If I were to tell you that Coach Mike Krzyzewski would no longer be coaching Duke’s men’s basketball team, you probably wouldn’t believe it. Since I have been alive, Coach K has always been Duke University’s coach, making the team a dominant force in March Madness.
As a kid, my dad would have March Madness on the TV. One of the main things I will always remember is seeing Duke’s team with Coach K on the screen.
Duke has always been a good team in the NCAA basketball world. And, while I may not be the biggest Duke fan, I believe Coach K will go down as the best men’s college basketball coach in the history of the sport.
Since Coach K became the coach at Duke in 1980, he led the Blue Devils to five national titles, while also leading his team to 13 Final Fours in the tournament.
Just getting to the Final Four is an incredible feat because the March Madness tournament is a one-and-done tournament. In a bracket with 64 teams, a school would have to win four games against other good schools just to get to the Final Four. For a team to win the whole March Madness tournament and win the national championship, it has to win six games without losing.
Duke’s basketball program is very successful largely, in part, because of Coach K. Sixty-eight of his players during his career were drafted into the NBA, with 42 of those players selected in the first round. These numbers show not only how good the players were in college, but also how good of a coach Coach K really was. He knew how to recruit players for his team and turn them into stars for the NBA.
During Coach K’s career, the Duke basketball team saw its rivalry with the University of North Carolina (UNC) grow into one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports. Duke is also located in North Carolina, and this helped the rivalry grow into something big.
Like Alabama and Auburn in college football, schools in the same states see their team matchups with the most excitement. These games developed school pride for each of the respective schools.
Coach K went 36-22 against UNC, which would mean he made Duke the better school between the two during his tenure as the head coach.
For college basketball fans, it is going to be very hard to not see Coach K coaching Duke. Whoever replaces him will have a difficult time filling his shoes.