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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA/Durham, NC

    Coach K memories...

    I know that many are deeply passionate on this board bc of their memories with the Duke program and some even more so, directly with K.

    Most of my memories with K are kinda indirect. I went to high school with his kids. He was still just kinda "coach" back then - no K for most in my area, K when we had to specify.

    But one of the wildest things I ever saw growing up, and it was quite mundane, was Coach K driving.

    I'm coming home from A&T on I-85 and I see this black Lincoln Town Car. The big ones. The limo type.

    So I look to see if it's maybe Maya Angelou bc she had the same car with a chauffeur back then.

    And to my shock - it's Coach K!!! Driving by himself!! One hand on the wheel.

    It was just so classic K.

    Of course he had on a black suit and a black tie. And I couldn't help but to see the Chicago in him.

    It was just a really amazing thing to see bc trust I did a LOT of driving around Duke and not once had I seen K in the driver's seat.

    Coach K on the grind. Circa 1994.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    There is still a year of memories to be made in front of us. He's not gone yet, I'll post here after the last game.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Colorado
    Quote Originally Posted by SupaDave View Post
    I know that many are deeply passionate on this board bc of their memories with the Duke program and some even more so, directly with K.

    Most of my memories with K are kinda indirect. I went to high school with his kids. He was still just kinda "coach" back then - no K for most in my area, K when we had to specify.

    But one of the wildest things I ever saw growing up, and it was quite mundane, was Coach K driving.

    I'm coming home from A&T on I-85 and I see this black Lincoln Town Car. The big ones. The limo type.

    So I look to see if it's maybe Maya Angelou bc she had the same car with a chauffeur back then.

    And to my shock - it's Coach K!!! Driving by himself!! One hand on the wheel.

    It was just so classic K.

    Of course he had on a black suit and a black tie. And I couldn't help but to see the Chicago in him.

    It was just a really amazing thing to see bc trust I did a LOT of driving around Duke and not once had I seen K in the driver's seat.

    Coach K on the grind. Circa 1994.
    I wish I had met him or seen him in public. I have no first hand memories of him but lots of thoughts about his legacy.

    I think the thing I will always remember about him is consistency. He had a plan, he stuck to it. He was a great communicator (per Jay Williams this a.m. on First Take) and communicated his expectations to his players in a clear and consistent manner. It didn't matter whether the player was a 5 star recruit or a walk on. He had clear expectations for everyone in terms of effort, team work and accountability.

    He's an old school leader who managed to adapt to the times. I have great respect for him and will greatly miss him as Duke's coach.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    In seven years at Duke as an undergrad and law student i missed two home games. Although i was gone from the university community long before K was hired, the addiction for Duke hoops which i caught during the Bubas years made me a fan for life, even through some rough stretches. I recall a roommate calling me to tell me the news of K's hiring, and how to pronounce and spell his name. (He fumbled both). For much of my life, though not living in North Carolina i was able to revisit the area once or twice annually for many years, usually scheduling my visits so that one - or two if possible - doses of Duke hoops could be enjoyed. In the spring of 1988 i was in Durham while K's summer camp was in session so i went over to Cameron in hopes of meeting him. He was out on the middle of the floor walking around and observing - not lecturing or instructing - so i walked up to him and introduced myself to him. At that point his program, though several years prior to its first national title, was well established. He had gone to two Final Fours and played in the title game in 1986. (That loss to Louisville is still the toughest). He almost shrank from me like Superman running from Kryptonite when i first approached him. I introduced myself, said i was an alum, and that watching the Bubas teams had been just about as valuable as anything else i got from Duke. I said I just wanted to thank him for his work and the enjoyment that it gave to so many of us. He quickly realized that i wanted nothing, and did not have an opportunity i wanted to let him in on, and he became very courteous and even chatty. He talked about what a great job Vic Bubas had done at Duke. He also talked about how intense and difficult recruiting was, but he said he could have signed several big time players whose names i would recognize, but he had not offered them because of team chemistry or character issue or entourage, etc. Then i said, "Yes, it must be remarkably difficult to talk to these 17 and 18 year old guys and beg them to accept an extraordinary opportunity like a Duke scholarship." K looked at me, paused a second, and said, "I don't beg." I though, "OK! Message received!" We chatted for a minute or two more, shook hands, and went our separate ways. i've never forgotten it. Only time i've met or spoken to him personally.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    There is still a year of memories to be made in front of us. He's not gone yet, I'll post here after the last game.
    We agree.
    Nothing incites bodily violence quicker than a Duke fan turning in your direction and saying 'scoreboard.'

