FPU brings John Wooden to Fresno

Advance interest leads to larger venue

John Wooden’s appearance in Fresno, hosted by Fresno Pacific University, has generated so much interest that an event previously held on campus has been moved downtown to the Fresno Convention Center New Exhibit Hall.

The author, motivator and former UCLA basketball coach will speak October 7-8, 2003, on campus and at the convention center. On Wednesday, October 8, Wooden will address the FPU Business Forum Breakfast. Now in its fifth year, the forum brings together business leaders and university students and faculty. Doors open at 7 a.m. in the New Exhibit Hall.

After the forum, Wooden will sign advance copies of his latest book, Coach Wooden One-on-One: Inspiring Conversations on Purpose, Passion and the Pursuit of Success.  Wooden wrote this volume of devotions with former L.A. Laker and longtime friend Jay Carty. The book will be released in October by Regal Books. Among the 60 readings are Wooden’s thoughts on questioning God, finishing well, focusing on things that last and making the right mistakes.

Also available at the breakfast will be Beyond Success: The 15 Secrets to Effective Leadership and Life Based on Legendary Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success. Wooden is the author of  Modern Practical Basketball, They Call Me Coach and Wooden (co-author).

For Business Forum Breakfast reservations, contact Anita Cockrum at 559-453-2110 or check the FPU Web site at www.fresno.edu/campusnews. Tickets are $25 each, $250 for a table of 10. Event sponsors include The Fresno Bee, Bank of the West, Country Bank, Fresno Plumbing and Heating, Inc., Guarantee Real Estate, Jim Pardini’s Catering, Johanson Transportation, Dick Johanson, Kaiser Permanente, New England Sheet Metal and Quiring Corporation.

On Tuesday, October 7, Wooden will be on the FPU campus to speak to high school student leaders as part of the Character in High School Activities conference. His lunch speech will cap off a morning of events sponsored by FPU’s Bartsch Institute of Character and Civic Education. More than 1,000 participants from Bakersfield to the Fresno area are expected to attend the event in the university Special Events Center. For more information, contact Arlene Mack at 559-453-2021.

In July of this year Wooden was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Wooden has also earned the Reagan Distinguished American Award and is the first sports figure to win the Bellarmine Medal of Excellence; other recipients include Mother Teresa and Walter Cronkite. An All-American and basketball player of the year as a college student at Purdue University, he is the only person inducted into the national basketball hall of fame in more than one category (player and coach). He was college basketball coach of the year seven times and named Sportsman of the Year by both The Sporting News and Sports Illustrated, which also put him on its “40 for the Ages” list. ESPN calls him the greatest coach of the 20thcentury.

His records include consecutive college coaching victories (88), NCAA championships (10), consecutive NCAA championships (7), consecutive NCAA tournament victories (38), undefeated PAC 8 seasons (8) and full undefeated seasons (4). Over the course of a 40-year career that ended in 1975, his teams won 81 percent of their games.