Duke University's Mike Krzyzewski became the winningest coach in Division I college basketball history this week, when his No. 6 ranked Blue Devils beat Michigan State 74-69 on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. With his 903rd win, Krzyzewski — Coach K to admirers — broke a tie with his mentor Bob Knight. The legendary Indiana coach reached 902 wins in 42 seasons. Krzyzewski hit 903 in his 37th. Coach K is only 64 years old, and may well have enough seasons ahead of him to set a mark that will never be broken. Is Coach K the greatest college basketball coach ever?
Krzyzewski is unparalleled: Sorry to break it to you, Duke haters, says Bill Reiter at Fox Sports, but it's now official: Coach K is "the greatest coach in college basketball history." We all "crave historical significance," and love to imagine that the events we witness really matter. Well, on Tuesday night, when Krzyzewski outdid everyone who has ever tried to lead a college team to victory, we got a glimpse of "authentic greatness." "Enjoy it. Savor it. Remember it. These moments don’t come around very often."
"Coach K's milestone is a precious gem"
Great, yes. Greatest, no: Coach K belongs in "exclusive company," says Jeff Goodman at CBS Sports. He's one of just three coaches to win four NCAA crowns — Kentucky's Adolph Rupp and UCLA legend John Wooden are the others. But Wooden's 10 national championships is a mark of greatness that try as he might, Coach K will simply never match. No one will.
"Krzyzewski ties Knight record with Saturday's win"
Still, nobody can equal Coach K's consistency: The great Wooden led a "concentrated era of dominance, from 1964-75," then retired, says Pat Forde at Yahoo! Sports. Krzyzewski has figured out how to win, and keep winning, over decades that have seen tremendous change. When the three-point shot arrived, Coach K figured out how to use it to his advantage. When he started losing star players early to the NBA, he adjusted. "He's the best basketball coach ever when it comes to staying current."
"Krzyzewski adapts to become the best"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- An open letter to #brands about Gamergate
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- The most sensible GOP alternative to ObamaCare comes from a Senate candidate who is almost sure to lose
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- When Khomeini said no to Iranian nukes
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
Subscribe to the Week