On Tuesday, in a special ceremony, IMG Academy dedicated its Center for Personal Development to the late, legendary coach John Wooden. The facility will be known as the John R. Wooden Center for Character & Leadership, and will continue to provide education and training to student-athletes in areas like leadership and mental toughness.
Remarked Greg Phillips, IMG Academy Vice President and Athletics Director: “Coach Wooden’s legacy truly transcends athletics and spans generations. Our greatest pride at IMG Academy comes from the success of our student-athletes as leaders not just on the court or field, but in life. We are thrilled to give new meaning to this Center, where our students learn to build confidence, make decisions consistent with their core values, and maximize the potential of others.”
Nan Wooden, John Wooden’s daughter, as well as Greg Wooden and Cathleen Trapani, joined the special gathering. “We were touched by yesterday’s dedication to our father, grandfather,” said Greg Wooden. “While he had such a deep impact on us personally, it is always rewarding to witness the continuing impact he has on others. We believe there is no better place than IMG Academy to keep his legacy and the fundamentals of his teaching alive in a classroom setting each and every day.”
Dick Vitale, a friend of John Wooden’s, addressed the crowd and spoke fondly of his relationship with the late Coach and the lessons he learned from him.
IMG Academy’s relationship with the Wooden family began in 2012. Wooden’s principles of leadership and his ‘Pyramid of Success’ are integrated into IMG Academy’s leadership curriculum. The programming extends beyond student-athletes, and is available to coaches, corporations, the military, and other groups.
Scenes from the dedication of the Center for Personal Development: