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View Full Version : Mike Krzyzewski is a great person (Any Anecdotes?)



Verga3
03-16-2008, 09:59 PM
His emotional post-game Clemson bus visit is only the most recent out-of-the-limelight story that embodies the character and person of Coach K. http://www.wral.com/sports/blogpost/2585516/

This man is one of the greatest basketball coaches in history, but his off-the-court and everyday interactions with his players, friends.....and even many strangers, is "the rest of the story."

Four years ago my nephew was agonizing over his college decision between one of our great ACC universities (down the road) and one of our esteemed U.S. military academies. After going back and forth for weeks, and with deadlines fast approaching, my brother was at his wits end at how to help his son through this difficult decision process. Finally, knowing his son was a lifelong Duke fan and having tremendous respect for Coach K, my brother queried, "Why don't you call Coach K?" After initially thinking his dad was nuts, he thought more about his problem and decided Coach K was just the right person to call.....after all, he did go to Army....but how do you get to talk to Coach K?

My nephew decided to send an email to Coach K, via Duke Basketball, explaining his dilemma and asking for any advice he might be able to give him. About two weeks go by and the phone rings one night after dinner....later, my nephew walks downstairs and states to the family, "You won't believe who was just on the phone."

Mike Krzyzewski calls an unknown young man (to him) that has a problem. First, he apologizes for calling so late (it's 9:00pm) and for it taking him so long to get back to him. He trys to help. He spoke personally about his own formative experiences at Army and of the great privilege of serving your country in any of our branches of service. He spoke about how he appreciated how difficult decisions like his were.....in fact he had a tough decision of his own not too long ago with his opportunity to leave Duke for the LA Lakers...and about how at the end of the day the decision is clearer if you follow your heart.

I'm very glad that Mike Krzyzewski's heart is here at Duke.

weezie
03-16-2008, 11:03 PM
That's a great story! All I have is that every time I've sent him a note he's responded promptly and thoughtfully. Maybe it was just a secretary writing back, but he always added a personal comment. He sure seems like a great guy, even if he might have thought I was nuts. :o

CathyCA
03-16-2008, 11:39 PM
every time I've sent him a note he's responded promptly and thoughtfully. Maybe it was just a secretary writing back, but he always added a personal comment.

Um, no, it's not the secretaries who do his writing. I worked for Coach K as his office assistant for three and a half years. He writes (dicatates) his own letters. The man is the real deal.

Lotus000
03-17-2008, 12:57 AM
He wrote some really nice things in a book for my dad...in 'Leading With the Heart.'

I saw him randomly once on campus, and said 'Hey Coach K, how are you doing today' and he was really polite when he replied.

...so, any time I've seen him, he's been really nice.

pfrduke
03-17-2008, 12:58 AM
This certainly isn't a story that anyone hasn't heard before, but I've always been partial to Coach K getting on the radio with the Kentucky fans right after the 1992 East Regional to say how impressed he was with their team and how proud they all should be of that squad. There aren't a whole lot of coaches in the country for whom doing such a thing would even cross their mind.

jdc75
03-17-2008, 06:35 AM
My 12 year old nephew was one of the towel boys this weekend at the ACC tournament in Charlotte. At some time between the games, Coach K approached him and said hello and asked him if he played basketball and where and for who. After that he asked if he would like to have some of his players sign his program(which they did). He made that kid's day in a big way. He's been on cloud 9 ever since.

My nephew also had an interesting story about his only encounter with Ol' Roy. He said at one point in Saturday's game Roy screamed harshly at him to get his rear end out on the court and mop up something near midcourt. Since he was instructed by the staff there to not go past the free throw line of the basket on his end of the court he just ignored him.

