching style. Coach Wooden outlines his pyramid for success, something all motivators of men should study. He also shares some of the wonderful philosophies with which he guides his life.
The one problem I had is that the book is now more than thirty years old and seemed to be written for an audience in 1972. Wooden spends chapters discussing his "recent" teams that featured many players long forgotten. But his thoughts and ideas are timeless and will be worth reading today and many years from now.
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Format: Paperback
John Wooden is perhaps America's greatest coach. His UCLA basketball team won ten national championships, including seven in a row. Concomitant with winning was his insistence on character and virtue rather than getting caught up with results.

This autobiography is a fascinating glimpse into Wooden's extraordinary life. It chronicles his life as a player (many forget that Wooden was elected to the basketball hall-of-fame as a player and coach), his coaching days (mostly at UCLA), and a little bit about his activities after his retirement. Interspersed in all of this are Wooden's coaching philosophy, pictures, box scores of the national championship games, and Wooden's opinion on how to improve the quality of NCAA basketball.

They Call Me Coach is tremendous for any sports fan, especially basketball. It can also be enjoyed by those who enjoy reading about what it takes to achieve success. Wooden was not a dictator, but imparted his insistence on doing one's best to his players with meticulous detail.

TCMC is not a complete autobiography, and it omits many aspects of Wooden's life. It is certainly not a "tell-all" account, nor is it perhaps the best book on articulating Wooden's coaching philosophy. For that I would recommend another of Wooden's books, appropriately titled Wooden. There are also others out there.

They Call Me Coach is a wonderful account of a man who as achieved true life success, and you will enjoy this read regardless of your previous knowledge on Wooden or college basketball.
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book for anyone who has ever coached kids in any sport at any level through college; or for parents of any kid playing any sport or for any college basketball fan. Wooden tells his philosophy and illustrates it with anecdotes, examples and stories from his life as a player and a coach. Inspirational for coaches and parents of players of any spor
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