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA/Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    There is still a year of memories to be made in front of us. He's not gone yet, I'll post here after the last game.
    I feel ya - cranking up for one last ride. But you're not gonna be able to elude the reminiscing all year - it's gonna be practically a game by game event in the likes of Kareem, Kobe or Wooden. Every stadium with a standing ovation or gift. It's not K's style but he's gonna have to accept it just this once.

  7. #7
    I want my memory to be of him holding his sixth NCAA gold championship trophy.

    So, I'll wait until early April 2022.

    That will be worth waiting for !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    The campus memories...

    Seeing him play racquetball in his short shorts.

    Seeing him a little tipsy in KVille the night before UNC and Mickie chastise him for dropping the f bomb during his speech to the students.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by SupaDave View Post
    I know that many are deeply passionate on this board bc of their memories with the Duke program and some even more so, directly with K.

    Most of my memories with K are kinda indirect. I went to high school with his kids. He was still just kinda "coach" back then - no K for most in my area, K when we had to specify.

    But one of the wildest things I ever saw growing up, and it was quite mundane, was Coach K driving.

    I'm coming home from A&T on I-85 and I see this black Lincoln Town Car. The big ones. The limo type.

    So I look to see if it's maybe Maya Angelou bc she had the same car with a chauffeur back then.

    And to my shock - it's Coach K!!! Driving by himself!! One hand on the wheel.

    It was just so classic K.

    Of course he had on a black suit and a black tie. And I couldn't help but to see the Chicago in him.

    It was just a really amazing thing to see bc trust I did a LOT of driving around Duke and not once had I seen K in the driver's seat.

    Coach K on the grind. Circa 1994.
    I too have a Coach K memory kinda similar to yours—-mundane but unexpected just the same. We were at the Maui Classic in 2011 when one day during some down time between games we were taking pics of the local flora and fauna on the grounds of the resort where we were staying. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a guy walking toward us, then pass within five feet of me...and then I realized it was K! All alone, no Mickie, no daughters or grandkids, no asst coaches/staff/players, nobody following him from a discreet distance. But he was gone before I had the sense to wish him Good Luck on the next game.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Raleighfan View Post
    I too have a Coach K memory kinda similar to yours—-mundane but unexpected just the same. We were at the Maui Classic in 2011 when one day during some down time between games we were taking pics of the local flora and fauna on the grounds of the resort where we were staying. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a guy walking toward us, then pass within five feet of me...and then I realized it was K! All alone, no Mickie, no daughters or grandkids, no asst coaches/staff/players, nobody following him from a discreet distance. But he was gone before I had the sense to wish him Good Luck on the next game.
    Sounds to me like that happenstance turned out great. He may have been seeking alone time for thought and did not need good luck wishes?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by SupaDave View Post
    But one of the wildest things I ever saw growing up, and it was quite mundane, was Coach K driving.

    I'm coming home from A&T on I-85 and I see this black Lincoln Town Car. The big ones. The limo type.

    So I look to see if it's maybe Maya Angelou bc she had the same car with a chauffeur back then.

    And to my shock - it's Coach K!!! Driving by himself!! One hand on the wheel.
    This happened to me a little closer to home. I was on south campus driving my kids to daycare before starting my workday. Stopped at a stoplight, and opposite me at the same light is Coach K, waiting for the same light. He was driving that same big ol' black Town Car.

  12. #12
    scottdude8's Avatar
    scottdude8 is offline Contributor, Zoubek disciple, and resident Wolverine
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Toronto
    Coach K is directly responsible for a memory I'll be telling my grandkids about.

