That COY Krzyzewski


That COY Krzyzewski

I’ve seen social media chatter lately about Mike Krzyzewski being named ACC Coach of the Year. It was meant to be tongue in cheek or at least, I think it was. I did a double take the first time I saw the post. That’s a sure sign that the idea should be explored further.

The silliest response to that post that I’ve seen is that both Coach K and Roy Williams will never be in the running again. You know, because of their stature. They’ve been there, done that and perpetually have top recruiting classes. After all, shouldn’t we share the honors? Spread the wealth around so everyone gets a nod and no one feels left out? No, and pass me the miniature violin for those bemoaning my answer.

Just in case you were wondering, Krzyzewski has won five ACC Coach of the Year honors. So far. Those are spread out from 1984 to 2000. Considering his time in the ACC that really isn’t a large number. Feel free to look at the long list of his honors on Wikipedia.

I’m asking, why not K? Look, sure Duke was loaded with talent this year but a lot of it was youthful, individualistic and raw. I’ll argue they didn’t have a clue as to how to play together as a team. Some nights it was hit and miss. Definitely on the defensive side of the boards. They were staggeringly horrible when it came to playing as a team. Equally, at times their defensive performance was just shy of atrocious. If you wanted a team that could tear it up on the offensive boards though, you need look no further than the Blue Devils.

Slowly but surely Krzyzewski has nurtured this group of young men and schooled them in the importance of playing both sides of the court. It’s called the game of basketball. He’s had to break them of some bad habits we teach at the AAU level (I’ve coached it and organized so I speak from experience). Statistically, they’ve increased their defensive posture in the last month. It’s just in time for what many argue is the only important part of the season, the NCAA Tournament.

Resurrecting a preseason #1 team (in name) that floundered and felt like they’d never find themselves is the hallmark of a great coach. The same can be said of the coaching staff that surrounds him.

That COY Krzyzewski

I have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with Duke basketball. It really depends on the roster of players and their attitudes. Mark my words, I’m not one to fawn over coaches. However, I do have an immense amount of respect for Krzyzewski. Look at his record, look at what he’s accomplished on multiple levels and in worldwide venues. Few men have walked that path.

Have I tossed a few personal barbs at the coach while sitting in front of my television? Bet on it and I don’t regret saying those things in the privacy of my home. Admittedly, every coach in the ACC has received an equal torrent of verbal abuse so don’t think anyone is extra special here. Besides, I have that right printed clearly on my arm chair coaching permit. Thank goodness I have an accommodating and forgiving spouse.

Do I really think that the ACC Coach of the Year will go to Mike Krzyzewski? Not likely. But, it is worth making note of how much he has contributed to the lives of countless individuals whether it was personally or as a professional in the world of basketball.

This seems a particularly good time in life to make a point of that in regards to Krzyzewski. Also to the countless other coaches who touch the lives of young adults.

To whomever is named the ACC Coach of the Year, thank you for the impression you’ve made on the next generation.

You see, once in a while it does us all good to reflect on what those in our lives mean to us. Sometimes, they are gone too soon.

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