This article appears on the Nothing But Nylon website.
By Ed Odeven
Legendary bench boss Mike Krzyzewski is calling the shots in his 42nd and final season at Duke University.
Universally known as Coach K, the 74-year-old mentor became the NCAA Division I’s all-time winningest men’s basketball coach 10 years ago this week, on Nov. 15, 2011. The Blue Devils topped Michigan State, 74-69, at New York City’s Madison Square Garden to give Mike Krzyzewski 903 coaching victories, one more than his old Army boss and future Indiana University icon Bob Knight.
Coach K entered the 2021-22 campaign with 1,170 wins and another decade of sustained excellence in the books for the ACC powerhouse program, plus a celebrated run as the sideline supervisor of the U.S. national team (highlighted by three Olympic gold medals).
In a series of interviews that I conducted by telephone and email in the days after the Duke coach surpassed Knight, I gained a greater appreciation for his discipline and people skills, hoop IQ, and long-term planning brilliance.
Players and coaches shared insights about Coach K, and all of their insights remain relevant and spot-on 10 years later, I believe.
Here are a few of the Q&A highlights:
PLAYERS & COACHES ON MIKE KRZYZEWSKI
Dwane Casey (then-Toronto Raptors coach, current Detroit Pistons boss):
“COACH K IS ONE OF A KIND. HE SURVIVED HIS EARLY YEARS AT DUKE AND THEN GOT HIS PROGRAM GOING. I HAVE THE UTMOST RESPECT FOR HIM. HE HAS DONE A GREAT JOB OF RECRUITING AND GETTING GREAT PLAYERS. HE RUNS A VERY DISCIPLINED PROGRAM THAT HAS ESTABLISHED AN NBA STYLE OF PLAY. WITH HIM COACHING THE NBA PLAYERS AND LEARNING THE NBA STYLE OF PLAY COACHING WITH THE OLYMPIC STYLE HAS HELPED HIM ESTABLISH A STYLE THAT IS DIFFERENT THAN YOUR TYPICAL COLLEGE STYLE, WHICH MAKES IT DIFFICULT FOR COLLEGE TEAMS TO PREPARE FOR.”
The full article is published here.