If he wasn't a Duke fan already he will be now for life

weezie
03-17-2008, 06:46 AM
I saw that exchange between Roy and your nephew. Our upper section was wondering what was going on, with the 'holes fans laughing at how great Uncle Roy was for even keeping track of the towel boys. Of course, they'd never believe what a tewel he really is.
Your nephew sounds like a very smart boy. He should apply to Duke.

devildeac
03-17-2008, 07:02 AM
My 12 year old nephew was one of the towel boys this weekend at the ACC tournament in Charlotte. At some time between the games, Coach K approached him and said hello and asked him if he played basketball and where and for who. After that he asked if he would like to have some of his players sign his program(which they did). He made that kid's day in a big way. He's been on cloud 9 ever since.

My nephew also had an interesting story about his only encounter with Ol' Roy. He said at one point in Saturday's game Roy screamed harshly at him to get his rear end out on the court and mop up something near midcourt. Since he was instructed by the staff there to not go past the free throw line of the basket on his end of the court he just ignored him.

If he wasn't a Duke fan already he will be now for life

Maybe some of our fine friends in the media will pick up on that story, misqoute it by blaming K for the harsh comments and put it in print. Nah, they'd never misquote K...

Highlander
03-17-2008, 08:08 AM
When I was in fourth grade, my teacher had us write a letter to a sports figure we admired and ask for a response. The exercise was really just to get us practice writing letters. Kids from my class wrote to Dean Smith, Walter Payton, Refridgerator Perrry, and the like. I wrote to Coach K, and asked for an autographed picture of the team.

The kids that wrote to professional athletes got no response. The kids that wrote to UNC got a copy of the campus store catalog to order merchandise.

I got a copy of the '86 Blue Devils team picture personalized and signed in ballpoint pen. "Always try your best. Mike Krzyzewski." Talk about making a fourth grader's week and one-upping his entire class.

I also enjoyed the story from one of his books (LWTH I think), about him spilling a cup of gatorade at a basketball camp and one of the kids rushing to clean it up for him. K stopped him and took his towel, and told him, 'Don't ever forget that no matter who you are, you should always be man enough to clean up your own mess.' He then got on his knees and cleaned the spill himself.

VTBaller03
03-17-2008, 08:15 AM
Would someone please inform me of how to go about contacting Coach K? I've been a fan ever since number 11 walked on the court and always wanted to let Coach know how much I admire his program and leadership.

Best regards.

Mike Corey
03-17-2008, 08:57 AM
I got a copy of the '86 Blue Devils team picture personalized and signed in ballpoint pen. "Always try your best. Mike Krzyzewski."

When I was in Kindergarten, my parents and I ran into Coach K on Duke's campus, and at my dad's urging, I scurried over and asked for an autograph. The message? "Always try your best."

But I digress. The initial anecdote shared in this thread is truly fantastic. Coach, administrator, author, motivational speaker...college counselor. The breadth of Coach K's caring for others is inspirational.Coach has been known to send care packages to troops in Iraq, and has done that multiple times over the past couple of years. He gets requests to speak to people that are ill, or people that have lost loved ones, and he reaches out with a sincerity and compassion that is truly unbelievable.

Here are a few examples:

A few years ago, a young Ohioan without any direct Duke ties was killed in an auto accident. That young man, a junior in high school, had been a huge Blue Devil fan. When word got to Coach about the tragedy, he tracked down the father's phone number, and made the call. As the family's local newspaper reported (http://www.the-review.com/news/article/1968501):


"We began to talk and he said how sorry he was about the loss of Jake, which he said was a terrible, terrible thing," said Mike Scott. "He said he was sorry he didn't call sooner but he was out recruiting, and I said, 'Thanks so much for taking the time to call.'"

But Krzyzewski didn't stop there.

"He kept using my first name, and he said, 'Mike, how are you doing, and how is your wife and oldest son (Josh) doing?'" added Mike Scott. "He was just real personable and then he asked, 'What can I do personally for you?' He said, 'Have you ever thought about doing a benefit auction?'"

Krzyzewski said he was going to send the Scott family some signed Duke items, some which they could keep and some which they could use in a fundraising auction to help raise money for a memorial scholarship in Jake's name. The scholarship is being established for any Sebring student involved in any extracurricular activity who plans to go to college (the student doesn't have to participate in an extracurricular in college to be eligible).

The Scotts never imagined what was on the way from Krzyzewski.