    I was a sophomore in 2010, in the midst of my first season directly covering the team for The Chronicle (freshmen can't cover games, go to pressers, etc, at least back in my day). I was starting to find my groove at The Chronicle, having gotten the opportunity to cover the Big Ten-ACC challenge and a couple of big ACC games. I ended up being The Chronicle's primary representative at the media availability prior to the UNC game, and right beforehand my editor shot me a text asking me to ask K about whether he had concerns about the big minutes that Scheyer, Smith, and Singler were playing and if that might wear them down in the post season.

    Coach K did NOT like that question.

    He ended up haranguing me for what felt like 10-15 minutes (but probably was closer to 5, haha): "Have you ever covered a game before? Have you ever been in the locker room after a game and talked to these kids? They're in the best shape of their lives. They could play 40, 45 minutes and be fine. What type of question is that?"

    Funny thing was, I was smirking the whole time, because I couldn't believe I was in a position where Coach K noticed me enough to chastise me, let alone in a public setting.

    But here's the best part of the story from my perspective: no grudges were held (perhaps because I was so inconsequential in Coach's eyes, haha, but we all know the lingering animosity he holds towards The Chronicle so he easily could've put my face on his internal "black list"). In fact, the next season when I had a question towards the end of a presser that the SID had tried to end, Coach K went out of his way to step back to the podium to respond to my question (I think it was about a stellar effort from Miles Plumlee, so it was a question he was much happier to answer, haha).

    A lot is made about how K dealt with the media, and especially the student media, during his reign. I was on the receiving end of some of his vitriol. But in most every one of those cases, the anger came from wanting to defend his players, his family. And he never did so by getting overly personal or inappropriate in his responses... they were never "attacks", just aggressive defenses. And the fact that he remained gracious towards me in my remaining two years on The Chronicle, during which I became a more regular face covering games and pressers (including as a beat writer my senior year), says a lot about him.

    Until the day I die I'll be able to say Coach K once yelled at me personally in a press conference, and I couldn't be happier about that.
    Scott Rich on the front page

    Trinity BS 2012; University of Michigan PhD 2018
    Duke Chronicle, Sports Online Editor: 2010-2012
    K-Ville Blue Tenting 2009-2012

    Unofficial Brian Zoubek Biographer
    If you have questions about Michigan Basketball/Football, I'm your man!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Watching carolina Go To HELL!
    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post

    Until the day I die I'll be able to say Coach K once yelled at me personally in a press conference, and I couldn't be happier about that.
    You and our very own JasonEvans!
    Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!

    Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
    9F 9F 9F
    http://www.EGLEW.com


  14. #14

    Loved it

    I'm old enough to have been at the Feb. 1981 Duke-UNC game, when Gene Banks' legendary skills saved the day in OT. About several dozen students slept by the door at Cameron. By morning the crowd had definitely grown. Coach K stopped by Cameron hours before the game and, was viably amazed that students would sleep outside to get good seats for the game. Shortly after he went inside a Krispy Kreme truck showed up. Maybe it was coincidence, but I don't believe it was.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    There is still a year of memories to be made in front of us. He's not gone yet, I'll post here after the last game.
    In a nod to our CIW Jon Scheyer... I recall that Coach K and Mickie have the seniors over to dinner shortly after their last game in Cameron. At the dinner, Mickie asked Jon about his best memory at Duke and he said it has not happened yet....

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Colorado
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkD83 View Post
    In a nod to our CIW Jon Scheyer... I recall that Coach K and Mickie have the seniors over to dinner shortly after their last game in Cameron. At the dinner, Mickie asked Jon about his best memory at Duke and he said it has not happened yet...
    A hearsay memory at best.

    One of my best lawyer friends in Denver is a guy named John Taylor. John is a Louisville fan and had kept his Louisville season tickets for 35+ years after moving to Denver. I have had the benefit of that, John and I have traveled to 3 Duke-Louisville games in recent years. I wear Duke gear and the Louisville fans are exceedingly polite.

    John's son is a local sports caster. He has done the Rick Pitino and the Chris Mack weekly radio shows. John's son has talked about the trepidation he had for his first interview with K. As it turned out, K was extremely gracious, answered all of the questions and was just a great guy.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by MartyClark View Post
    A hearsay memory at best.
    It’s my memory and I like it so hearsay or not I will keep repeating it. 😊. Now get off my lawn😊

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by SupaDave View Post
    I know that many are deeply passionate on this board bc of their memories with the Duke program and some even more so, directly with K.

