Greatest Coaches - Mike Krzyzewski - Duke Blue Devils
March 25, 2008 AT 9:00 AM
Greatest NCAA College Basketball Coaches of All Time: Mike Krzyzewski Head coach of the Duke Blue Devils since 1980, Mike Krzyzewski or simply Coach K, was born in 1947 in Chicago, Illinois. While attending the United States Military Academy, Krzyzewski captained the Army basketball team in his senior season. After resigning from the Army in 1974, Krzyzewski would accept an assistant position under Bob Knight with the Indiana Hoosiers. Following a successful season there, Krzyzewski would accept the head coaching job at the Military Academy, his alma mater while still in his twenties. In 1980, his tenure at Duke University would begin, one of the most successful in college basketball history. While Duke had had some success in the past – including four Final Four appearances, they had never won a NCAA Championship. It was under Coach K, that the program would thrive and become a serious threat in men’s college basketball. As of 2007, Krzyzewski had led the Duke Blue Devils to 10 Final Four Appearances, as well as a stint of five straight between 1988 and 1992. Duke has won three NCAA titles under Coach K – in 1991, 1992 and 2001 respectively. Some of the most impressive accomplishments in Krzyzewski’s era include three Naismith College Coach of the Year Awards, an induction in to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001 (even while still coaching), and being labeled America’s Best Coach by Time Magazine and CNN in 2001 – an award that was not limited to basketball. Krzyzewski all-time coaching record, as of the conclusion of the 2006-07 season, stood at 775 and 261, or a 0.744 winning average. After his major success at Duke and helping develop talent like Christian Laettner, Shane Battier and Grant Hill, Krzyzewski has been offered NBA coaching positions in Boston, Portland and for the Los Angeles Lakers, however each time has turned down the offer. Krzyzewski successful tenure and popularity at Duke has earned him an open contract at Duke to coach as long as he wants to. As of 2007, seven of Krzyzewski’s former players or assistant coaches had went on to head coaching jobs, and former players Billy King and Danny Ferry became general managers in the NBA.