Published 10: 43 a.m. ET Feb. 13, 2021
DURHAM, N.C. — Arguably the absolute most life like college basketball coach of all time celebrates his 74th birthday Saturday.
Michael William Krzyzewski, known merely as Coach Okay, change into once born Feb. 13, 1947, in Chicago, a son of working-class Polish immigrants.
He change into once a level guard at Army from 1966 to 1969 below head coach Bob Knight and began his have head coaching career in 1975 at Army. After five seasons at West Point, he change into once hired at Duke on Might maybe well presumably, 4, 1980.
The comfort, it’s doubtless you’ll well notify, is history.
Over the final 41 years, Coach Okay has built Duke into a national powerhouse, winning five national titles and turning into the first Division I males’s coach to attain 1,000 wins.
In those 41 years, Krzyzewski has coached on his birthday 13 cases. Saturday’s game in opposition to North Carolina Whine marks No. 14.
It is that it’s doubtless you’ll well have, though, it could possibly in all probability well be his final.
There were whispers of his retirement that began final yr after he informed a Philadelphia radio net page that, “I’m 73. At some time, that’s bought to total.”
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Krzyzewski has a verbal lifelong contract with Duke University, nonetheless his legit contract, which dictates how great he’s paid, runs thru the 2021 season.
It is difficult to imagine that Coach Okay would step away after this season, particularly with the Blue Devils (7-8, 5-6) on the verge of lacking the NCAA Match for the first time in 26 years.
However there is absolute self belief this turbulent season, rife with pandemic stoppages and troubling on-the-court losses, has taken a toll on the Hall of Fame coach.
“You know, whether or now not it’s the light on the cease of the tunnel or the cease of the cave or whatever the hell it’s a ways, it’s there,” Coach Okay talked about in an interview with ESPN’s Rece Davis final week. “Every time it occurs, it’s going to occur. I will’t be centered on that. I’m centered on this personnel.”
He is most neatly-liked by Duke followers and hated by almost everyone else — particularly by followers who enhance a particular personnel 10 miles down the freeway in Chapel Hill.
However numbers produce now not lie.
Krzyzewski is one in every of, if now not the absolute most life like, to coach the sport of basketball.
Coach Okay: By the numbers
5 – Nationwide championships: 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015.
6 – Gold medals as head coach of the U.S. males’s national personnel
9 – Coached 9 national gamers of the yr
12 – Nationwide coach of the yr honors
12 – Final Four appearances. Tied for essentially the most in NCAA history.
12 – ACC regular season championships
15 – ACC tournament championships, most in league history
28 – Players chosen as a NBA lottery purchase
35 – NCAA Match appearances, essentially the most by one coach in history.
65 – ACC tournament wins
89.5 – Prefer share in the center of coaching career
97 – NCAA Match wins, most in history.
126 – Weeks ranked No. 1 in the AP ballot. Yep, one other coaching file.
508 – ACC wins
1,091 – Wins as Duke’s head coach
1,164 – Career wins