Mike Krzyzewski

Michael William Krzyzewski (/ʃɪˈʒɛfski/ shih-ZHEF-skee;[1] nicknamed "Coach K"; born February 13, 1947) is the head men's basketball coach at Duke University, where, since 1980, he has led the Blue Devils to five NCAA Division I titles, 12 Final Fours, 15 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament championships, and 12 ACC regular season titles. Among men's college basketball coaches, only UCLA's John Wooden has won more NCAA championships with a total of 10. He is widely regarded as one of the best college basketball coaches of all time.[2][3][4]

Mike Krzyzewski
Krzyzewski in 2011
Current position
TitleHead coach
Biographical details
Born (1947-02-13) February 13, 1947
Chicago, Illinois
Playing career
Position(s)Point guard, shooting guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1974–1975Indiana (assistant)
Head coaching record
Tournaments97–30 (NCAA Division I)
2–2 (NIT)
63–21 (ACC)
Accomplishments and honors
  • 5 NCAA Division I Tournament (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015)
  • 12 NCAA Regional – Final Four (1986, 1988–1992, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2010, 2015)
  • 15 ACC Tournament (1986, 1988, 1992, 1999–2003, 2005, 2006, 2009–2011, 2017, 2019)
  • 12 ACC regular season (1986, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1997–2001, 2004, 2006, 2010)
  • 3× Naismith College Coach of the Year (1989, 1992, 1999)
  • NABC Coach of the Year (1991)
  • Clair Bee Coach of the Year (2004)
  • UPI Coach of the Year (1986)
  • 5× ACC Coach of the Year (1984, 1986, 1997, 1999, 2000)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2001 (profile)
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006
Medal record
Head coach for  United States
men's national basketball team
Olympic Games
2008 BeijingTeam
2012 LondonTeam
2016 Rio de JaneiroTeam
FIBA World Championship
2010 TurkeyTeam
2014 SpainTeam
1990 Argentina
2006 Japan
FIBA Americas Championship
2007 Las Vegas
Assistant Coach for  United States
men's national basketball team
Olympic Games
1984 Los AngelesTeam
1992 BarcelonaTeam
FIBA Americas Championship
1992 Portland

Krzyzewski has also coached the United States men's national basketball team, which he has led to three gold medals at the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. He served as the head coach of the American team that won gold medals at the 2010 and the 2014 FIBA World Cup. He was also an assistant coach for the 1992 "Dream Team."

Krzyzewski was a point guard at Army from 1966 to 1969 under coach Bob Knight. From 1975 to 1980, he was the head basketball coach for his alma mater.[5] He is a two-time inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, in 2001 for his individual coaching career and in 2010 as part of the collective induction of the "Dream Team."[6] He was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006, and the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 2009 (with the "Dream Team").[6]

On November 15, 2011, Krzyzewski led Duke to a 74–69 victory over Michigan State at Madison Square Garden to become the coach with the most wins in NCAA Division I men's basketball history. Krzyzewski's 903rd victory set a new record, breaking that held by his former coach, Bob Knight. On January 25, 2015, Duke defeated St. John's, 77–68, again at Madison Square Garden, as Krzyzewski became the first Division I men's basketball coach to reach 1,000 wins.[7]

Early years and playing career

Krzyzewski with coach Bob Knight

Krzyzewski was born in Chicago, the son of Polish American, Catholic parents Emily M. (née Pituch) and William Krzyzewski.[8][9]

Raised as a Catholic, Krzyzewski attended St. Helen Catholic School in Ukrainian Village, Chicago and,[10] later, Archbishop Weber High School in Chicago, a Catholic prep school for boys.[11]

He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1969, and played basketball under Bob Knight. 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 Garden in New York City, where West Point finished fourth in the tournament.

From 1969 to 1974, Krzyzewski served as an officer in the United States Army and directed service teams for three years. In 2005, he was presented West Point's Distinguished Graduate Award.[12]

Coaching career

Indiana and Army

He was discharged from active duty in 1974 with the rank of captain, and started his coaching career as an assistant on Knight's staff with the Indiana Hoosiers during their historic 1974–75 season. After one year with Indiana, Krzyzewski returned to West Point as head coach of the Army Cadets. He led the Cadets to a 73–59 record and one NIT berth in five seasons.