    Most of my memories with K are kinda indirect. I went to high school with his kids. He was still just kinda "coach" back then - no K for most in my area, K when we had to specify.

    But one of the wildest things I ever saw growing up, and it was quite mundane, was Coach K driving.

    I'm coming home from A&T on I-85 and I see this black Lincoln Town Car. The big ones. The limo type.

    So I look to see if it's maybe Maya Angelou bc she had the same car with a chauffeur back then.

    And to my shock - it's Coach K!!! Driving by himself!! One hand on the wheel.

    It was just so classic K.

    Of course he had on a black suit and a black tie. And I couldn't help but to see the Chicago in him.

    It was just a really amazing thing to see bc trust I did a LOT of driving around Duke and not once had I seen K in the driver's seat.

    Coach K on the grind. Circa 1994.
    Wait, was it this???
    https://youtu.be/pK_5GvLzVQM

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    But in most every one of those cases, the anger came from wanting to defend his players, his family.
    Great story. We call it "Getting K'd."

    But let me share a K story from the beginning of his Duke tenure that supports this statement.

    K's first Duke team had four seniors inherited from Bill Foster; Gene Banks, Kenny Dennard, Jim Suddath and walk-on Larry Linney. We all remember Banks and Dennard but maybe not Suddath. He was a skinny 6-6 lefty from the Atlanta area. Pretty good shooter, pretty good athlete but not strong enough to play inside and not skilled enough to play guard. Which meant he backed up Banks and Dennard, which meant he didn't play a lot.

    Fast forward to the week before Senior Day, which turned out to be a memorable win over Carolina. The Durham paper ran profiles on the seniors. I'm not 100 percent sure of the writer, so I won't mention names except that I'm pretty sure it wasn't Al Featherston. Anyway this writer suggested that Suddath hadn't really lived up to his potential, wouldn't be a substantial loss and so forth.

    Now, Krzyzewski hadn't recruited Suddath and in some respects didn't have any significant investment in Suddath's reputation. But Suddath was and is a great guy--he became a minister--who worked hard, did what he was asked and was a valuable leadership presence on the team.

    So, Krzyzewski very strongly defended Jim Suddath and his contributions to the team. Just like you said, he stood up for his guys, from the very beginning, not just the stars but everyone. And that was evident from the very beginning of his stay at Duke.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    Great story. We call it "Getting K'd."

    But let me share a K story from the beginning of his Duke tenure that supports this statement.

    K's first Duke team had four seniors inherited from Bill Foster; Gene Banks, Kenny Dennard, Jim Suddath and walk-on Larry Linney. We all remember Banks and Dennard but maybe not Suddath. He was a skinny 6-6 lefty from the Atlanta area. Pretty good shooter, pretty good athlete but not strong enough to play inside and not skilled enough to play guard. Which meant he backed up Banks and Dennard, which meant he didn't play a lot.

    Fast forward to the week before Senior Day, which turned out to be a memorable win over Carolina. The Durham paper ran profiles on the seniors. I'm not 100 percent sure of the writer, so I won't mention names except that I'm pretty sure it wasn't Al Featherston. Anyway this writer suggested that Suddath hadn't really lived up to his potential, wouldn't be a substantial loss and so forth.

    Now, Krzyzewski hadn't recruited Suddath and in some respects didn't have any significant investment in Suddath's reputation. But Suddath was and is a great guy--he became a minister--who worked hard, did what he was asked and was a valuable leadership presence on the team.

    So, Krzyzewski very strongly defended Jim Suddath and his contributions to the team. Just like you said, he stood up for his guys, from the very beginning, not just the stars but everyone. And that was evident from the very beginning of his stay at Duke.
    Suddath also is a great guy. I live in the same town and played pickup ball with him a few times a number of years ago. I remember one pass for a layup on a break and commenting that it was like feeding Gminski, but Suddath joked that Gminski would have dropped it.

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