Top Candidates


Legends of Coaching

The Legends of Coaching Award was adopted by the John R.Wooden Award Committee in 1999. North Carolina's Dean Smith was the first recipient of the award in 1999, followed by Duke University's Mike Krzyzewski in 2000, the University of Arizona's Lute Olson in 2001, the Univeirsity of Louisville's Denny Crum in 2002, the University of North Carolina's, Roy Williams (was coaching at the University of Kansas when he received the award), in 2004 from Stanford University, Mike Montgomery, the University of Connecticut's Jim Calhoun and the latest addition from Syracuse University, Jim Boeheim.

The Award recognizes the lifetime achievement of coaches who exemplify Coach Wooden's high standards of coaching success and personal achievement. When selecting the individual, the Wooden Award Committee considers a coach's character, success rate on the court, graduating rate of student athletes, his coaching philosophy and his identification with the goals of the John R. Wooden Award.

2008 Recipient
Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee
Gene Keady The incomparable Pat Head Summitt, head coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteer basketball team, starts her 34th season at the helm of the nation's most successful program in 2007-08. A "hoopdom" built tirelessly, diligently and successfully by Summitt, her staff and the 143 student-athletes who have been fortunate enough to don the Orange & White jerseys of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers for over three decades. complete bio

2007 Recipient
Gene Keady, Purdue University
Gene Keady Keady retired in March 2005 after going 512-270 in 25 seasons (1980-2005) with the Purdue Boilermakers. He earned "National Coach of the Year" honors six times (second-most by any coach) and Big Ten coach of the year a record seven times, including three straight years from 1994 to 1996. He coached the Boilermakers to six Big Ten championships and finished in the top 10 of the final Associated Press rankings six times. On an international level, Keady assisted in the selection process for the 1984 and 1988 U.S. Olympic teams and was an assistant coach on the U.S. team that captured the gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. complete bio

2006 Recipient
Jim Boeheim, Syracuse University
Jim Boeheim Boeheim enrolled at Syracuse in 1962 and was a walk-on with the basketball team that year. By Boeheim�s senior season, he was a team captain along with the legendary Dave Bing. The Orange were 22-6 overall that year and earned the team�s second-ever NCAA Tournament berth. After graduating with a bachelor�s degree in social science, Boeheim played professional basketball with Scranton of the Eastern League. He was a member of two championship squads and earned second-team all-star honors. complete bio

2005 Recipient
Jim Calhoun, University of Connecticut
Jim Calhoun The move toward national prominence for the University of Connecticut basketball program began in May of 1986 when Jim Calhoun was named head coach. Twenty years later, UConn Basketball sits atop the college basketball landscape with a pair of NCAA National Championships, an NIT Championship, 15 BIG EAST Conference titles, and annual recognition as one of America's truly outstanding college programs. complete bio

2004 Recipient
Mike Montgomery, Stanford University
Mike Montgomery Mike Montgomery served as the head men's basketball coach at Stanford for 18 seasons (1986-2004). The success for the winningest men's basketball coach in Stanford history included 16 postseason appearances (12 NCAA, 4 NIT), four regular season Pac-10 titles, a 2004 Pac-10 Tournament crown and a record of 393-167 (.702). Stanford�s trips to the NCAA Tournament under his leadership came in the 1989, �92, �95, �96, �97, �98, �99, 2000, �01, �02, �03 and �04 campaigns. complete bio

2003 Recipient
Roy Williams, University of Kansas
Roy Williams Williams has the highest winning percentage in the nation among active coaches with 10 years experience and the fourth-highest in history, having led his teams to a 470-116 record, a victory rate of 80.2 percent. Only Clair Bee, Adolph Rupp and John Wooden join Williams atop the 80 percent mark. Williams, whose teams are 228-19 at home (.923), is in his third year as Carolina's head coach. He rejoined the Tar Heels on April 14, 2003, after leading the Kansas Jayhawks to the NCAA championship game in his 15th and final year in Lawrence. complete bio

2002 Recipient
Denny Crum, University of Louisville
Denny Crum A host of collegiate coaches have had their measure of success. A post-season tournament appearance here, a conference championship there, maybe even a string of a couple of those in a row. Where University of Louisville head basketball coach Denny Crum stands out from the norm is the incredible success and consistency that has followed in his path through his 29 seasons with the Cardinals. complete bio

2001 Recipient
Lute Olson, University of Arizona
Lute Olson Whether it�s the 1997 national championship, four Final Four appearances, 21 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, 11 Pacific-10 Conference titles, or the nation�s best winning percentage over the past 18 seasons, basketball excellence and the University of Arizona go hand-in-hand. Olson, now in his fourth decade as a head coach, also has a title that befits those monumental accomplishments � Hall of Famer � as he was selected for enshrinement into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on June 5, 2002. In a career full of individual and team accolades, this honor ranks among the best. True to form, Olson shared the recognition with his family, coaches and players. complete bio

2000 Recipient
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University
Coach K Winning seasons, superb graduation rates for his players and a basketball team that is as close as family are all attributes that reflect on the man who is now in his 26th year as the head coach of the Blue Devils, Mike Krzyzewski. Although some still stumble with pronouncing and spelling his name, when people speak of the highest level of success in the college basketball world, the name Krzyzewski (Sha-shef-ski) immediately comes to mind. In 25 years at Duke, Krzyzewski, a Hall of Fame coach and 12-time National Coach of the Year, has built a dynasty that few programs in the history of the game can match. complete bio

1999 Recipient
Dean Smith, University of North Carolina
Dean Smith Smith finished his career as the alltime winningest coach in basketball history with 879 victories. In 36 years, Smith coached Carolina to 11 Final Fours, two national titles and 13 ACC Tournament Championships. Over 96 percent of Smith's lettermen graduated since his first year in 1961. From 1981 to 1989, Carolina was ranked in the final Top 10 of both the Associated Press and coaches' poll each year. Only four times in Coach Smith's 36 years did the Tar Heels fail to make 50 percent from the field. Smith is the author of Basketball: Multiple Offenses and Defense, which has been translated into several foreign languages and is the best-selling technical basketball book in history. complete bio

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