Mike Krzyzewski first started his coaching career at Duke University, the over under would have been set at just one national championship. Duke was not a powerhouse college basketball program, but that all changed under the leadership of “Coach K.
Coach K announced before the regular season that this would be his final year on the bench at Duke, and Jon Scheyer has already been named as the next head coach. There have been a number of health scares over the last few years, and Coach K could just no longer put in the time and energy needed.
The 2021-22 Duke team was one of the early betting favorites to win the National championship, and they remained that way throughout the year. Duke was given a number two seed in the NCAA Tournament, and they advanced all the way to the Final Four.
It looked as if the Blue Devils were on their way to sending Coach K out on top, but the North Carolina Tar Heels stood in the way. Duke and North Carolina is one of the best rivalries in all of sports, and the two teams delivered a great game in the semifinals.
It was North Carolina that came away with a 81-77 victory, ending the coaching career of Krzyzewski in disappointing fashion. The Tar Heels also beat Duke in the regular season finale at Cameron Indoor Stadium, ruining the final home game for Coach K.
More than 70,000 people were in attendance in New Orleans for the Final Four, and they all got to see Coach K walk off the court for the final time. There were no tears from Coach K on the floor, but this was not how he, or any of the Duke fans wanted this to end.
This was actually the 100th meeting between Duke and North Carolina with Coach K on the bench, and the two teams split those meetings with 50 wins apiece. Ironically, this was the first ever meeting between the two rivals in the NCAA Tournament.
A Long Journey
Mike Krzyzewski was born in Chicago, Illinois and was a prep basketball star during his teenage years. Krzyzewski was recruited to West Point to play basketball there, and he also starred on that team under the legendary Bob Knight.
During the 1968-69 season, Krzyzewski led the cadets all the way to the National Invitation Tournament and the team would finish in fourth place. Active duty was required after his basketball career was over, and that delayed the start of his legendary coaching career.
Krzyzewski eventually left active duty and served as an assistant coach for Knight at the University of Indiana. His first head coach job was at West Point, where he stayed for five years and took his team to the NIT once.
Duke University hired Krzyzewski in March 1980 and it wasn’t long before he became known as “Coach K.” The success at Duke didn’t start right away, but he transformed the program into one of the best in the country.
Records are Impressive
It’s hard to look at the records and accolades for Coach K and not be blown away by what you see. He has set some coaching records that will be around for a long time, maybe even stand forever.
Coach K ended his coaching career with 1,202 victores, three hundred more than Bob Knight who is second on the list. His NCAA Tournament record is impressive as well as his teams went 101-30 during his Hall of Fame coaching career.
At Duke, Coach K guided the Blue Devils to five national championships and only John Wooden has won more. The Blue Devils reached the Final Four an astonishing 13 times, and all of those occurred after 1986.
The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is arguably one of the best in college basketball, and Duke absolutely dominated that league under Coach K. Duke won the regular season title 13 times and also won the conference tournament championship 15 times.
Not only was Coach K a legend at Duke University, but he also had a terrific career with Team USA. Coach K led Team USA to three gold medals as the head coach and put Team USA back as the dominant force in international competition.