A short time later, a huge box arrived from Duke University. Inside were two Duke basketballs, each signed by Krzyzewski. On one ball, he penned, ""To the Scott family: Jake was a truly special young man! He will always be on our team! Your family is the best."

The Duke mentor also autographed a Duke coaches clipboard, a coaches Nike shirt, two signed Duke basketball yearbooks, and copies of his book, "Beyond Basketball."

Coach K was similarly generous to my mother and me (http://www.goduke.com/ViewArticle.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=4200&ATCLID=250431&SPID=1845&SPSID=22724) when my father passed away a few years ago. But I want to end on a happier note.

I had the good fortune of serving as sports editor of The Chronicle for a year, and as such, was able to cover a fair number of men's basketball games. The following fall, as I was walking into the rec center, I saw Coach K striding toward the exits. He had probably just completed a game of racquetball or squash, and though my first inclination was to do something obeisant like grab a handful of flowers and drop the petals on the ground before he crossed it, I instead just stood there silently, hoping not to embarrass myself nor to be "that guy" that, well, embarrasses himself in front of childhood heroes.

To my surprise, Coach K recalled my name (no doubt from my inane questions during press conferences...or from woefully misspelled Q&As...but I digress) and said, "Hey, Michael. How are you?"

"Good thanks, how are you?" I said, suppressing a scream.

"Gee Mike, you've gotten bigger, have you been working out?" he said.

The fact that I hadn't and that I'd actually put on some fat seemed irrelevant at the time, so I just said yes and thank you.

"So are you ready?" he asked.

"Um, ready for what, Coach?"

"Well we're short on guys this year, and we could use a few more walk-ons."

A goofy, orgasmic expression overtook my face, and my stomach contorted into knots with the anticipation of fulfilling something I never thought a slow, 5'10 pseudo-journalist could ever accomplish. I couldn't wait to call my dad and my high school basketball coach and tell them the glorious news.

And then, at the point of my greatest egotistical elation, Coach pulled out a rhetorical pin and burst my expanding head.

Cackling, he said, "Don't be ridiculous, Michael. You could never make my team."

SharkD
03-17-2008, 09:18 AM
I got a copy of the '86 Blue Devils team picture personalized and signed in ballpoint pen. "Always try your best. Mike Krzyzewski." Talk about making a fourth grader's week and one-upping his entire class.
I've got a Nina's School of Dance Christmas Pageant program from 1990 or 1991, "the Littlest Angel" -- Lindy was in the company (later on, so was I, but that's another story). Anyway, I was sick and couldn't attend, but my parents ran into Coach K -- the autograph: "Daniel, Always Try Your Best! - Mike Krzyzewski."

A couple of years later, Lindy ended up at my high school, a grade above me, so I'd see Coach K at the occasional varsity volleyball game. (Jamie also attended DA, but was far younger than me, so I never really got to know her.)

Duke79UNLV77
03-17-2008, 09:21 AM
i like his decision not to hang the 1990 final 4 banner until all the seniors from that class graduated. up until that point, all of his seniors had graduated. phil henderson, who actually was a very smart guy, did not graduate on time. when he would come back for games, he would sit at the top of the band section, whereas bench-warmers like clay buckley would be right behind the bench. once henderson graduated, the banner went up and he could get the best seats again.

i also like that k committed to a 4 year scholarship for eric meek after meek was hit by a drunk driver and they thought he might not play again.

there was also a good story about his speaking at the funeral of a custodian who worked in cameron for a long time.

personally, i wrote k once when i was a chair in a local cancer fundraiser. he donated an autographed book for the cause.

Duke4Ever32
03-17-2008, 09:49 AM
I've been a huge Duke fan since 1989, but found myself attending law school at UNC from 1993 to 1996. During that time I sent Coach K a letter expressing my appreciation for him and for the teams and players he coached, and also letting him know that there were Duke fans at UNC. I was thrilled to get a letter back from him a couple of weeks later. The response was typed, but at the bottom of the letter he had personally written "Best of luck in law school!".

