Coach K had an impact on the lives of every athlete he met, including the writer. Coach K's brilliance stemmed from his ability to adapt to shifting trends and periods. His quest for a sixth title will put that talent to the test once more.
He taught me that defense wins championships, but you can't beat top-flight competition without scoring points. He also taught me that it's important to have fun while playing sports, especially when you're winning as much as we were at Duke.
His impact on Duke basketball is undeniable. Without Coach K, there would be no Blue Devils. He brought honor to college basketball and helped make Duke famous across America.
Dean Smith was born on January 4th, 1933 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. He played football and basketball for Davidson College before graduating in 1955. After serving in the Army, Dean went to work as an assistant under Red Monroe at Virginia Military Institute. In 1959, he took over as head coach when Monroe died during practice.
Under Dean Smith's leadership, VMI won 95 games and lost only 13 over four seasons. In 1963, he left VMI to take over as head coach at Duke. He retired after three seasons, but returned in 1968 for one final season. Dean passed away on March 3rd, 1976 at the age of 54.
Duke students and supporters celebrated the unveiling of "Coach K Court" at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Friday. Coach K Court was introduced by university authorities following the 98-85 victory in the preseason NIT. "I believe it was good that they just utilized Coach K for the moniker," Krzyzewski joked after the game. "Because if I had been given a name, it would have been too long."
The new court is part of a $15 million renovation project at Cameron Indoor Stadium. It also includes new lighting, sound systems, and premium seating options.
Krzyzewski took over as Duke's head coach in 1991 after three seasons as an assistant under Dean Smith. Under Krzyzewski, Duke has won two national championships (99-91 win over University of Virginia in April 2004 and 99-88 win over University of Maryland-College Park in May 2009) and appeared in three more finals.
He has a record of 1,084-443 during his career and is the winningest active coach in Division I basketball. Krzyzewski was named the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Coach of the Year in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
In addition to his duties at Duke, he continues to work with USA Basketball's junior national team. The squad is preparing for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.
Athletes that attended James' debut included Terrell Owens, Moses Malone, Jeff Garcia, and Dusty Baker. Before the game, James, who had recently graduated from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, casually referred to Cavs coach Paul Silas as "perhaps the finest coach I've ever had."
James was a four-year player at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School before going on to a successful career in basketball. As a senior, he averaged 26 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists per game and was named first team all-city and all-league. After graduating from high school, James went on to play for Cleveland's Olympic Development Program (ODP) team. He eventually earned a spot on the United States national basketball team, where he played in five games during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. After the tournament, he decided to forgo his final year of college ball and enter the 1997 NBA draft. The Cavaliers selected him with the number one overall pick.
James immediately became one of the best players in the league and is considered by many to be among the greatest basketball players of all time. He has won several awards including an NBA championship (2007), MVP award (2003), and Triple Crown (2011). In 2014, Sports Illustrated ranked him #2 behind Michael Jordan among all-time great players.
Naismith, James Kansas has won at least a share of 19 regular season conference titles in the Big 12 league's 24 seasons. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, was the Jayhawks' first coach. Ironically, Naismith is the only coach in Kansas basketball history with a losing record. The Jayhawks finished the 1918-19 season with a 9-4 record.
Kansas City Star columnist Bob Fitzsimons wrote that "the loss column is as important to a college basketball team as the winning one," and noted that while John Feir was an excellent coach, he had some tough matchups to finish with a losing record including two games against undefeated Missouri. Fitzsimmons also pointed out that while Naismith was "one of the best coaches in the game," he did not have much support from his players during his short career at Kansas City High School and Wichita College before taking over at Kansas City.
When Naismith retired after three years at Kansas City, his place was taken by Ed Martin, who coached the final two seasons of Naismith's life. Martin had a record of 20-20.
After Martin, there were four more coaches with losing records at Kansas City/Kansas: Frank Petty (39-27), Fred Schule (46-22), Orval Mitchell (49-21), and Bill Stout (50-20).
From 1959 until 1965, Keady was the head coach at Beloit. Keady recognized the importance of education and never stopped studying, even when coaching. He received his master's degree in teaching from Kansas State in 1964. He has a record of 142 wins to 47 losses while coaching high school basketball (.751).
He began his career at Beloit in 1959, just two years after graduating from college. In three seasons, he had a record of 30-12. In 1962-63, he led the Wildcats to their first undefeated regular season (21-0) and first playoff appearance. The team was eliminated by eventual state champion Janesville High School.
In 1963-64, Beloit went 20-1 and won its second consecutive state title. The team was made up of players from Wisconsin and Illinois - many of them new to the area - which helped it win over opponents. For this reason, some say Beloit was ahead of its time with its successful recruiting program.
After the 1963-64 season, Keady left Beloit for an assistant coaching position at Northwestern University. He stayed there for one year before returning home to take over the head coaching job at Greenfield High School in 1965. During his second stint at Greenfield, he had a record of 44-13 and led the Knights to the state semifinals in 1971.