Duke fans knew Coach Mike Krzyzewski would break Bob Knight’s all-time Division I men’s basketball wins record early in this season. When the full schedule was released a few months ago, it became evident that the deciding game—victory 903—was likely to be played against perennial powerhouse Michigan State. And unlike 2010’s thrilling win over the Spartans in Cameron Indoor Stadium, the game would be played at a neutral site—Madison Square Garden in New York.
What Blue Devils fans also knew was that the Garden is Duke’s second home, the site of many important early season wins in Coach K’s tenure. Last night, the world’s most famous arena was kind to K and Duke once again, as we outlasted Michigan State, 74-69. The team has its third win of the season; K has his record.
At Duke, Coach K transcends the role of basketball coach. He is the campus superhero, guiding one of the nation’s most successful college athletic programs and acting as a strong leader in the Durham community. What sets him apart, in our eyes, is not only the sheer volume of victories, but the manner in which he achieves them. The man’s philosophy is simple: win—and win the right way. He inspires the entire Duke community to be passionate, and we respond in kind.*
At 64 years old, I believe K has as much energy and drive as any upstart coach in the nation. It’s marvelous to watch the man from across the court in the student section. His brow furrowed, hand on his chin, a look of sheer intensity. An incredible will to win. As students preparing for the rest of our lives, we all hope to love what we do as much as he does.
Congratulations to Coach K on win 903, and for continuing to inspire us all.
Be sure to check out 903andcounting.com, a new project of DukeBluePlanet, the official Duke men’s basketball website. Share your Coach K stories and enter contests to win seats behind the bench for an upcoming game.
Also, make sure to watch this video of friends, family, and ex-players congratulating Coach K.
*The outpouring of Coach K related statuses on my Facebook news feed after the game was formidable; the sense of shared purpose among students might only be matched when everyone compares schedules during class registration.
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