Dec 21, 2010
Krzyzewski Ties Dean Smith With 879 Wins

DURHAM — They shared pretty much the same stretch of U.S 15-501, recruited some of the same players and took turns winning national championships during one memorable stretch.

On Monday night, Mike Krzyzewski and Dean Smith shared a number — 879 — when Duke beat Elon 98-72 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Top-ranked Duke’s 11th win of the season gave Krzyzewski 879 career coaching victories, tying him with his former UNC rival for No. 2 on the all-time Division I men’s basketball coaching list.

“I think he’s been really special for the game of basketball, Krzyzewski said of Smith, who retired in 1997 after winning 879 games and two national championships for the Tar Heels. To share something with him for this moment is a really good thing.”

Moments after the buzzer sounded, Krzyzewski met with Elon coach Matt Matheny at half court for the customary handshake. Matheny, a Shelby native who grew up in Statesville, took a minute to tell Krzyzewski how much his accomplishment means to a native North Carolinian.

“I grew up watching ACC basketball, and I’ve always been a fan of his teams, Matheny said. But the thing that stands out to me about him the most is that he is a great leader. He is a leader of men. To me, that is a great role model. That’s what I told him after the game.

“He is an incredible role model for coaches, and he is at the height of the profession.”

Krzyzewski arrived at Duke after winning 73 games at Army from 1975-80. He logged his first win with the Blue Devils on Nov. 29, 1980.

By that time, Smith had coached the Tar Heels in a pair of national championship games and had established UNC as the team to beat in the ACC and one of the nation’s top programs.

“The league was amazing, and at the head of it was Dean, Krzyzewski said. We all made each other better because you had to prepare for each game. You had to become good or go into TV. Dean’s never been in TV.

“I love Dean, and we competed really hard against one another. But I think the ultimate thing that a competitor can say about another competitor is that he respects him 100 percent. I really value our friendship.”

Duke’s players spent the nine-day break between games finishing up end-of-semester projects and taking final exams. That didn’t stop them, though, from monitoring news reports about Krzyzewski’s impending milestone.

“Coach wants the focus to be on us instead of him, and that’s just how he is, Duke senior guard Nolan Smith said. But we watch TV, we see it, so it’s something that’s great to be a part of.”

Fellow senior Kyle Singler, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2010 Final Four when Duke won its fourth national championship under Krzyzewski, enjoys delivering milestone wins.

“It’s just a great thing to be part of, Singler said. We’re only a small piece of it, but to be the team to do it with is special and just shows how great Coach K is.”

Krzyzewski can move past Smith into second place by himself when Duke plays UNC Greensboro on Dec. 29 at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Until then, he and Smith will be equals with 879 career wins, trailing only record-holder Bob Knight’s 902.,, ,

Krzyzewski Ties Dean Smith With 879 Wins

The Herald-Sun (Durham, N.C.)

DURHAM — They shared pretty much the same stretch of U.S 15-501, recruited some of the same players and took turns winning national championships during one memorable stretch. On Monday night, Mike Krzyzewski and Dean Smith shared a number — 879 — when Duke beat Elon 98-72 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Top-ranked Duke’s 11th win of the season gave Krzyzewski 879 career coaching victories, tying him with his former UNC rival for No. 2 on the all-time Division I men’s basketball coaching list. “I think he’s been really special for the game of basketball, Krzyzewski said of Smith, who retired in 1997 after winning 879 games and two national championships for the Tar Heels. To share something with him for this moment is a really good thing.” Moments after the buzzer sounded, Krzyzewski met with Elon coach Matt Matheny at half court for the customary handshake. Matheny, a Shelby native who grew up in Statesville, took a minute to tell Krzyzewski how much his accomplishment means to a native North Carolinian. “I grew up watching ACC basketball, and I’ve always been a fan of his teams, Matheny said. But the thing that stands out to me about him the most is that he is a great leader. He is a leader of men. To me, that is a great role model. That’s what I told him after the game. “He is an incredible role model for coaches, and he is at the height of the profession.” Krzyzewski arrived at Duke after winning 73 games at Army from 1975-80. He logged his first win with the Blue Devils on Nov. 29, 1980. By that time, Smith had coached the Tar Heels in a pair of national championship games and had established UNC as the team to beat in the ACC and one of the nation’s top programs. “The league was amazing, and at the head of it was Dean, Krzyzewski said. We all made each other better because you had to prepare for each game. You had to become good or go into TV. Dean’s never been in TV. “I love Dean, and we competed really hard against one another. But I think the ultimate thing that a competitor can say about another competitor is that he respects him 100 percent. I really value our friendship.” Duke’s players spent the nine-day break between games finishing up end-of-semester projects and taking final exams. That didn’t stop them, though, from monitoring news reports about Krzyzewski’s impending milestone. “Coach wants the focus to be on us instead of him, and that’s just how he is, Duke senior guard Nolan Smith said. But we watch TV, we see it, so it’s something that’s great to be a part of.” Fellow senior Kyle Singler, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2010 Final Four when Duke won its fourth national championship under Krzyzewski, enjoys delivering milestone wins. “It’s just a great thing to be part of, Singler said. We’re only a small piece of it, but to be the team to do it with is special and just shows how great Coach K is.” Krzyzewski can move past Smith into second place by himself when Duke plays UNC Greensboro on Dec. 29 at the Greensboro Coliseum. Until then, he and Smith will be equals with 879 career wins, trailing only record-holder Bob Knight’s 902.,, ,






75 Applewood Dr. Ste. A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
616.887.9008
Interested in reading the print edition of Winning Hoops?

Subscribe Today »

View sample issue »
website development by deyo designs