The King of Duke Will Retire

Coach K’s impact on Duke’s standing among elite universities has been nothing short of profound.

We always knew that this day would come. After the longest tenure in history, a new leader will rise and usher his people into a new era. No, we’re not talking about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who was essentially ousted today from power after leading the nation of Israel since 2009. We’re talking about Mike Krzyzewski. You might know him as Coach K. Yes, that Coach K. Today, after 41 years leading the Duke University men’s basketball program to unprecedented heights which in turn significantly helped make Duke University one of our nation’s most prestigious universities, he announced that next year’s basketball season will be his swan song. The Naismith Hall of Fame coach who led the Blue Devils to five NCAA titles, second only to UCLA’s John Wooden, will be hanging up his tailored suits. But if you think Coach K isn’t hoping to win a sixth title next year, you don’t know Coach K. After an uncharacteristic off year for the program, Duke’s recruiting class is top notch and let’s just say that Coach K has a reputation for not only winning but going out on top. Just ask Christian Laettner. Or Grant Hill.

Duke’s Coach K Announces Swan Song

As ESPN reports, “His tally of 97 NCAA tournament wins ranks No. 1 among all coaches, as does his 126 weeks atop the Associated Press Top 25 poll. Overall, including his five seasons as head coach at Army at the beginning of his career, Krzyzewski has a 1,170-361 record. Along the way, he also took over the U.S. men’s national team — with NBA All-Star rosters featuring names such as the late Kobe Bryant and LeBron James — and led it to Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008, London in 2012 and Rio de Janiero in 2016. Duke missed the NCAA tournament this past season for the first time since 1995, but the Blue Devils welcome one of the nation’s top recruiting classes for the coming season.”

Coach K’s Outsized Influence on Duke Admissions

And Coach K’s legacy extends beyond the hardwood, beyond the men whose lives he’s shaped through his career. During Coach K’s 41 years at Cameron Indoor, Duke’s standing as an institution has risen dramatically. The university is as competitive to earn admission to today as multiple Ivy League institutions. This was not the case when Coach K first started calling plays at Duke and anyone who should suggest that the men’s basketball team’s success has not directly impacted the university’s ranking and prestige does not understand college admissions. Let’s put it this way. If your child wants to go to Duke, you should be rooting against Duke in March Madness the year before because, historically, the further the Blue Devils advance in March Madness, the more applications the Durham, North Carolina-based institution receives. Good luck to Duke’s Associate Head Coach Jon Scheyer who has been named the head coach in waiting. If he has a fraction of Coach K’s success while leading the Duke men’s basketball team, it will be a job well done.

 
 

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