Special K

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski continues to leave a permanent mark on his program

The record may someday be unbreakable. The numbers are already almost unfathomable.

He has more career ACC wins than eight of the other coaches in the league have total wins. He has 52 wins in the ACC tournament. The other 11 ACC coaches have combined for 44. His 139 ACC road wins also trump the rest of the league's coaching roster, who combine for 133.

His teams have spent 104 weeks at the top of the AP Poll. That's two full calendar years' worth of polls or about five full seasons. Every other man that's ever coached in the ACC has combined for 154.

He has 79 NCAA tournament wins—a record. Put another way, one out of every 4 and a half wins earned by an ACC team in the history of the big dance…belong to him. Five out of every six Duke tourney wins are his as well. Subtract his won-loss record, and the ACC's winning percentage in NCAA tournament games drops 31 percentage points.

Put him by himself and he's a mid-major, with more all-time tournament wins than 24 conferences, including Conference USA and the Atlantic 10. Gonzaga's a tournament giant? Their West Coast Conference has 15 fewer wins. Butler? Well, their Missouri Valley conference has him by seven wins—nobody's perfect. Since 1986, his team has been the last ACC team standing in the Big Dance every other year, on average.

Since 1986, only two senior classes ('05 and '06, if you're counting) went four years without appearing in a Final Four. Only one (class of '90) missed out on an ACC regular season title, and every class since '84 won at least one regular season or ACC tournament title.

He has 900 wins. If he were a baseball manager, that would rank him 65th all-time. Of course, they play five times as many games in a year. Still, he has more wins than big-name skippers Don Zimmer, Cito Gaston, Charlie Manuel and Ozzie Guillen. He's also won as many championships as those four combined. Among NBA coaches, he'd be in 11th. Of course, they play 82 games a year (usually). Dr. Jack Ramsay? Gregg Popovich? Mike Fratello? Chuck Daly? More than all of them.

His .760 winning percentage is about 60 points better than the NBA's most successful coach--Phil Jackson. In fact, his winning percentage over 36 years would be the 30th best season by any team in NBA history.

Since being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, he's gone 294 and 61, an .828 winning percentage, with a national title and 6 ACC tournament crowns, and a gold medal.

He's coached 18 future coaches, 33 All Americas, 6 Academic All Americas, 75 All ACC players, 10 ACC players of the year, 9 national players of the year, 9 defensive players of the year, 16 NBA lottery picks, 43 draft picks, 52 McDonalds All Americans, and soon, his third Plumlee.

His teams have scored 1428 points in the Final Four. He's won 166 games (and lost only 24) as the number one team in the nation.

He's won blowouts--327 games by more than 20 points, scored more than 100 on 104 occasions, and nailbiters—129 games by five or less and 31 in overtime.

His opponents can't say the same. Only 17 have beaten him by 20, only 2 scored more than 100, and only 22 won in overtime.

Kids born the last time he missed the tournament can now drive legally. Kids born the last time one of his teams went an entire season unranked will be turning 30 shortly.

If all goes according to plan, he'll win game 903 on November 15, at Madison Square Garden, moving him past Bob Knight and into first place all time.

He has more titles than Knight, more titles than Smith, as many as Rupp, making him the first all-time wins leader since 1997 with four rings.

With a talented but young team, he could post his 26th win of the year sometime in March, which would put him 23 ahead of Knight, lifting the all-time wins mark by as much as Knight did after passing Smith.

He's said he has no plans of hanging it up any time soon, meaning he could put the record out of reach for his up-and-coming contemporaries.


Blue Devil Digest Top Stories