By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard
We’ve taken a brief look at the quick turnaround in football, we’ll now it’s time to look at sustainability in college basketball. While some programs are not what they use to be there is one that continues to be at the or near the top of the heap year after year, Duke.
Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K) has been at Duke for 34 years. He has won over 900 college basketball games. Won four National Championships and four Olympic Gold Medals (two as a head coach and two as an assistant). He is, in a word, consistent.
Coach Krzyzewski is a coach some love to hate. The haters dislike his ability to consistently win games during the regular season and in the NCAA tournament. They dislike his teams’ attitude and ability to draw a charge in the lane. Some just dislike him because he’s been around so long.
Why he’s hated is also why he’s adored.
So how does he do it? He has assistants who are loyal to not only him but to Duke. All of his assistants are former players. He recruits players that fit the Duke style and until Elton Brand in 1999, he had a pretty good streak where is players played all four years. His methods, from coaching to recruiting to how he runs a practice, work.
Coach K has nothing left to prove. He has won everything there is to win in collegiate basketball (he passed on the NBA years ago). So why does he keep going? Only he can answer that but from an outsiders perspective, he coaches because he loves it and he’s damn good at it. Maintaining that is the challenge.