Even before that, I was on campus for the first time during the summer of 1991. I was checking out the law school, and wandered over to Cameron. I had just come from the bookstore, and had bought a notebook with "Duke" written at the top of it. I was amazed to see Coach K just standing outside of Cameron talking to someone - it was probably late April or May, so I didn't think anyone would be around. I walked over and waited patiently until he acknowledged me - we had a short conversation about where I was from and about basketball, and he signed my notebook and complimented me on the unique Duke hat I had on. During the time we were talking I realized that the person he was speaking with was Bobby Hurley. I was blown away, primarily because he was so small and nondescript, and looked like someone I could beat easily on a basketball court. I wanted to challenge him to a game, but it's probably a good thing that I didn't!!

Anyway, just wanted to share. There are some great stories in this thread - and it makes me realize how much more important the kind of person you are is than the games you win. We're truly fortunate to have Coach K, and need to cherish him while he's here.

DeepBlue70
03-17-2008, 09:51 AM
I'm a long time lurker, and a first time poster. Couldn't reisist this thread. A Duke graduate, I lived one year in Chapel Hill with 4 UNC roommates. (Still haven't gotten over that!) Anyway, I stay in touch with a bunch of those guys.

I'm cutting and pasting a recent story from one of those Tarheels - a late 60's football player who now works with a Christian ministry to disabled kids that goes by the name "Capernaum Kids". We haven't converted this Tarheel yet, but K certainly left an impression:

"One of our Capernaum kid's parents asked if her son could meet Coach K when Duke came to Clemson. The answer was yes if Duke won there was an 85% chance of that meeting. Coop and I got to go too. Oh, what was I going to do, root for Duke?. Duke won and we got to meet Coach K. He talked about Clemson and their coach. He autographed some stuff. and sent a manager to get a tshirt for Coop and Drew. For 15 minutes he treated them just like people. Amazing. It is a better story when I tell it than when I write it but that is the basic story"

Defenserules
03-17-2008, 11:12 AM
I was a B.N. Duke and Morehead scholarship winner in high school, and although they are both great scholarships I went to Duke because during the interview weekend Coach K had lunch with us. That might be a stupid reason to pick a school but at the time it totally blew me away.

The impressive thing was that when K spoke to us he said that he had requested the lunch because he wanted to be a part of recruiting us to Duke and that he thought it was just important that we come to Duke as an All-American point guard (that might have been a stretch on his part). He seemed so vested in Duke and not just the basketball team and his talk really sold me. At UNC they certainly put on a dog and pony show, but Dean Smith never invited us to lunch and I was left with the impression that Duke was a family and UNC was a university. To me that lunch made all the difference.

Highlander
03-17-2008, 11:29 AM
All these K tales reminded me of a Grant Hill story. I looked for a link, but couldn't find one, so I'll paraphrase.

While Grant was in Detroit, there was a story about a Middle School kid who came from a rough background in the local paper. He played basketball and had done a good job of staying out of trouble. I don't remember all the details of the kid's story, so I apologize. Anyway, Grant saw it and invited him to a Pistons game. After the game, Grant spoke to him privately for 5-10 minutes after the game, and told him he admired his perserverence.

As the kid regained his composure, he asked Grant, "So can you get me a jersey like that?"

Grant responded, "How about this one?" and then gave the kid the jersey off his back.

The qoute from the paper was something to the effect of, "If the kid had been a candle, he would have melted."

wilko
03-17-2008, 12:36 PM
I remember when he 1st arrived on campus. The team was in flux to say the least. Vince Taylor was the star then. It might have been his Sr yr. I was a local kid growing up in Durham. Played some rec league ball at Bethesda. Anyway, my Coach (my dad) got in touch with someone over at Duke and our entire team got tix to see Duke play. This would have been like over a Christmas break (I think) when it was hard to pack the gym in the lean years before things took off for the program. It sure made a difference to a bunch of kids.

I never got the chance to properly thank him in person.