Krzyzewski speaks to reporters after being named Duke's head coach on March 18, 1980.
Krzyzewski coaching during a 2013 game

On March 18, 1980, Krzyzewski was named the head coach at Duke University after five seasons at Army.[13] After a few rebuilding seasons, he and the Blue Devils became a fixture on the national basketball scene with 35 NCAA Tournament berths in the past 36 years and 24 consecutive from 1996 to 2019, which is the second-longest current streak of tournament appearances behind Kansas, which has appeared in the tournament in 30 consecutive seasons. Overall, he has taken his program to postseason play in 36 of his 39 years at Duke and is the most winning active coach in men's NCAA Tournament play with a 97–30 record for a .764 winning percentage. His Duke teams have won 15 ACC Championships, been to 12 Final Fours, and won five NCAA tournament National Championships.

Krzyzewski had surgery to repair a ruptured disk in his back in October 1994, but insisted on returning to the sidelines for the 1994–95 season, using a special stool to keep him off his feet. However, the pain became so debilitating that he went several days without sleeping early in the season.[14] By the start of ACC play, the pain had progressed to a point that he could not continue. Shortly after the first game of ACC play, Krzyzewski told his players and coaches that he was taking a leave of absence, with longtime assistant Pete Gaudet serving as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.[15] He had actually planned to resign, but athletic director Tom Butters persuaded him to take a leave of absence instead. Per longstanding NCAA guidance, Duke only credits the first 12 games of the season to Krzyzewski and credits the remainder of the season to Gaudet. Years later, Krzyzewski said that he probably would have been out of basketball if he hadn't endured that season, since it made him realize he needed to manage his time better and delegate more responsibility.[14]

On February 13, 2010, Krzyzewski coached in his 1,000th game as the Duke head coach. On March 20, 2011, Krzyzewski won his 900th game, becoming the second of three Division I men's basketball coaches to reach 900 basketball wins, the other two being Jim Boeheim at Syracuse and his head coach at Army, Bob Knight.[16] On November 15, 2011, Krzyzewski got his 903rd win passing Knight's record for most Division I wins. In an interview of both men on ESPN the previous night, Krzyzewski discussed the leadership skills he learned from Knight and the United States Military Academy. Knight credited Krzyzewski's understanding of himself and his players as keys to his success over the years.[17]

On March 20, 2011, Krzyzewski won his 900th game with the Duke Blue Devils, making him the second head coach to win 900 games with one NCAA Division I men's basketball program.[18]

On January 25, 2015, Krzyzewski won his 1,000th game, when Duke defeated St. John's in Madison Square Garden. He is the first men's coach to win 1,000 NCAA Division I basketball games.

On April 6, 2015, Krzyzewski won his 5th NCAA championship, when Duke defeated Wisconsin in the title game.

Winning against Yale in the 2016 NCAA tournament on March 19, Krzyzewski became the all-time winningest coach in the NCAA Division I tournament with 90 total wins.

On November 11, 2017, Krzyzewski won his 1,000th game with the Duke Blue Devils, making him the first head coach to win 1,000 games with one NCAA Division I men's basketball program.[n 1]

On March 17, 2018, Krzyzewski won his 1,099th game in his career, passing Pat Summitt for most wins by a Division I coach, male or female.[19]

On February 16, 2019, Krzyzewski won his 1,123rd game to become the all-time winningest coach in college basketball history at any level (men's or women's), passing Harry Statham of Division II McKendree University.

On June 2, 2021, Krzyzewski announced that the 2021–22 season will be his final season at Duke and he will retire at the conclusion of the season.[20]

National team

Krzyzewski has coached a team to three consecutive gold medals in the Olympics among several appearances as head coach of the USA men's national team. His other results include 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, the 2010 FIBA World Championship, and the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

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 Tournament of the Americas.

In 2005, he was appointed coach of the national team through 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 defending Olympic gold medalist Argentina for third place.

