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Michael William "Mike" Krzyzewski ( ; ) (born February 13, 1947) is an Americanmarker basketball coach. He is currently the coach of the United States men's national basketball team leading them to a gold medal at the the 2008 Summer Olympics, and is also the coach of the Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team.

Nicknamed "Coach K," Krzyzewski has led the Blue Devils to 3 NCAA Championships, 10 Final Fours (third most in history), and 11 ACC Championships over 28 seasons at Duke. Krzyzewski has amassed an NCAA-record 71 NCAA tournament victories, while averaging more than 25 wins per season. On March 1, 2008, Krzyzewski became the sixth men's basketball coach in NCAA history to reach the 800-win plateau. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famemarker following the 2001 season.

Early years

Krzyzewski, the son of Polishmarker immigrants, has roots from Western Pennsylvania, as his grandparents on his mother's side emigrated from Poland to Keisterville, Pennsylvania. Up until he was 10 or 12, he used to go there every summer. Krzyzewski suspects the purpose of such trips was to "teach you to know where you came from and to be proud of it."

Krzyzewski attended Weber High School in Chicago, Illinoismarker. He graduated from the United States Military Academymarker at West Pointmarker, New Yorkmarker in 1969, and played basketball under Bob Knight while training to become an officer in the Army. In 2005 he was presented West Point's Distinguished Graduate Award. He was captain of the Army basketball team in his senior season, 1968-69, leading his team to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) at Madison Square Gardenmarker in New York Citymarker. From 1969–74, Krzyzewski served in the Army and directed service teams for three years, and then followed that up with two years as head coach of the U.S. Military Academy Prep School at Fort Belvoir, Virginiamarker.

Tenure at Duke

In 1980, Krzyzewski took over as the head coach at Duke Universitymarker after five seasons at Army. After a few years of trying to rebuild, he and the Blue Devils became a fixture on the national basketball scene with 24 NCAA Tournament berths in the past 25 years and 14 consecutive from 1996-2009. Overall, he has taken his program to postseason play in 25 of his 28 years at Duke and is the winningest active coach in NCAA Tournament play with a stunning 70-21 record for a .769 winning percentage. His Duke teams have won 11 ACC Championships, been to 10 Final Fours, and won three NCAA tournament National Championships.

Coaching awards/recognition

  • 1986, Basketball Times, CBS/Chevrolet, UPI National COY awards
  • 1989, Naismith National COY
  • 2001, Victor Awards
  • 1984, ACC COY
  • 1999, ACC COY
  • 2000, ACC COY
  • 2001, Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame.
  • 2001, Time magazine and CNN named Krzyzewski "America's Best Coach"; the award was not limited to any particular sport.

Krzyzewski has totalled 833 career victories (as of March 25, 2009), making him the winningest active coach and the sixth winningest all time in the NCAA Division I ranks. Other coaches with 800 or more wins include Bob Knight, Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp, Jim Boeheim, Eddie Sutton and Jim Calhoun. His Duke Basketball team won more games (291) in the decade beginning in the year 2000 than any other team in any other decade in NCAA Basketball history.

During his long tenure at Duke, Krzyzewski has been given the opportunity to coach in the NBA three times. The first time came after the 1990 season when he led the Blue Devils to their third straight Final Four appearance. The Boston Celtics offered a coaching position to Krzyzewski, but he soon declined their offer. The next season, Krzyzewski proceeded to lead the Blue Devils to the first of two straight national championships. In 1994, he was pursued by the Portland Trail Blazers, but again he chose to stay with Duke. In 2004, Krzyzewski was also interviewed by the Los Angeles Lakers following the departure of high-profile coach Phil Jackson. He was given a formal offer from Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, reportedly for five years, $40 million and part ownership, but again turned down the NBA.

Duke has named the floor at its basketball venue, Cameron Indoor Stadiummarker, "Coach "K" Court" in his honor. Similarly, the grassy area outside of Cameron has been named Krzyzewskivillemarker or "K-Ville." On February 28, 2007, Duke named its new basketball practice facility the "Michael W. Krzyzewski Center" -- Dedicated to Academic & Athletic Excellence. The building was dedicated on February 8, 2008, and also houses the Academic Support Center for all of Duke's 600 student-athletes and an expanded Sports Hall of Fame and event center.

On February 4, 2008, upon hearing the news that his college head coach and the sport's all-time winningest coach, Bob Knight, announce his retirement from the game, Krzyzewski said, "Outside of my immediate family, no single person has had a greater impact on my life than Coach Knight. I have the ultimate respect for him as a coach and a mentor, but even more so as a dear friend. For more than 40 years, the life lessons I have learned from Coach are immeasurable. Simply put, I love him."

His alma matermarker inducted him into its sports hall of fame on 11 September 2009, the night before the West Point vs. Duke football game. Additionally, West Point annually awards the "Coach K Teaching Character Through Sports" award each spring to cadets and coaches who display superior ethics and character through sport.

USA basketball

Krzyzewski has been the head coach of several USA men's national teams, winning a silver medal at the 1987 World University Games, a bronze medal at the 1990 FIBA World Championship, a silver medal at the 1990 Goodwill Games, a bronze medal at the 2006 FIBA World Championship and gold medals at the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship and 2008 Summer Olympics.

He was also an assistant coach to the USA teams which won gold medals at the 1984 and 1992 Olympics, as well as the 1979 Pan American Games Team and 1992 Olympic Qualifying Team.

In 2005 he was again appointed coach of the national team, through to the Beijing Olympics. In the 2006 FIBA World Championship, the USA won the bronze medal after losing in the semifinals to Greece and then beating Argentina for third place.

On August 24, 2008, Krzyzewski's U.S. team won the gold medal at the Beijing games. "The Redeem Team" finished the tournament with a perfect 8–0 record.

Coaching tree

Many of Krzyzewski's assistants or players have moved on to become head coaches at other schools:

Three former players (Steve Wojciechowski, Chris Collins, and Nate James) currently work under him as assistants at Duke. Another former player, Chris Carrawell, has been on staff since the 2007-08 season.

No team coached by one of Krzyzewski's former players has beaten the Blue Devils. However, during the 2007 NCAA tournament (1st round) the Blue Devils fell to Virginia Commonwealth, whose core players had been recruited by former VCU coach Jeff Capel before he left for the head coaching position at Oklahoma.

Krzyzewski has also coached NBA General Managers: Danny Ferry with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Billy King, formerly of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Notable players coached at Duke

Head coaching record


* Only coached the first 12 games this season before leaving the team for back surgery and exhaustion.

Basketball educational/instructional DVDs

On October 15, 2005, Championship Productions released six DVDs for basketball coaches, featuring Mike Krzyzewski and his assistant coaches as the instructors. One of the titles, "Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball - Breaking the Press" won a 2006 Silver Telly Award, the Telly's highest honor, for video production excellence.


  1. Coach K: Duke Basketball. Accessed on February 18, 2008.
  2. Coach K practices what he preaches
  3. US hoops back on top, beats Spain for gold medal

See also

External links

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