I ran into him once at Lowes and he was buying some trim moulding and some stain. He was in shorts and a t-shirt. I really really wanted to go say "hi" ..... but thought whats the point? Hes a guy trying to get his stuff done and knock stuff off hi "honey-do" list. I didnt have the heart.

Then there was another time at Magnolia grill, where he was in a decent sized party of 8 or 9 men (not the team or mixed company) and I was like... gee, it would be nice to say "hi"... but they have a "thing" going on and to get to him; I'd have to go thru everone else... hardly worth interrupting a moment.

365Duke
03-17-2008, 01:17 PM
Mine is already here;

http://coachk.com/stories.php?start=235


Titled "A Friend"

SlimSlowSlider
03-17-2008, 01:56 PM
Mike Krzyzewski calls an unknown young man (to him) that has a problem. First, he apologizes for calling so late (it's 9:00pm) and for it taking him so long to get back to him. He trys to help. He spoke personally about his own formative experiences at Army and of the great privilege of serving your country in any of our branches of service. He spoke about how he appreciated how difficult decisions like his were.....in fact he had a tough decision of his own not too long ago with his opportunity to leave Duke for the LA Lakers...and about how at the end of the day the decision is clearer if you follow your heart.

Verga3, you left us hanging! What did your nephew decide to do?

TexasDevil
03-17-2008, 03:42 PM
When I was at Duke, I remember walking to the gym with my boyfriend, and being shocked when Coach K walked around the corner and almost collided with me. He apologized profusely, and I just stood frozen in place, surprised that he was talking to me. I think I managed to mumble that he didn't need to apologize, but that's all I could get out. I do remember seeing him and his family at a soccer game or two while I was there. I thought it was nice he was supporting other Duke athletics in his free time.

ClosetHurleyFan
03-17-2008, 03:53 PM
Beyond all the non-sense of the rivalry that is in fun, you guys are lucky to have someone with the human qualities he brings to the table. They are not perfect, but when I think about K and Roy and Dean before Roy, I think both schools are extremely fortunate to have such good people running the ship. You cant take it for granted, amazing to me that schools will put up with guys like Bob Huggins the way they do......you just cant take character for granted these days..

Actually my favorite K moment (if a Carolina guy is allowed to have one) was when you guys were playing at Clemson several years ago and some court side orange laden student was vigorously pointing at his face chanting something from like 3 feet and K walked up to him and shook his hand and introduced himself. Really funny harmless moment of "kill em with kindness". The young fan completely backed down and look star struck as he shook his hand. Really funny.

onepresent
03-17-2008, 04:21 PM
About 10 years ago we used a retired gentleman, Hal, to make deliveries for my company (long before the days of PDFs). Hal was a former baseball player and an avid baseball spectator but not really a basketball fan. On his first trip Cameron, while just outside of the main entrance, he had to ask directions to the Sports Information office. A gentleman offered to walk him to the SI office and they made small talk along the way. On arrival he asked Hal if he knew who he was. Hal confessed that he didn't and Coach K introduced himself. Hal said he felt about 6 inches tall at that moment.

oldnavy
03-17-2008, 04:21 PM
I was deployed in the Horn of Africa in 2004, when Coach K was making his decision between LA and staying at Duke. I had a flag flown over our base and wrote a letter about how big of a fan I had always been. I sent him the flag and the letter along some stuff from my unit. I must confess that I held onto the flag and stuff until after he decided to stay at Duke. Anyway, he sent me a nice letter along with 4 nice Duke polo coaching shirts and 7 Duke tee shirts. He also, told me to contact his assistant when I got back in the country. I never did, but he is the real deal!

Verga3
03-17-2008, 05:17 PM
Verga3, you left us hanging! What did your nephew decide to do?

A terrific young man, he chose NC State, is set to graduate on time.....and will always be a Duke Basketball (and Coach K) fan.

RepoMan
03-17-2008, 06:36 PM
This is a great thread. Hopefully, we can continue to fill it with great anecdotes. That way, the next time some annoying heckler at work (or elsewhere) starts ragging on K, we can just send them the link -- no comment necessary.

