Where Does Mike Krzyzewski Rank All-time?

Tonight, Duke head men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski went where no man has ever gone before – got to give Tennessee head women’s coach Pat Summitt some love here – when he won his 903rd game, surpassing Bob Knight, his college coach and mentor, on the Division I all-time wins list.

And he did it the same way he always has: with grace and humility.

After the game, Krzyzewski downplayed his own success, instead deflecting the credit to Knight and the Duke men’s basketball program as a whole. In fact, when he was presented with the game ball following the win, he stated that “It’s not a ball that a coach should have. It’s a ball that a school and a program should have.”

Well, Coach, I think I speak for all of Duke Nation when I say that you deserve just as much recognition as anyone.

When the then 33-year-old Krzyzewski moved from Army, where he had a solid but less than stellar 73-59 record in five seasons, to take the head job at Duke in 1980, few could have imagined the legacy that he would eventually create for himself.

But now, 31 years, 830 wins, four NCAA Championships, 11 Final Fours, 12 ACC regular season titles, and 13 ACC Tournament Championships later, it is safe to say that Krzyzewski has positioned himself as one of the greatest coaches of all-time, not just in college basketball history, but in sports history.

He’s what Vince Lombardi was to professional football, what Red Auerbach was to professional basketball, and what John Wooden was before him to college basketball.

I’ve had the pleasure of being a Duke fan for many years now (ever since I was old enough to understand that Tar Heels are evil), watching some of my favorites come and go.

But the one constant has always been Coach K.

And on this night at Madison Square Garden, the Mecca of college basketball, with a trio of Plumlees, the Doc’s son, and another guy named Dawkins, he once again earned a spot in the limelight.

The only thing that remains to be seen is just how much higher he raises the bar.

Sources: SI.com and ESPN.com

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