Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden left his stamp on college basketball, coaching the Bruins to 10 national championships and four undefeated seasons while inspiring generations with his “Pyramid of Success” method of coaching.
Soon fans will have an actual stamp to remember him by.
The U.S. Postal Service announced Thursday that it will feature the late Wizard of Westwood’s image on a limited edition forever stamp beginning early next year.
“This stamp is a tribute to Coach Wooden’s remarkable and widespread impact, which extends far beyond UCLA and far beyond basketball,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a news release. “His success on the court was unparalleled, and he remains a model of integrity and excellence in athletics. But the values he stood for and the timeless wisdom he shared have spread even further, influencing generations of leaders from all walks of life.”
Wooden joins James Naismith as the only college basketball coaches to be honored with a stamp, according to UCLA. Naismith, who invented basketball in 1891, received a stamp in 1961.
The stamp features a large likeness of Wooden that, according to UCLA, is based on an early 1970s picture of the coach taken by former Associated Students UCLA photographer Norm Schindler. Wooden’s first name is printed in blue and last in gold. Two generic players appear in the background, but their jersey numbers are significant (4 for Wooden’s perfect seasons in 1964, 1967, 1972 and 1973 and 10 for his national titles in 1964, 1965, 1967-73 and 1975).
According to the USPS, Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp using original artwork by Alexis Franklin.
Wooden had a post office in Reseda named after him in 2006, on his 96th birthday. He died four years later, at age 99.