On August 24, 2008, Krzyzewski's U.S. team won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. "The Redeem Team" finished the tournament with a perfect 8–0 record. He coached the U.S. team for the 2010 FIBA World Championship and led Team USA to a perfect 9–0 record, defeating host Turkey in the gold medal game, 81–64. His team won a second Olympic gold in London, defeating runners-up Spain, 107–100. Krzyzewski has amassed a total record of 75–1 (.987) as head coach of the USA National Team.[21]

In February 2013, Krzyzewski initially stepped down after seven years of coaching the national team,[22] but Team USA in May announced that he would return as head coach from 2013 through 2016.[23]

NBA coaching offers

President George W. Bush congratulating Mike Krzyzewski and the 2001 NCAA champions at the White House

During his long tenure at Duke, Krzyzewski has been given the opportunity to coach in the NBA at least five 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. In 2010, the New Jersey Nets were reportedly willing to pay Krzyzewski between $12 million and $15 million per season to coach the Nets. Krzyzewski again declined the offer and stayed at Duke.[24] In 2011, Krzyzewski was offered the vacant coaching position for the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he again declined the offer and chose to stay at Duke.[25]

Awards and honors

Krzyzewski embraces Bob Knight after his 903rd win
  • Five-time NCAA Champion – 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015
  • Five-time coach of Olympic Gold Medal winning teams – 1984, 1992 (assistant coach); 2008, 2012, 2016 (head coach)
  • Two-time FIBA World Cup Gold Medal winner – 2010, 2014
  • Two-time FIBA World Cup Bronze Medal winner – 1990, 2006
  • Three-time Naismith College Coach of the Year – 1989, 1992, 1999
  • Two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee – 2001 (individual career), 2010 (with the "Dream Team")
  • College Basketball Hall of Fame inductee (class of 2006)
  • United States Olympic Hall of Fame inductee (class of 2009 – with the "Dream Team")
  • United States Military Academy Sports Hall of Fame inductee (class of 2009)[26][27]
  • Two-time United States Sports Academy Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award winner – 1991, 2008.[28][29]
  • Twelve ACC Regular Season Championships – 1986, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2010
  • Fifteen ACC Tournament Championships – 1986, 1988, 1992, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2017, 2019
  • Five-time ACC Coach of the Year – 1984, 1986, 1997, 1999, 2000
  • National Polish American Sports Hall of Fame inductee (class of 1991)[30]
  • 2001: Time/CNN America's Best Coach Award
  • 2011: Sports Illustrated "Sportsman of the Year"
  • 2013: Chicago History Museum Making History Award
  • Basketball court at Cameron Indoor Stadium named "Coach K Court"
  • Award presented at the United States Military Academy named the "Coach Krzyzewski Teaching Character Through Sports Award"
  • Inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State's highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in 2014 in the area of sports.[31]
  • Received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in 1995.[32]

Family and charity

Mickie, Mike, Jamie, Lindy, and Debbie Krzyzewski, circa 1986

Krzyzewski married his wife, Carol "Mickie" Marsh, in the Catholic chapel at West Point on the day of his graduation in 1969. They have three daughters and ten grandchildren.[33] According to The Wall Street Journal, she was the only person who could persuade him to stand down during the 1994–95 season.[15] She actually went as far as to give her husband an ultimatum–if he wanted to come home on what would prove to be his final day of coaching that season, he needed to skip practice and go to the doctor.[14] His grandson, Michael Savarino, was a walk-on player at Duke for the 2019–20 season.[34]

Krzyzewski and his family founded the Emily Krzyzewski Center, a non-profit organization in Durham, which was established in 2006 and named in honor of Krzyzewski's mother. The mission is to inspire students from kindergarten to high school to dream big, act with character and purpose, and reach their potential as leaders in their community. The Center's K to College Model serves academically focused students in out-of-school programming designed to help them achieve in school, gain entry to college, and break the cycle of poverty in their families. Krzyzewski and his wife, Mickie, have also been active for years in fundraising and support for the Duke Children's Hospital, Children's Miracle Network, the V Foundation for Cancer Research.[11] In all of those entities they have both served as chairs and/or led major fundraising efforts. In addition, the Krzyzewskis have been major donors to Duke University in supporting a number of areas, including establishing scholarship endowments for students in North and South Carolina as well as a Duke student-athlete every year. He also serves on the board of advisors of the Code of Support Foundation, a nonprofit military services organization.[35]

In 2012, Krzyzewski received the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award honoring his civic service and charitable efforts in making a significant positive impact on society.[36]

