In the history of Division I College Basketball, nine coaches have led teams to undefeated records, thirteen can claim multiple national championships, and three have made it to 10 or more Final Fours.
But only one coach ever made it to 1,000 wins.
Coach Mike Kryzewski hit that milestone Sunday against St. John's as the Blue Devils erased an 11-point deficit to win 77-68. After the game, Kryzezewski said, "It was tough to get involved with 1,000. I was just trying to survive this game, which is how you get to 1,000."
Yes, that is how you get to 1,000 wins: trying to survive, and building the best basketball program in the country over the course of a 40-year career.
But it's more than just how often Krzyzewski's team has come out on top. After all, can you name who has the most wins in the history of the NBA? How about in the NFL?
For Coach K, it's always been about the way his teams have come out on top. There have never any academic scandals like the ones that have recently rocked UNC, the cheating allegations that have followed John Calipari. His players, fans, and fellow coaches love him, and his opponents respect him.
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Kryzewski is how he's adapted over time, helping one-and-dones Kyrie Irving, Jabari Parker, and now Jahlil Okafor to find their way in college basketball, while also winning a national championship in 2010 with a bunch of less talented upperclassmen in Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, Lance Thomas, and Brian Zoubek. He can coach the freshmen, the seniors, and the 10-year NBA vets equally.
He's the best college basketball coach since the Wizard of Westwood, and his legacy, and 1,000 is nothing but a reminder of that.
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