Class of 1951 Leadership Chair
Coach Michael Krzyzewski
Class of 1951 Chair for the Study of Leadership Chair
(2007 - 2009)
Winning seasons, superb graduation rates for his players and a basketball team that is as close as family are all attributes that reflect on the man who just completed his 29th year as the head coach of the Duke Blue Devils, Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski.
Krzyzewski guided Duke to a 30-7 record, the program’s 10th 30-win season, and the ACC Championship in 2008-09. The Blue Devils also made their 14th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, earning the second seed in the East Region and reaching the Sweet Sixteen for the eighth time in the last 10 seasons.
Duke has now received a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in 11 of the last 13 seasons. The Blue Devils also reached the top spot in the AP poll on Jan. 26, marking the 14th different season under Coach K that Duke has been ranked No. 1. With 30 wins in 2008-09, Duke capped off the decade with an NCAA-record 291 victories. From 1999-2002, Duke finished number one in the nation in the final AP poll for a record four consecutive seasons. In 2003-04, the Blue Devils reached the nation’s top spot in the AP poll, marking the seventh straight year they had been number one (only UCLA’s string of 12 consecutive years reaching No. 1 from 1964-75 was longer).
Duke has won seven of the past 13 ACC regular season crowns and has won at least 11 ACC regular season contests in 12 of the past 13 years. In the past 11 years, four different Blue Devils — Elton Brand, Shane Battier, Jason Williams (twice) and J.J. Redick (twice) — have earned National Player of the Year honors. Also, Duke’s 133 victories over a four-year period from 1998-2001 established an NCAA record.
Krzyzewski’s record as Duke’s all-time winningest coach offers evidence of his success: 760 total wins; 429 weeks ranked in the top 25; 367 weeks ranked in the top 10; 93 weeks ranked No. 1; 10 Final Four berths in the last 24 years, including five straight appearances from 1988-92; 24 seasons with at least 20 wins in the past 26 years; 22 upper-division finishes in the ACC in the past 24 years; 10 season with 30 or more (most by any coach all-time); 11 regular season ACC crowns and 11 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament titles, including eight of the last 11 years (a record five in succession from 1999-2003). But most impressive are the three national championships (1991, 1992 and 2001) that make Coach K one of only four coaches in NCAA history to earn three or more NCAA titles. In addition to Krzyzewski, only John Wooden (10), Adolph Rupp (4) and Bob Knight (3) have accomplished that feat. With back-to-back national championships in 1991 and 1992, Coach K became the first coach since Wooden in 1972-73 to earn consecutive NCAA crowns.
On the court, Coach K has averaged more than 25 wins a season during his career at Duke. The Blue Devils have won at least 30 games in eight of the past 18 seasons. He directed his teams to nine straight trips to the round of 16 from 1998-2006, as well as joining Wooden as the only coach to guide a team to the Final Four five consecutive years.
Krzyzewski added to his already impressive list of accomplishments on Sept. 26, 2005 when he was named head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team program for 2006-2008. With Krzyzewski at the helm, Team USA reclaimed the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics with a 118-107 victory over Spain. Krzyzewski guided the U.S. squad to a perfect 8-0 record in the Olympics as the team averaged 106 points per game while winning by an average margin of 27.9 points per contest. In the summer of 2007, he guided the USA squad to a gold medal victory and an unblemished 10-0 record in the FIBA Americas Championship. Krzyzewski was honored by USA Basketball at the National Coach of the Year in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
In 2005, Krzyzewski became the youngest recipient of the Distinguished Graduate Award at the United States Military Academy. “I hope that all of those youngsters who have played for me and the people who have worked with me will share in this honor,” he said. “My mom always told me to associate myself with great people and great institutions. I’ve tried to do that at the United States Military Academy and at Duke University, two of the great institutions in the world. As a result, I’ve been around some amazing people.
Krzyzewski and his players are model representatives of Duke. Coach K involves himself in the community, including being a current chairman of the Duke Children’s Miracle Network Telethon and assuming vital roles at the Duke Children’s Classic, the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research and the NABC Foundation (current president).
In 2000, he was named the first recipient of the GTE Reads with the NABC Literacy Champion Award. In honor of Krzyzewski’s selection, GTE (now Verizon) donated $10,000 to support Duke Athletics’ literacy program, Verizon Read with the Blue Devils.
He also serves as the chairman for the Emily Krzyzewski Family Center, a local community center near the Duke campus. Four summers ago, several of Duke’s former basketball stars, including Grant Hill, Christian Laettner, Shane Battier, Mike Dunleavy and Danny Ferry, returned to campus for the second annual Duke All-Star Charity Hoopla, held in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The game and surrounding events helped raise significant funds for the Duke/Durham Neighborhood Partnership and the Emily K Center, which is named in honor of Coach K’s mother. In 2003, Krzyzewski launched the K Academy, a summer fantasy camp to assist with several Duke basketball projects, including the scholarship endowment fund.
Krzyzewski and his entire family, wife Mickie and daughters Debbie, Lindy and Jamie, have been involved in campaigns to stay in school and against alcohol, drug abuse and drunk driving.