Friday, November 18, 2011

Coach K's Historic Win Puts Him In A Class Of His Own

(Getty Images)
Bobby Knight was in the crowd Tuesday when Coach K surpassed him for most Division I
wins all-time. Krzyzewski was an assistant under Knight at Indiana over 30 years ago, and now
Coach K has passed his longtime mentor and friend.

This past week, Mike Krzyzewski, longtime coach of the Duke Blue Devils, won his 903rd game as an NCAA head coach. Krzyzewski, also known as Coach K, has been the head coach of the Blue Devils since 1980. With the win, Krzyzewski passes his former coach, mentor, and friend, Bobby Knight, whose 902 wins used to be the most in men's basketball.

In his 32 years as head coach of the Blue Devils, Krzyzewski has won four national champions with Duke as well as 12 regular season ACC titles, and 13 ACC tournament championships. Coach K has also made it 11 Final Four's and is a three time winner of the Naismith College Coach of the Year. In addition, Coach K has been the head coach of the USA men's national team since 2006, and won the gold medal in the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, as well as the 2010 FIBA World Championships.

In his tenure with Duke, Krzyzewski has produced 23 first rounders in the NBA draft, including 11 top-ten picks which are tied for the most of any coach. There are 16 current players in the NBA who have played under Krzyzewski at Duke.

When Coach K finally calls it quits, he will be remembered as the greatest men's basketball coach of all time. The impact he has had to the University cannot even be measured. The lots outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium, where the Duke Blue Devils play their home games, is nicknamed Krzyzewskiville where students can camp out for big games.

Before arriving at Duke in 1980, Krzyzewski coached at Army, and before that was the assistant coach for Indiana under Bob Knight.

Something that makes Krzyzewski so special though, is his dedication to college basketball. Krzyzewski's name comes up every year when NBA teams have a head coach vacancy to fill, but not once has Krzyzewski thought about leaving Duke. Mike Krzyzewski is to Duke as Pat Summit is to Tennessee, or Dean Smith is to UNC.

Coach K might have this record for a very long time. The only two coaches close of catching Krzyzewski are Jim Boeheim and Jim Calhoun. Both coaches have 856 and 855 wins respectively, but have just as many years left as Coach K, if not less.

Coach K got his famous 903rd win against Michigan State earlier in the week at Madison Square Garden.  The Blue Devils beat the Spartans by a score of 74-69. The Blue Devils also beat Davidson tonight, giving Krzyzewski his 904th career win.

So when it's all said and done, Mike Krzyzewski will go down as the greatest man ever to coach men's college basketball. His loyalty to college basketball and Duke cannot be measured. Coach K's name will be associated with Duke and the NCAA for the rest of eternity.

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