Head coaching record


Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Army Cadets (NCAA Division I independent) (1975–1980)
1975–76 Army 11–14
1976–77 Army 20–8
1977–78 Army 19–9NIT First Round
1978–79 Army 14–11
1979–80 Army 9–17
Army: 73–59 (.553)
Duke Blue Devils (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1980–present)
1980–81 Duke 17–136–8T–5thNIT Quarterfinal
1981–82 Duke 10–174–10T–6th
1982–83 Duke 11–173–117th
1983–84 Duke 24–107–7T–3rdNCAA Division I Round of 32
1984–85 Duke 23–88–6T–4thNCAA Division I Round of 32
1985–86 Duke 37–312–21stNCAA Division I Runner-up
1986–87 Duke 24–99–53rdNCAA Division I Sweet 16
1987–88 Duke 28–79–53rdNCAA Division I Final Four
1988–89 Duke 28–89–5T–2ndNCAA Division I Final Four
1989–90 Duke 29–99–52ndNCAA Division I Runner-up
1990–91 Duke 32–711–31stNCAA Division I Champion
1991–92 Duke 34–214–21stNCAA Division I Champion
1992–93 Duke 24–810–6T–3rdNCAA Division I Round of 32
1993–94 Duke 28–612–41stNCAA Division I Runner-up
1994–95 Duke 9–3[n 2]0–1[n 2][n 2]
1995–96 Duke 18–138–8T–4thNCAA Division I Round of 64
1996–97 Duke 24–912–41stNCAA Division I Round of 32
1997–98 Duke 32–415–11stNCAA Division I Elite Eight
1998–99 Duke 37–216–01stNCAA Division I Runner-up
1999–00 Duke 29–515–11stNCAA Division I Sweet 16
2000–01 Duke 35–413–3T–1stNCAA Division I Champion
2001–02 Duke 31–413–32ndNCAA Division I Sweet 16
2002–03 Duke 26–711–5T–2ndNCAA Division I Sweet 16
2003–04 Duke 31–613–31stNCAA Division I Final Four
2004–05 Duke 27–611–53rdNCAA Division I Sweet 16
2005–06 Duke 32–414–21stNCAA Division I Sweet 16
2006–07 Duke 22–118–86thNCAA Division I Round of 64
2007–08 Duke 28–613–32ndNCAA Division I Round of 32
2008–09 Duke 30–711–5T–2ndNCAA Division I Sweet 16
2009–10 Duke 35–513–3T–1stNCAA Division I Champion
2010–11 Duke 32–513–32ndNCAA Division I Sweet 16
2011–12 Duke 27–713–32ndNCAA Division I Round of 64
2012–13 Duke 30–614–42ndNCAA Division I Elite Eight
2013–14 Duke 26–913–5T–3rdNCAA Division I Round of 64
2014–15 Duke 35–415–32ndNCAA Division I Champion
2015–16 Duke 25–1111–7T–5thNCAA Division I Sweet 16
2016–17 Duke 28–911–7T–5thNCAA Division I Round of 32
2017–18 Duke 29–813–52ndNCAA Division I Elite Eight
2018–19 Duke 32–614–43rdNCAA Division I Elite Eight
2019–20 Duke 25–615–5T–2ndTournament canceled due to COVID-19
2020–21 Duke 13–119–910th
Duke: 1,097–302 (.784)450–189 (.704)
Total:1,170–361 (.765)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


*The 2020 NCAA tournament was canceled due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

See also

  • FIBA Basketball World Cup winning head coaches
  • List of college men's basketball coaches with 600 wins
  • List of FIBA AmeriCup winning head coaches
  • List of NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament Final Four appearances by coach
  • NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament consecutive appearances
  • Poles in Chicago


  1. While Jim Boeheim achieved the mark in terms of actual games with Syracuse University on February 4, 2017, Syracuse and Boeheim under NCAA sanctions in 2015 were permanently vacated 101 wins, resulting in Kryzewski statistically becoming the first ever.
  2. Krzyzewski coached only the first 12 games of season before leaving the team for back surgery and to recover from exhaustion. Pete Gaudet took over as interim head coach and compiled a record of 4–15 with a mark of 2–13 in conference play. Duke finished the season with a record of 13–18 overall and in ninth place in the ACC at 2–14. Duke and the NCAA credit the first 12 games of the season to Krzyzewski and the final 19 games to Gaudet.