HCFthird
03-17-2008, 07:58 PM
I went to Coach K's basketball camp for three years in the mid to late 80's. My first experience meeting Coach K was in 1984 in Cameron while scrimmaging against another team. I was 12. This was the summer after Duke had made a splash on the national scene again. K's first successful season at Duke had just ended.
During one game during the camp, in which there were a bunch of 12 year olds not listening to the coaches and not fully grasping the motion offense, etc... Coach K walks over in the middle of the game and grabs the ball. He looks at me, "What's your name?" I responded. He said this game is all about communication, if you don't know your teammates' names you will never be successful. He leads me over to one of my teammates, "What's his name?" Thank goodness he chose my camp roommate at the time, I don't think I knew anyone else. He then proceeds to show both of us how to run a successful pick and V-cut. I was in awe.
Later on the camp, we had a layup competition. I was set to shoot layups at one of the goals on the Cameron court. Coach K was directly underneath the basket grinning at me. He calls me by name, and says, "Have you been getting to know your teammates? Aren't you glad I picked your buddy a few days ago?" I almost fainted.

I had also had the chance to have conversations with Dave Odom and Skip Prosser. Dave was a very friendly guy, but Skip was a very special person. He just blew me away with his personal interaction, much like Coach K.

I work in the advertising industry and lets just say the report on ole' Roy is nowhere near as good. In fact, some of my clients have been extremely put off by his actions.

SharkD
03-17-2008, 09:28 PM
whereas bench-warmers like clay buckley Clay Buckley, as unremarkable as he was, was the first player in NCAA history to play in four Final Fours.


All these K tales reminded me of a Grant Hill story...
Not to threadjack, but... I met Grant in 1994, during the Southeast Regional -- my father had purchased tickets from some dejected Kentucky fan and we drove into Knoxville about three hours before the first game of the day. On the way in, we were calling every hotel we could think of, finally getting what the desk clerk said was the last room available. After the last game of the night, we got back to the room and heard a bunch of 'kids' running up and down the hall -- my father opened the door and standing around in the hallway was Grant, Joey Beard, Stan Brunson and Carmen Wallace. Turns out, the last room just happened to be on the team floor. (I was a very geeky 14 year old who had just died and gone to heaven.)

The next morning, I made a point of staking out the chairs in front of the elevators, and got the chance to talk to Grant for 5 or 10 minutes -- I'm sure that he had much better things to do than to have some inane conversation with a fan (I don't even remember what we were talking about), but he passed up two or three elevators just to sit and talk to me, prior to leaving for the practice session.

Back to the larger thread topic, I think the down-to-earth character of 'superstars' like Grant, Quinn (who came to my elementary school to read to us at story time assemblies once every other month or so), Wojo, Shane, Duhon, etc is a reflection of the personality types that Krzyzewski gravitates towards and the family environment that he fosters amongst the players while at Duke.

davekay1971
09-18-2011, 09:45 PM
Just a little thing, but meaningful to me. My mother-in-law (who is an angel) emailed Coach K out of nowhere to inform him that I was a Duke grad and a big hoops fan and that my 40th birthday was coming up and would he mind sending an autographed team picture along.

He did.

I think it's awesome that he would take a few moments to read an email from a random person, respond, and oblige a request. Great Coach, great person, and a great mother-in-law!

77devil
09-19-2011, 07:26 AM
Not sure why I didn't think of posting this story before. A former boss and mentor is a Duke grad. and a big fan and supporter of all things Duke. For his retirement party, Coach K recorded a humorous video in classic Coach K deadpan. It can now be told that my boss was calling the key plays in the 1992 championship run. Who new? Nice touch by Coach to make the video. It was a big hit.

