Coach Wooden Post Office Dedicated
RESEDA - Coach John Wooden was honored Saturday, his 96th birthday, at a ceremony formally naming the Reseda post office after the sports legend and long-time San Fernando Valley resident.
œHis athletic genius is recognized in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., where the sport was invented. I wanted to find a way to honor him here at home in the San Fernando Valley, where the coach has lived for three decades and where his family and friends know him best, said Congressman Brad Sherman, who steered legislation through Congress naming the Coach John Wooden Post Office. œThe bill I introduced last December passed the House in April, cleared the Senate in August and was signed into law by President Bush. That timing, believe it or not, is the legislative equivalent of a fast break, said Sherman, who attended UCLA during the Wooden era.
Wooden was the guest of honor at the dedication ceremony also attended by the current UCLA mens basketball coach, Ben Howland, former UCLA basketball players, cheerleaders, and the alumni band.
Wooden retired in 1975 after coaching the Bruins to 10 national titles, including seven in a row. Before he became the most successful coach in college basketball history, he was an All-American guard for the Purdue University team that captured the 1932 national championship. He is one of only three people enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. He also is a prolific author, whose many books include The Pyramid of Success.
Sherman said he wanted to name the post office for Coach Wooden because of all he means to sports fans and Valley residents. As a bonus, the Postal Service began a major renovation of the Reseda facility after Shermans legislation was introduced. The improvements include exterior and interior paint, new signs, refurbished lobbies, fresh coats of paint on the familiar blue mail boxes, removal of newspaper vending machines and faÃ§ade improvements.
Wooden lives in Encino, where the post office was named for Los Angeles Lakers sportscaster Chick Hearn shortly after his untimely death in 2002. Coach Woodens daughter, Nancy Muehlhausen, lives in nearby Reseda and thought naming the Reseda post office after her father would be a fitting tribute. œThere is no disputing Coach Woodens place in sports history, Sherman concluded. œNow, the Coach Wooden Post Office will remind future generations here at home that he also is an important figure in San Fernando Valley history.