Family, friends, fellow coaches, teachers, former players and students are among those who bid farewell this weekend to legendary high school basketball coach Morgan Wootten, who died this week at 88.
“Morgan Wooten was just a great influence on me and not just my career, but me, as a man,” said Butch McAdams, retired head basketball coach of the Maret School of Washington D.C.
“If you had to do a Mount Rushmore of high school coaches, you start with Morgan … Coach Wooten put high school basketball … nationally, on the map,” said the 31-year veteran of high school coaching.
Wooten’s wake was held Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It will extend to a second day on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the school where he coached for 46 years, DeMatha Catholic High School.
Ellen Curro, of Burtonsville, Maryland, was a teacher at DeMatha with Coach Wooten from 1974 to 1979.
“He knew how to motivate young people, colleagues, whoever he was with … I saw what he practiced and preached and lived and there’s not much better,” she said.
At Saturday’s early afternoon viewing, mourners stood in line beneath overcast skies waiting to get inside to pay their respects.
“Coach Wooten’s physical body is dead but his spirit and his legacy will live forever,” said Coach McAdams.
A funeral mass for Coach Wooten will be held at DeMatha Catholic High School on Monday morning at 10 a.m.