Bostondevil
09-19-2011, 08:41 AM
I long thought the Duke-Carolina rivalry would be a good premise for a short play. I finally got around to penning that comedy, oh, three years ago, something like that. Premise: Couple meets on an eHarmony date, it's love at first sight until we find out, she's a Dukie, he's a Tarheel. I was so proud of it that I took a flyer and mailed a copy to Coach K. His name is invoked in a pivotal line of the play (near the end). OK, OK, the line is "I think Coach K is sexy." Anyway, a couple of weeks later an email shows up in my box from someone I don't know. (News flash, his email account return address does not say Mike Krzyzewski.) Usually I delete these emails but something about this one made it look legit so I opened it. Thank goodness I did, it was from Coach. "I read your play. I liked it very much. Loved the ending. Best, Coach K" You bet I kept that one. Still in my inbox. Always will be.

I also wrote him the first time I ran the Boston Marathon, told him all about my son's brain tumor, and asked for something autographed I could wear while I ran. He sent back t-shirts for me and my husband plus some autographed posters and a nice note telling me it sounded like Ronnie had a great team behind him.

Another story of how the 'K' attitude rubs off on his players. Second time I ran the Boston Marathon, my charity team decided to go for a 'tasteful' color team running jersey rather than the usual bright but ugly flourescents of year's past. Guess what counts as 'tasteful'? Thank goodness around here it's known as Columbia Blue, but still, you know what color that is. Anyway, I didn't go back to Coach K. This time I hit up former Duke basketball players, Kenny Dennard, Gene Banks, and Tommy Amaker all signed and returned slips of Duke Blue paper that I could wear pinned to my back. You can see the pieces of paper in this picture http://www.boston.com/sports/marathon/gallery/04_20_09_the_finish?pg=26. Gene Banks even contacted me afterwards wanting to know how the race had gone.

roywhite
09-19-2011, 09:29 AM
If you haven't already seen it, check out Coach K's speech from his Duke HOF induction as captured on Duke Blue Planet.

Coach K's induction (http://www.youtube.com/user/DukeBluePlanet)

Outstanding.

Verga3
09-19-2011, 06:44 PM
His emotional post-game Clemson bus visit is only the most recent out-of-the-limelight story that embodies the character and person of Coach K. http://www.wral.com/sports/blogpost/2585516/

This man is one of the greatest basketball coaches in history, but his off-the-court and everyday interactions with his players, friends.....and even many strangers, is "the rest of the story."

Four years ago my nephew was agonizing over his college decision between one of our great ACC universities (down the road) and one of our esteemed U.S. military academies. After going back and forth for weeks, and with deadlines fast approaching, my brother was at his wits end at how to help his son through this difficult decision process. Finally, knowing his son was a lifelong Duke fan and having tremendous respect for Coach K, my brother queried, "Why don't you call Coach K?" After initially thinking his dad was nuts, he thought more about his problem and decided Coach K was just the right person to call.....after all, he did go to Army....but how do you get to talk to Coach K?

My nephew decided to send an email to Coach K, via Duke Basketball, explaining his dilemma and asking for any advice he might be able to give him. About two weeks go by and the phone rings one night after dinner....later, my nephew walks downstairs and states to the family, "You won't believe who was just on the phone."

Mike Krzyzewski calls an unknown young man (to him) that has a problem. First, he apologizes for calling so late (it's 9:00pm) and for it taking him so long to get back to him. He trys to help. He spoke personally about his own formative experiences at Army and of the great privilege of serving your country in any of our branches of service. He spoke about how he appreciated how difficult decisions like his were.....in fact he had a tough decision of his own not too long ago with his opportunity to leave Duke for the LA Lakers...and about how at the end of the day the decision is clearer if you follow your heart.

I'm very glad that Mike Krzyzewski's heart is here at Duke.

Thanks for reviving this thread, davekaye1971!

The "rest of the story" for my nephew is that he graduated from NC State in Accounting, also receiving his Master's of Accountancy at NC State. He passed the CPA exam (all parts) on his first attempt and works for a Raleigh firm today. He will never forget Coach K's unexpected act of kindness and class.

dukeman28428
09-21-2011, 08:01 AM
Coach K is a class act and we are so lucky to have him at Duke.

With his busy schedule, he seems to really enjoy taking time out to help others.

So many successful people in athlectics can learn from him on how to give back.

Thanks Coach for being the kind of person that you are.

GO DUKE