  1. "Duke's Coach K talks about leadership" on YouTube
  2. "Mike Krzyzewski: Where Does Duke Basketball Coach Stand Among the Greatest Ever?". https://bleacherreport.com/. Retrieved December 3, 2010. External link in |website= (help)
  3. Chase, Chris (March 31, 2015). "Like it or not, Mike Krzyzewski is the best coach in college basketball history". ftw.usatoday.com. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  4. Fowler, Hayley. "'End of an era.' Basketball world reacts to news of Coach K retiring from Duke". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  5. Coach K: Duke Basketball Archived March 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed on February 18, 2008.
  6. "The Dream Team – Hoop Hall.com". Archived from the original on August 18, 2010.
  7. Phillips, Scott (January 25, 2015). "Coach K earns career win No. 9,000 in No. 5 Duke's win over St. John's". NBC Sports. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  8. "Emily M. Krzyzewski, mother of Duke coach – Chicago Sun-Times | HighBeam Research". November 5, 2012. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012.
  9. "Krzyzewski Receives 2007 Ellis Island Family Heritage Award – Duke University Blue Devils | Official Athletics Site". GoDuke.com. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  10. "Coach K: From Ukrainian Village to March Madness". Archived from the original on April 2, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2013.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  11. Susan Hines-Brigger, "Mike Krzyzewski: Life Beyond the Rim" Archived February 23, 2013, at archive.today, St. Anthony Messenger, March 2006.
  12. "2005 Distinguished Graduate Award". West Point Association of Graduates. Archived from the original on August 8, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2009.
  13. "Duke Names Krzyzewski". news.google.com. Associated Press. March 19, 1980. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  14. Barry Jacobs (January 4, 2015). "Back injury, sitting out changed history for Coach K". The Charlotte Observer. The News & Observer.
  15. Andrew Beaton (January 25, 2015). "The Lost Season of Duke's Coach K". The Wall Street Journal.
  16. "Duke-Michigan Rivalry Renewed With Same Result". New York Times. March 20, 2011.
  17. Spencer, Sheldon (November 15, 2011). "Coach K, Knight reflect as Duke coach nears career victory No. 903". Front Row. ESPN. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
  18. "Duke flushes Florida State to give Coach K his 900th school win". The Associated Press. January 25, 2014.
  19. "Coach K Surpasses Pat Summitt as Winningest Division I Coach – Official Website of Coach Mike Krzyzewski". March 17, 2018.
  20. "Krzyzewski Announces 2021-22 as Final Season; Scheyer Named Next Head Coach" (Press release). Durham, North Carolina: Duke University. June 2, 2021. Archived from the original on June 2, 2021. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  21. Coach K exits with a golden legacy of greatness. Kansas City Star, August 12, 2012.
  22. "Mike Krzyzewski: 'It's been an honor'". ESPN. February 26, 2013. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  23. "2013 USA Basketball Men's National Team Mini-Camp" (PDF). USA Basketball. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 22, 2015.
  24. Tjarks, Jonathan (March 12, 2012). "NBA News, Rumors, NCAA Basketball, Euroleague". RealGM. Archived from the original on July 10, 2010. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  25. Lawrence, Mitch (June 25, 2011). "Timberwolves GM wanted to lure Duke's Mike Krzyzewski to Minnesota to coach Ricky Rubio project". NY Daily News. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  26. ""Coach K" Headlines Army Hall Of Fame Class Of 2009". GoArmySports.om. Retrieved September 16, 2009.
  27. "Six receive Krzyzewski Character through sports award" (PDF). Pointer View. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 20, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2009.
  28. "Alabama football coach Nick Saban coming to Daphne to accept Amos Alonzo Stagg Coach of the Year Award | al.com". Blog.al.com. April 13, 2010. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  29. "Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award". ASAMA – The American Sport Art Museum and Archives. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  30. "Mike Krzyzewski – NPASHF". Archived from the original on October 21, 2013.
  31. "Laureate Convocations by Year". The Lincoln Academy of Illinois.
  32. "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement.
  33. Alexander Wolff, "Blue Angel: Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski's divine spirit and working-class ethics have forged an exemplary college basketball program", Sports Illustrated, March 16, 1992.
  34. "Coach K's grandson a Duke walk-on: 'Earned it'". ESPN.com. June 6, 2019.
  35. "Code of Support Foundation advisory board". codeofsupportfoundation.org. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  36. "Coach K Receives Humanitarian Award". CoachK.com. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  37. "2006–07 ACC Men's Basketball Media Guide" (PDF) (Press release). theACC.com. Retrieved March 22, 2008.
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