When Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski retires at the end of this upcoming season, he will do so as one of the most accomplished coaches in NCAA history.
No one has won more games. Only one coach has won more national championships. He is tied for the most Naismith College Coach of the Year honors.
He is already a basketball and college basketball Hall of Famer.
We’re taking a look at the numbers behind Krzyzewski’s legendary career.
47 years coaching
Krzyzewski is at 46 years coaching NCAA basketball, but with the news that the 2021-22 campaign will be his last, he will retire having been at the helm of a program for 47 years.
Few coaches can match that number. Phog Allen has coached the most seasons, as he began coaching in 1905 with Baker and completed his 50th season of coaching in 1956 with Kansas. Jim Phelan took the head coaching gig at Mount St. Mary’s in 1954 after one year as an assistant and remained the head coach for 49 years.
Next up? Well, that’s Krzyzewski. He’s been at Duke for 41 years — about to be 42 — and he spent the previous five years coaching at his alma mater Army. That followed a one-year assistant coaching gig under his former head coach Bob Knight.
1,170 coaching wins
The number will change by the end of the year, but for now his current win total sits at 1,170.
In 2016, he became the winningest coach in NCAA Tournament play with his 90th win in March Madness. In 2017, he picked up his 1,000th win to become the first men’s Division I coach to reach four digits. The next year, he passed Pat Summit for the most wins by a Division I coach. In 2019, he surpassed Harry Statham to lay claim to the title of most wins by a college basketball coach at any level or of any gender.
He has put together these wins with remarkable consistency. Since joining Duke in 1980, he has won at least 20 games in 35 of his 41 seasons. He was reached 30 wins in 13 of those seasons.
His all-time win total could be potentially in jeopardy at some point, however. Herb Magee, the current Division II men’s basketball coach at Thomas Jefferson University, sits at 1,123 wins. Stanford women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer is coming off a national championship win and has 1,125 wins in her career while UConn women’s coach Geno Auriemma has 1,119 wins and just signed an extension to keep him at the helm of the Huskies.
But the only active Division I men’s coach close to Krzyzewski is Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, who has 982 wins.
5 national championships
Wins during the regular season are great, but coaches stick around in large part for their ability to bring new banners to the rafters. And only UCLA’s John Wooden brought home more NCAA titles to his program.
While coaching the Blue Devils, Duke has been crowned national champion five times: 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010 and 2015. The back-to-back championships made him the fifth-ever coach to string together titles in consecutive years. Wooden holds the record for winning seven straight from 1967 to 1973. Billy Donovan at Florida became the sixth with back-to-back wins in 2006 and 2007.
Krzyzewski’s success in March Madness can be measured in more than just the five rings. His 12 Final Four appearances are tied with Wooden for the most by any coach and his 97 wins in tournament play stand alone as the most — rival UNC coach Roy Williams is second at 79.
And Krzyzewski kept that tournament success going in conference play. He won 15 ACC Tournaments during his career to go along with the 12 regular season ACC titles he accumulated.
3 Naismith College Coach of the Year honors
With all the wins, national championships and various accomplishments, it should come as no surprise that Krzyzewski has plenty of individual hardware to recognize his successes.
He has been three times named the Naismith College Coach of the Year, the top honor given to NCAA Division I coaches. Krzyzewski received the honors in 1989, 1992 and 1999.
John Calipari is the only other men’s coach with three, winning one in 1996 with UMass, 2008 with Memphis and 2015 with Kentucky. Auriemma has won the women’s coaching honors eight times, Summit won it five times and Muffet McGraw and VanDerveer have each won it three times.
Krzyzewski has claimed other coaching honors as well. He’s the 1986 winner of the UPI Coach of the Year, 1991 recipient of the National Association of Basketball Coaches Coach of the Year, 2004 winner of the Clair Bee Coach of the Year and the five-time winner of the ACC Coach of the Year. He was named the conference’s top coach in 1984, 1986, 1997, 1999 and 2000. He was also named Sporting News Coach of the Year in 1992.
72 NBA players
When top high school recruits are looking at college options for basketball, one of the first things they look at is whether a program develops NBA talent. Under Krzyzewski at Duke, there were few programs that compared.
Since he took over in 1980, 72 players who wore a Blue Devils uniform went on to play in the NBA. Of those 72, 28 have appeared in NBA games this season.
And just how good were those players? Collectively, they have averaged 24 minutes per game over their careers while posting game averages of 10.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists.
Grant Hill, Elton Brand, Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, J.J. Redick, Jabari Parker and many others have come through Durham and the coaching of Krzyzewski to reach the floors of the NBA.