There are plenty of people in the sports world -- and even those outside of sports -- who are mourning the passing of John Wooden. Tom Coughlin was one who clearly drew tremendous inspiration and insight from the Wizard and he even sought Wooden's counsel.

Coughlin issued a statement this morning regarding Wooden's death:

"There is a great sense of emptiness today. We all knew this day was coming, and there was nobody more prepared for it than Coach Wooden because of his devout faith in God and his love for his late wife Nell and the knowledge that he would one day be together with her again. He was a man at peace.

"Still, that sense of emptiness comes from knowing we have lost a national treasure.

"I was very blessed and fortunate to have had a chance to visit with Coach Wooden a couple years ago just after the league meetings in California. My wife Judy had been encouraging me for years to make a point of going to see Coach Wooden, and with the help of mutual friends, I was able to.

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"I spent three hours talking, but mostly listening, to Coach Wooden. It seemed like five minutes.

"What I have always appreciated about his philosophy is its simplicity and that it transcended sports. He wasn't just a basketball coach, he was and is a life coach, and for that, we can all be thankful. He was the best living example of his teachings about teamwork, preparedness and humility."