IMG Academy, IMG Licensing, IMG College and IMG Coaches have joined together to form a special relationship with the family of Coach John Wooden. Within the new alliance, IMG Academy will offer an exclusive leadership program inspired by the teachings of the legendary coach, and tailored to a variety of audiences, with a focus on the college coach.
“At IMG Academy, we have had the unique opportunity over the last 35 years to work with a wide array of athletes, coaches and executives with the goal of maximizing performance among all,” remarked Trevor Moawad, IMG Academy’ Director of Performance. “I believe Coach Wooden’s core coaching philosophy has long-been at the crux of what we deliver day-in and day-out. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Wooden family in our efforts to create the ultimate leadership program.”
Moawad and his team of IMG Academy performance experts have created a customized leadership program that will initially focus on college coaches. “The goal of the program is to educate and resource college coaches and administrators with the leadership tools of Coach Wooden’s famed ‘Pyramid of Success,’ coupled with IMG Academy’ proven techniques and experience working with today’s generation of athletes,” said Greg Phillips, IMG Academy’ Athletics Director. Phillips previously served as the Senior Associate Athletics Director of the University of Oklahoma, and prior to that, the Associate Athletics Director at Florida State University.
Bernard Franklin, NCAA Executive Vice President of Membership & Student-Athlete Affairs/Chief Inclusion Officer, remarked: “Investing in our college coaches and their leadership development creates an essential foundation and a model that can have a positive impact on our NCAA coaches and the future development and success of our student-athletes.” He continued, “Many times the path to student-athlete excellence begins with the coach. We’re proud to support IMG’s leadership programming, which also furthers the legacy of John Wooden, who was a leader, an educator and one of the greatest coaches in the history of intercollegiate athletics.”
University of Alabama’s head football coach, Nick Saban, echoed Franklin’s thoughts: “Professional development is very important in the college coaching space, and we are constantly exchanging ideas and learning from others at the University of Alabama. No matter who you are, or what field you are involved with, I think the pursuit of knowledge and the focus on continuous improvement is critical. This initiative between IMG and the family of John Wooden to create educational programs tailored to college coaches is a positive step.”
Through this alliance between IMG and the Wooden family, IMG Academy will continue to enhance its character and leadership-building endeavors, while IMG College will have yet another attractive service to offer its growing roster of college clients.
“IMG College has emerged as a leader in sponsorship, media rights, licensing and ticketing within the college space,” remarked Ben Sutton, President, IMG College. “This new alliance with the Wooden family introduces a coaching leadership and character-building element to our suite of offerings for our college partners. On a personal level, Coach Wooden has long been a mentor of mine, and so I am excited to join his family in sharing his ideals with a broad base of college coaches and administrators.”
Gary O’Hagan, also a longtime friend of the Wooden family and President of the IMG Coaches division, has received a pledge of support and interest in guest instruction from college and professional coaches represented by his division. They include: New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin; Villanova men’s basketball head coach Jay Wright; University of California men’s basketball head coach Mike Montgomery; Baltimore Ravens’ offensive coordinator Cam Cameron; and current UFL and former NFL head coach Dennis Green.
"I call John Wooden a great philosopher because I find his teachings to be timeless," said Tom Coughlin, two-time Super Bowl winning head coach of the New York Giants. "Coach Wooden taught that we should ‘learn as if we were going to live forever and live as if we were going to die tomorrow.' He did not speak to his teams about 'winning,' but instead preached effort -- total effort -- to be the best you were capable of, and the value of being a successful team member. Much can be learned by following the teachings of John Wooden. In fact, a little blue book titled ‘Wooden’ is never far from my side."
Coach John Wooden is survived by his children, James and Nancy Wooden, who remarked of the new alliance: “Our father was a man of great conviction, and was committed to helping others become the very best that they could be. This union between our family and the IMG family will ensure our father’s mission and coaching philosophy is furthered for years to come. We know this would mean a great deal to him, and we are so excited to launch this program on his behalf.”
Coach Wooden’s 29-year coaching career began at Indiana State University (1946-48) before heading to UCLA (1948-75) where he became one of the greatest coaches in sports history. Highlights of his career include winning 10 NCAA men’s basketball national championships during a 12-year span, amassing four undefeated seasons and compiling an unmatched streak of 38 consecutive NCAA tournament victories. Wooden has been honored as a member of the inaugural class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006, and as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003. Annually, the John R. Wooden Award is given to the most outstanding men’s and women’s college basketball players in the country.
Remarked current UCLA men’s basketball head coach Ben Howland, "I had the privilege of developing a great relationship with Coach Wooden when I came to UCLA in the spring of 2003. Being able to utilize him as a resource of knowledge was invaluable to me and I still think of Coach all the time. His timeless teachings, philosophies and Pyramid of Success not only influenced the lives of his players, but also the lives of millions of people around the world. Coach's legacy and legend continues to live on in each of us striving to be the 'best that we are capable of becoming' as athletes, coaches, teachers and parents. It is exciting that the Wooden Family and IMG will work together on a leadership program featuring Coach Wooden's philosophies."
Today the family of John Wooden is represented by the IMG Licensing division. Said Daniel Siegel, VP, IMG Licensing, “On behalf of the family of John Wooden, we are excited to create a coach's education program with a world-renowned educator like IMG Academy to be the home at which Coach's legacy and brand as a teacher will be will be preserved and enhanced for generations to come."
The first leadership program will be offered in conjunction with the IMG Academy Basketball Coaching Symposium, October 6-7, 2012. For more information about the Symposium, the new alliance and related programs, please visit: www.imgacademy.com/wooden.