Mike Krzyzewski’s name has been synonymous with winning at Duke for a long time. He’s got 12 Final Four berths, five national championships, three Olympic gold medals and 14 ACC tournament titles.
After a second-round win in the NCAA tournament against Rhode Island on Saturday, he now has 1,099 through his career. That surpasses the late Pat Summitt for most wins all time for a Division I basketball coach. In his postgame interview he had some nice words about Summitt, and said he didn’t even know about the record until the night before the game.
"The lady who had that record would have run hundreds more. Pat Summitt was as good of a coach as there was."— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 17, 2018
Coach K on passing the late great coach for most wins in Division I basketball history. #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/v4Uhsr07gI
Coach K it doesn’t look like he’s ready to call it quits immediately. Although he’s had a few health concerns in recent years, he’s still chugging at the age of 71. His next-closest men’s Division I challenger in Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, who has 923 wins. When Coach K does retire, there’s one coach in particular who should take over the mantle in short order.
UConn’s Geno Auriemma. who may be about 80 wins behind K all-time, but gains on him every year because his Huskies lose fewer games per year than Duke does en route to what seems like an automatic national title. Whenever Coach K does retire, it shouldn’t take long for Auriemma to overtake him.
Coach K does actually trail Division II McKendree University’s Harry Statham on the all-time wins list for any college basketball coach, but he’ll likely pass Statham next season. Statham (who has amassed 1,122 wins over his career) was unceremoniously let go just a week ago after 50 years.
“The release that came out, from the school, implied I resigned or retired. That was not the case. I am getting phone calls and email from friends who thought I retired,” said Statham.
The ‘winning-est’ head basketball coach for any four-year college, now benched, posted on social media to make things crystal clear to the McKendree University community.
”I said I did not want to retire and didn’t want to retire. I said I wasn’t a quitter, wanted to leave on a winning note or a winning season,” added Statham.
For now, Coach K stands alone as the dean of DI coaches. It’s an honor that is well-deserved.